Toti Stefansson and Helga Waage have been great friends and leaders in this journey that I took in 2009 to build a sustainable startup community in Iceland. For those of you who know Toti and Helga, they are givers they give time, mentor founders and help in whatever way they can to create wins in Iceland. They have walked the proverbial mile with starting companies and failing and winning big. Their company Mobilitus, if you don’t know is the mobile platform that sells all the tickets for Ticket Master. They have successfully raised money in Portland for Mobilitus through Portland Seed Fund and are scaling their team. I have always been a fan of what they do. They were mentors to team Clara as Clara was their neighbour in downtown Reykjavik. They mentored Gunnar Holmsteinn the CEO of Clara. They show up for all events, give talks about their success and failure and if anything be there. IMHO, they are true leaders of the Startup Community in Iceland. Leadership is more about doing the hard things but it might be the simplest of things. Helga has always been a mentor to me, she is always connecting me to people and enabling me to bring people to Iceland, she got me connected to Angela Jackson and more recently Thubten Comerford, both of whom are speakers in Startup Iceland.
They are always the first ones to buy tickets to Startup Iceland, this year they are doing something even bigger. They are sponsoring two women entrepreneurs to participate in Startup Iceland in addition to sending their entire team Mobilitus to Startup Iceland.
I want to encourage all startups to show leadership, and simplest form of leadership is to just showup, participate, volunteer your heart and your mind. I have seen great things happen when teams and startups do that. Here is a talk that Helga gave in Startup Iceland 2013 talking about Startup Communities in Portland and in Iceland. We need more leadership like this and I am forever at their service.