Yesterday was the Norwegian final in Venture Cup 2018. Venture Cup is the worlds largest business plan competition and is held in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. This year Costail and Sensero from the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship were participating in the competition together with hundreds of other startups from Norway.
We proudly congratulate Costail for winning the national final in Venture Cup 2018, and Sensero for getting the 3rd place! What these two startups have achieved in under a year is really impressive. It has been great to watch your development and progression from the founding and all the way to finished prototypes, test products for early adaptors and soon to be released software – in addition to having two of the best business plans in Norway!
Sensero won a bronze price for one of the best business plans in a competition at Zhejiang University!
Last week, Sensero and Traqr attended ‘International College Students’ Entrepreneurship Invitational Competition 2018 at Zhejiang University, which is one of the most prestigious universities in China. They were representing parts of the Norwegian trade delegation to Shanghai before they were presenting their companies for representatives from Chinese businesses. Together with startups from schools like MIT, Stanford and the National University of Singapore was our two startups from NTNU, NTNU School of Entrepreneurship competing for having the best business plan.
After pitching their business plans was Sensero selected as one of the startups with the best business plan and received a bronze medal in the competition. In addition, the students from both Sensero and Traqr got the opportunity to meet other students, partners and key persons in a different culture in China. As Fredrik Riiser from Traqr formulated in a post after the trip; “it was an amazing experience to learn about the entrepreneurial similarities and key differences we as a nation with long-term economic prosperity share with the world’s most booming economy.”
The first semester at NTNU School of Entrepreneurship (NSE) the year 4 students are divided into rotating groups and conduct six different feasibility studies. The goal of a feasibility study is to investigate the commercialization potential of ideas, university research, or identified problems or opportunities. Feasibility studies at NSE are one of the most important and exciting activities, as this is where many of our success stories begin.
NTNU School of Entrepreneurship has developed a close cooperation with CERN, Switzerland, one of the world’s largest research centers. Every year the new students visits the research facility in Switzerland to discover and test new applications for CERN’s technology. They can later choose the technology as their commercialization project for the next semester.
Today, former student and entrepreneurship development officer from CERN, Ranveig Strøm, visited year 4 students at NTNU School of Entrepreneurship. She held a presentation for them about which technologies they could choose to test new applications for. The technology is software or hardware, often made for tasks related to the particle accelerator. This software and hardware have a lot of potential in other areas as well, and the goal for the trip to CERN is for the students to experience how it is to start with a technical product and try to find new ways to commercialize it through an intensive feasibility study.
Last week was NTNU School of Entrepreneurship celebrating their 15 years anniversary, after Øystein Widding and Roger Sørheim started the program back in 2003. The anniversary lasted two days and was packed with different activities that included a celebration dinner, entrepreneurial learning and lectures, pitches by students from the 4th grade and alumni, workshops and much more.
The anniversary weekend brought back over 100 alumni and around 200 people from the program network. It was impressive to see so many entrepreneurs and likeminded gathered to see where the program is today, and where it will be in the next 15 years!
Today, at NTNU School of Entrepreneurship, we received a visit by Minister of Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen. He met both students from 4th grade, and startups from 5th grade.
I’ve been so lucky to attend the world’s biggest innovation and genealogy conference, RootsTech 2018, in the Mormon capital, Salt Lake City, USA. Due to a strong belief in family tradition and a strong focus on writing personal journals among Mormons, SLC has become the centre for genealogy. Not only do the city libraries hold archives which date a long way back in time, but three out of the world’s five biggest genealogy companies are based out of Salt Lake City. Around these companies, there are plenty of startups trying to find new and better ways of preserving memories and family histories. With a total market size of approx. 3 billion USD, there is a lot of people trying to get a piece of the pie. So, if you are thinking of starting up a business aiming towards family history or genealogy, then SLC is a must to visit.
But, Salt Lake City is not only known for genealogy. The region around Salt Lake, which is known for its many ski resorts, is nicknamed Silicon Slopes because of its high entrepreneurial activity. For example, Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at University of Utah was awarded USA’s best college for entrepreneurs in 2016 and the entrepreneurial program at Marriott School, BYU in the neighbouring city, Provo, has been among the top ten best colleges in the last seven years. Additionally, the region is overrepresented on the TV series Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs present their products to potential investors. Some of the well-known companies from the Salt Lake area are, for example, Skullcandy and Cisco. Something is being done right in Utah and it is not easy to put a finger on exactly what that is. Maybe it’s the Mormon mentality of walking around and knocking on doors which have lead to many of these actually being opened.
The fifth presentation in our series of master’s theses contains three theses that all focus on
questions that the authors have obtained through their work in their start-up or through other
projects. The two first focus on the funding of new ventures and one especially on student-led
ventures, while the latter enters into an industry and focus on the competitiveness of these new
firms. The thesis are written of students graduating from NSE in 2006, 2009 and 2010, and are old but excellent in terms of their questions and findings!
We hope you get inspired and enjoy the reading of this month! If you want to read more about our
students’ prior theses, you can find theses from January, February, March and April here, here here and here.
– The faculty of NSE
Combine (one of the in-house startups) has just started their second pilot project. The first one was in Trondheim and this one is in Oslo. Combine aims for making it easier for people to try out new activities and get a more varied training offer in their daily life.
Combine is a fitness membership that brings together different fitness studios with various activities in just one membership. For about 700 NOK a month, members of Combine get to explore activities such as yoga, climbing, kickboxing, swimming, and pilates, as well as getting access to several gyms for individual training. Combine’s two-way platform distributes different workout classes on one side and collects a group of training enthusiasts on the other side.
For the moment, Line and Siw from the team behind Combine are working from the Agera Accelerator. Here they get a lot of good advice and help from professionals to further develop their service (as this photo from last weeks pitch shows).
You can read more about Combine here!