Well, I want to say after 4 years of doing this I should get tired of it, but I feel energized, inspired and looking forward to Startup Iceland 2016. I would like to invite everyone in the Icelandic Startup Community to step in and take a leadership role to organizing the next event with me. I am very interested to hear ideas, thoughts and suggestions on how we can keep the momentum going in building a sustainable startup community in Iceland. Although mentally, I feel like I am in the 39th km of a Marathon, I know we are still in the 5th km.
The lineup of guest speakers and mentors was incredible, if I say so myself. I am so fortunate to get to know these amazing individuals who I can call my friends and mentors. Brad Feld, Om Malik, Ingrid Vanderveldt, Sebastiaan Hooft, Keith Teare, John Biggs, Sean Power, Jaakko Salminen, Darja Isaksson, Charmaine Li and to top it off, Jon Jonson who was so gracious, funny and talented to be the MC for the day. The local speakers and mentors, Halla Tomasdottir, Hjalmar Gislason, Kristjan Frey Kristjansson, Helga Waage, Hilmar Gunnarsson, Pratik Kumar and Thorsteinn Fridriksson, the day was so incredibly rewarding. I think what makes me even more excited is the number of Founders who came to thank me for the day and how inspired they were after attending Startup Iceland. I can say that the Startup Community is alive, kicking and punching way above its weight. I cannot thank all the speakers and mentors enough for taking the time to come here, be authentic and connect with founders and entrepreneurs.
The highlight of the conference for me personally has always been the one-on-one meetings that we organize with the speakers and mentors who come to the event. It is extremely human and authentic and provides so much value to the founders who take advantage of this opportunity. Some of the Founders, I had to drag kicking and screaming to the venue, I tell myself they just don’t know what they are missing. After this year’s event, it should probably come to light that these meetings are critical in building your startup or business.
The partner events organized by Promogogo, Bungalo and S|H events were awesome. I wish more startups in Iceland take advantage of Startup Iceland to build bridges and connections to people who are participating in the event. I think these partner events are great opportunities to do authentic and genuine positioning of your leadership role in this community. Thank you Helga, Toti, Haukur and Kiddi for doing this. I am at your service!
Guest participants who travelled all the way from Edmonton, led by their fearless leaders Ken Bautista and Tiffany Linke-Boyko of Startup Edmonton. Startup Newfoundland and Labrador leaders, Jason Janes and Roger Power. All the participants who came from Canada. It was such a great joy to see them participate, connect with founders in Iceland and those who were participating in Startup Iceland.
The Sponsors of Startup Iceland have been incredible, Vodafone, Icelandair, NSA Ventures, Frumtak, Eyrir Invest, Alvogen, Promote Iceland,Innovation Center of Iceland, The U.S. Embassy in Iceland, The Canadian Embassy in Iceland, Deloitte, HN Advertising Agency, Reykjavik University and Guide to Iceland. They make this event possible.
There are so many people who take my crazy and bad ideas and make them great, Siggy Gudbrandsson (he is a frequent blogger here), Alex Richter, Thorunn Jonsdottir, Stefan Einarsson and all the founders who pitched during the event. You all know that this event is not possible without your help.
Last but not least, my wife Agusta Berg, she is the force that makes this event possible. The amount of work that she has contributed to make this event possible cannot be captured in this single post. I am the luckiest man alive to call her my life partner and friend. Thank you Agusta Mein.
All pictures of the event can be seen in our facebook page and the video of the lectures will be release as soon as they are available.