Berg Moe Inc.

always looking for win-win scenarios and opportunities

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Are Norwegians fat, lazy and beautiful?

This talk I gave at a local TEDx event, in Bergen produced independently of the TED Conferences. I am talking about the present and future of entrepreneurship in Norway and try to examine the challenges of Norwegian startup companies on the entrepreneurial scene. Why is it so hard for startups to survive and grow is such a rich and prosperous Scandinavian country?

I am working on refining this lecture and on a book focusing on challenges Norway have ahead, so all feedback and comments are of high value for me.

SELL, SELL, SELL

Sometimes, I wonder if the Norwegian entrepreneurs are allergic to selling and prefer to innovate and write business plans. Time and again I saw they have written great plans but has done little get in touch with the market through sales. I think that first have to sell your product/service before you spend too much time and energy on developing and writing business plans. Time is a precious resource = money, and many times it is possible with simple means to accelerate time to market and through feedback from real customers do a product and service that the market wants.

Here are some examples;
Case A: I received a visit from some friendly people with an idea I liked. When I heard that they had spent one and half years to write a business plan and had not spoken to a single customer, I was ill. I asked if it was ok that I called to a potential customer that maybe would be interested. It took me a few minutes to find a candidate and called up and drove a short 3 min pitch. They were enthusiastic and wanted to have a meeting, and they did not only became not only became a customer but would also finance part of product development and to be a contributor in the process.

Case B: I always use to say that it is good to have a draft contract/letter of intent lying in the cloud if you are looking for customers or investors. I’ve done it several times myself, and it speeds up the process. Sometimes in meetings it is a “turning point” where the hot prospect says “this is interesting, and we would like to more into this”. That’s when you pull out an LOI (letter of intent) and starts to sell it and close it on the spot. Ones we had 34 meetings during seven days in Eastern Europe and returned with 22 LOIs. The tour was also a critical factor for us to succeed raising 4.5 million in seed funding.

The Gründernes Hus (The Entrepreneurs House in Oslo) we will have a focus on sales and acceleration of the process to get to market. We will also use our global network and expertise providing power to kick-start the growth of the companies. We are in the process developing a roadmap that we will be complete during the summer, but already have four companies one they way into the system and much more in screening and pipeline. The official opening of the 3rd-floor Accelerator is at the same time as the official opening of the 1360 m2 house. We have not written a business plan so far – just taken action and focused on business and has sold close to 100% of what we have on sale so far. Soon we start to sell memberships for Kafékontoret (Co-working space on the 1st floor). It’s just to get ready if you want to be a part of a great environment.

3 trends that excites Marc Nager – CEO of Startup Weekend

In an articel in IdeaMensch Marc Nager focus on the following trends;

marcnSpecialization of cities and their communities. “Startups” are getting saturated, so we are seeing a huge movement towards more focused and intentional efforts to specialize.

The government policy makers and big businesses are realizing the importance of investing in startups and innovation. It is fundamental to ensuring our growth as a nation and a world.

Ideas are worthless, its about the people. We try extremely hard to push the level of conversations across the board towards highlighting and supporting the importance of people/individuals. We can have all the programs, money, and incentives in the world to help ideas, but without the right people and teams behind the ideas, all of those programs are worthless.

Marc Nager is for sure an entrepreneur that have changed the world. Read this interesting intervju at IdeaMensch.

Author of the month – Eric Ries

Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and author of the New York Times bestseller
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business, published by Crown Business.

He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has consulted to new and established companies as well as venture capital firms. In 2010, he was named entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School and is currently an IDEO Fellow. Previously he co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, his third startup. In 2007, BusinessWeek named him one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech. In 2009, he was honored with a TechFellow award in the category of Engineering Leadership.The Lean Startup methodology has been written about in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review,Inc. (where he appeared on the cover), Wired, Fast Company, and countless blogs. He lives in San Francisco.

Learn more about Eric Ries…

260 Events In 202 Cities; Startups Raised $30M+

A post by Robin Wauters at TechCrunch

Startup Weekend, whose mission is to kickstart and foster startup communities worldwide through events and networking sessions, had a very lively 2011.

According to internal statistics shared exclusively with TechCrunch, the organization held a total of 260 events in 202 cities, in 67 countries (you can find the obligatory accompanying infographic below).

All in all, the ‘startup weekends’ attracted some 21,316 people, who collectively formed 2,817 teams.

Startups that were incubated at its events raised at least $30 million in outside funding in the course of last year, although Startup Weekend CMO Joey Pomerenke tells me there were probably more fundraising rounds completed that they simply don’t know about yet. Read more…

Investor Events January 2012

Seed Forum International Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation working out of London, and it is the international collaboration entity for the national Seed Forum not-for-profit foundations in various countries.
VikingAngels.com uses these events as physical meeting spots for our network.

Events in January: Singapore 17th, Shanghai 19th and Malmø 24th. Contact manager if you want to be invited to one of these events.

Software Ideas Cannot Be Copyrighted, Says EU Court Adviser

As posted by Eddie Ringle at LOCKERGNOME.

An EU court adviser said on Tuesday that copyright protection cannot be claimed on software functions. The implications of this statement are huge, especially considering the fierce parent wars currently consuming the mobile world. Reuters reports:

The non-binding opinion by Yves Bot, an advocate-general at the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice (ECJ), is in line with a verdict reached by the High Court of England and Wales in July last year. ECJ judges will rule on the case next year. SAS Institute took legal action against World Programing Ltd (WPL) in 2009, saying the British software company had infringed its copyrights by copying its programs and manuals — even though WPL had designed its products without access to SAS’s source code.

In my personal opinion, the decision this adviser made should be heavily considered by not just EU judges, but US judges as well. Why is that, you ask? Companies like Apple are patenting things left and right without having really invented anything. I can see someone patenting a new physical mechanism on a device, but to patent software ideas is just silly, as they’re usually obvious aspects of a software program. In addition, software patents essentially disrupt the innovation that keeps software from evolving into its next useful iteration.

Read the rest of this story posted by Eddie Ringle at LOCKERGNOME.

Preline Fish Farming – industry revolution?

This company has signed a contract with Lerøy Vest to build a “Extended Smolt Farm”. The Preline Fish Farming patented technology solves all the known problems in this industry and promise no lice, reduced feed cost, higher growth rate, more muscle, reduced fat rate, reduced mortality and increased capital turnover. We think they can be a game changer in an industry with high growth potential if the environmental issues are solved.

Lerøy Seafood Group is the leading exporter of seafood from Norway. The Group’s core activities are distribution, sale and marketing of seafood, processing of seafood, production of salmon, trout and other species, as well as product development. Operating revenues in 2010 was 1,5 billion USD.

For more information, log in/register here or contact manager.

Startup Weekend company raised $750K

ReportGrid, a recent graduate form the 2011 TechStars Boulder class has just raised a seed round in the amount of $750,000. The company, a data analytics as a service offering, is notable for powering its API for analytics and reporting through a cloud-scalable database and visualization engine.

Principal investors in the round included Launch Capital, David Cohen, Walt Winshall, Doug Derwin, and Ed Roman. Read more…

[youtube=http://youtu.be/7ymvKiAKgzU]

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

Choosing A Minimally Viable Co-Founder

If you’re starting a company, one of the most important decisions you’ll make early on is the selection of a co-founder. Some might advocate just “going it alone” because finding a great co-founder is hard and fraught with risk. It is hard and it is fraught with risk. But going it alone is harder — and riskier. Startups are very challenging and having someone to share the ups and downs with, to be a great sounding board for ideas and to just help get things done is immensely valuable.
One additional thought: I’m an introvert. I don’t enjoy being around people very much. If you’re like me, the notion of just doing something all by your lonesome might seem appealing. And, it is — but I think it’s a mistake. Even for introverts, having someone on your side is useful and fun.

Read more at OnStartups.com.

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