Gathered at Slush
Finland has succeeded in creating Europe’s most important meeting place for start-ups. His Royal Highness The Crown Prince and some 50 Norwegian start-ups are attending Slush 2016.
Entrepreneurs, investors and technology companies are converging on Helsinki today and tomorrow. The Slush start-up and investor event is being held for the ninth time, and 15 000 visitors, 1 700 start-ups, 800 investors and 630 journalists from around the world are expected to attend.
Some 50 Norwegian start-ups are there to present themselves and find important ties for establishment and further growth. Crown Prince Haakon met with a number of them, including several founders from the Stavanger region whom he had met earlier this month when he visited the innovation environment in the area as a precursor to Slush. Given the downturn in the petroleum sector, new innovation has become more important than ever before.
One of today’s events was a networking luncheon for Norwegian start-ups and investors. In his opening remarks, Crown Prince Haakon said that never before had so many successful Norwegian start-ups been gathered in one place. The Crown Prince saw it as a sign that Norwegian companies are moving in the right direction and becoming increasingly mature, interesting and global. He went on to say that cooperation is the key to success for small companies from a small country.
Investor Ekaterina Gianelli also gave a speech during the luncheon in which she talked about Nordic trends and challenges facing entrepreneurs and investors.
Our time needs more dignity
The Finnish philosopher Pekka Himanen and Crown Prince Haakon participated in a session in which they discussed living a life of dignity. Professor Himanen and the Crown Prince are two of the three founders of Global Dignity, an organisation that promotes values-based leadership and engages young people in dialogue on the concept of dignity and living in dignity.
This afternoon Crown Prince Haakon opened the Nordic Showcase event, where 10 promising Nordic technology companies with global potential had the opportunity to present themselves.
The Crown Prince commented that Norway still does not have its own “unicorn” – a new technology company valued at over USD 1 billion – pointing to Skype, Spotify, Supercell and Trustpilot as examples from the other Nordic countries. But Norway will get there too, he maintains, as Norwegian companies such as Fast, Opera and Tandberg have already shown.
Congratulations from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Alar Karis, President of the Republic of Estonia.
Crown Prince Haakon in Bergen
His Royal Highness The Crown Prince visited the research vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen and opened the conference “The Ocean” in Bergen this morning.