Nolan and I SelfiI was invited to be a judge in the Pitching Competition in Technoport’s Annual Entrepreneurship Conference in Trondheim (you can watch the recorded live stream here). I am inspired with the Global phenomena of Startup thinking and Entrepreneurship. I also got to meet Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari and Chucky Cheese and a number of other companies. What an inspiration. Nolan’s talk was excellent and the entire event was extremely well organized and professionally executed. I have to thank Herman Orn Vidarsson for connecting with me and making this happen. There were so many great talks. For those of you who don’t know Trondheim is the technology capital of Norway. Excerpt from Wikipedia:

Trondheim is home to both the Norwegian University of Science 20150318_104321and Technology (NTNU) with its many technical lab facilities and disciplines, as well as the Sør-Trøndelag University College (HiST), and BI-Trondheim, a satellite campus for the Norwegian Business School (BI).

St. Olavs University Hospital, a regional hospital for Central Norway, is located in downtown Trondheim. St. Olavs is a teaching hospital and cooperates closely with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) on both research and medical education.

SINTEF, the largest independent research organisation in Scandinavia, has 1800 employees with 1300 of these located in Trondheim.[25] The Air Force Academy of the Royal Norwegian Air Force is located at Kuhaugen20150318_103130 in Trondheim.

The Geological Survey of Norway is located at Lade in Trondheim and is a major geoscientific institution with 220 employees of which 70% are scientists.

There are 11 high schools in the city. Trondheim katedralskole (“Trondheim Cathedral School“) was founded in 1152 and is the oldest gymnasium-level school of Norway, while Brundalen videregående skole is the largest in Sør-Trøndelag with its 1100 students and 275 employees.

20150318_104445The highlight of the event was the number of startups that applied, pitched and the ones that won. You can check out the 8 finalists here and the winners here. I really liked couple of the founders and their vision. I continue to believe the secret sauce in any startup are the Founders. In addition that what was inspiring to me was the talk given by Geir Førre and Alf-Egil Bogen. Geir and Alf are pioneers in Norway for having been involved with the development of the Semiconductor and Microchip industry in Norway and expanding globally. While they were talking through their journey from the mid-80s to now, it was obvious to see what role models and inspiration this 2 are for the new generation of founders and entrepreneurs in Norway. Their authenticity, friendship and love for building companies was infective and I was curious to hear more. Geir_alfiThey got a standing ovation after their dialogue and both got swarmed by Students. As luck would have it, I got a chance to meet Geir at the hotel (a serendipitous meeting) and we sat and spoke for a long time. I have invited Geir to come to Iceland, and lets see if we can make the schedule work during Startup Iceland 2015.