For those of you who don’t know the history of Iceland and US relationship, here is a brief history. The US Navy had a big base in Iceland until 2006, like every other base in the world it was complete with Hospitals, Warehouses, Wendy’s etc basically the infrastructure was big capital expenditure that was invested by the US. In addition, this base was built very close to the Keflavik Airport the main international airport in Iceland. The town of Keflavik, a small fishing town got a huge service business out of this US base. Everything was fine and dandy, until the Iraq War, when President Bush decided to re-allocate the personnel in Iceland to Iraq, so overnight the entire base was evacuated and we had a ghost town. It was devastating to the town of Keflavik, the Government of Iceland raised a lot of noise but hey a War is a War. As consolation to this exodus, the US Airforce basically left the entire infrastructure, I mean Hospital equipments etc in Iceland. Overnight, Iceland lost the service to 1200 personell, 600 local jobs and entire military defense of the tiny island of Iceland… but it was 2006 and then we were still well funded by the wholesale debt market so things were fine and the Icelandic government did not complain too much and like typical Icelanders just carried on with doing the next best thing with the place. They called the Icelandic Military Base, ironic given Iceland does not have any defense systems army, navy or airforce. Then the financial crisis hit, and something had to be done about this infrastructure. The Ministry of Finance created a new company called Kadeco, gave them the mandate to make something out of this place.
Here is the future development plan:
The facility is named Ásbrú, you read all about what it means and the description here. It is a pretty fascinating facility and there are a number of companies that have established their bases there including Verne Global, the Data Center. I would define Ásbrú as a Fat Startup with a lot of infrastructure and potential. They have established an off shoot of the University of Iceland which has an aviation school. It has an incubator, day care, school system etc Practically a startup village setup to host companies or startups. I think it is a smart use of the facility. However, I think there are many missing pieces in this puzzle… I have written about Incubators vs Accelerators, I don’t believe the Incubator models work and I think we need an accelerator in Ásbrú, to quickly put the infrastructure to work.
- How do you like our volcano? (parkersiniceland.wordpress.com)
- Iceland’s Resilient Beauty (mikelberry.com)
- Skrillex And Kaskade Save An Icelandic Actress’ Life In Video For “Lick It” (997now.cbslocal.com)
- Iceland Bets on Green Data Centers (cleantechies.com)
- Music Fails: Who Let Iceland In? (music.failblog.org)