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Stian founded 24SevenOffice back in 1997, which is the world’s first cloud-based ERP system. Besides being the Founder and CEO of 24SevenOffice,
He is an experienced serial entrepreneur and angel investor with several successful startups and investments since 1997. Stian has been the founder, co-founder, angel or main investor in more than 40 companies. Stian is an interdisciplinary graduate in engineering and finance and is now taking his ventures to the US and have moved to NYC with his family.
We had a wonderful 10th anniversary in Norwegian Entrepreneur Association and we had engaged the comedian and entrepreneur Jon Schau. He was quite an experience. One of his main messages was “be true to your idea and who you are”, and I wanted to play a little further on this message the next day. I wake up and made a blog post that have made several Norwegian entrepreneurs and a few politicians reaching out to me.
Jon Schau at the 10th anniversary in Norwegian Entrepreneur Association in Drammen. Photo: Odd Moe
The situation in Norway is special because there is a lack of private business angels. Seed funding is mostly provided by the government through their state organisation called Innovation Norway. There are some professional seed funds that are coming up and running now funded with 50% oil money, and that will hopefully be a game changer.
In Norway most of the entrepreneurs from day one have to adapt to the system by having to have one gameplan towards Innovation Norway relating to getting funding and grants while the real plan lies in the back of their head ready for use when they have the money. My recommendation in the blog post was;
“Be true to yourself , say what you believe is right and do not degenerate yourself and your vision in the face of the system”. “Wherever crazy, politically incorrect or spectacular your idea is, you will always find investors, partners and others who have thought some of the same thoughts as you and who understands you. It takes just a little longer!”
So do we have a problem in Norway? I think that too many bright people and good ideas have left this beautiful country because of reasons mentions above.
I feel it is happening positive thinks and we have a government that really want to do something and change the system. There are a lot of good intentions, but there are issues regarding cultures that changes slowly up here in the north.
“Norway can never be Silicon Valley – but we can be much more if we define our space.”
We for sure have the financial power of the oil fund if we are willing to us it to create the future.
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.