I have had the pleasure of meeting the Honorable Minister of Industry and Commerce of Iceland Ms. Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir a number of times. I have been deeply impressed with her understanding of the Startup and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem development and the role Government and other institutions play in it. She was the first Minister that I know of (not that I know a lot of them :)), who reached out to all the Startups right after she took office and went down and met with them to get feedback on what the Government could do better for the Startup Community. This level of engagement is unheard of in any context. I had the pleasure of giving her office a 10 point action plan when the management team of GreenQloud met with her. She has been true to her word in supporting initiatives and talking for the Startup Community. She has had personal engagement with Startup founders and Entrepreneurs and really has made the effort to participate, debate and bring issues in front of the Parliament to move things forward in Iceland. I am quite positive about the support Startups and Entrepreneurs will get in Iceland with her as the Minister of Industry and Commerce. She has done a great job so far of balancing the needs of large industries as well as the Startup community by supporting initiatives that promote growth, activity and industry in Iceland

We are very pleased to have her as one of the keynote speakers for Startup Iceland this year. Here is a brief profile.


Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir became Minister of Industry and Commerce on 23 May 2013. Ms Árnadóttir is an MP of the Independence party and served as chairman of the party caucus 2010-2012.

After graduating from the Women’s College in Reykjavík, she completed a BA degree from the University of Iceland in 1991 and subsequently an MS degree in international relations from Georgetown University in the US.

From 1995-1998 she worked for the Icelandic Export Council.

Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir was the political advisor to the Minister of Finance 1998-2005, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs 2005-2006 and to the Prime Minister 2006-2007.

Parliamentary Career

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