Ragnheidur H. Magnusdottir is a featured speaker at Startup Iceland. I know Ragga from way back in 2011, when I was Chairman of the Board of CLARA and she was one of the Board Member. Even before that I remember getting a tweet back from Ragga on a blog post that I wrote in 2011 about Women in Leadership roles or something of that nature. Ragga has played many roles, in her long career in technology and web development.

She has served as the CEO of Hugsmidjan. What is not known in the mainstream is that Ragga has been a loud lobbyist for innovation, women in technology and in bringing technical talent to Iceland. She is  part of a number of innovation and technology associations, bridging the gap between the old and the new.

I am really happy to have her speak in Startup Iceland because of her new role. She has taken over as Business Manager at Marel. For those of you who don’t know Marel, it is a large global food processing systems company with its HQ and roots in Iceland. Marel is also one of those companies many in Iceland refer to as an example of startups that grow to become large companies. In her new role, she is tasked with bringing the “new world” of the internet, e-commerce and IoT to the old world of industrial food processing systems.

I sat on a plane once with the CEO of Marel, Arni Thordarsson and he was curious about what I was doing with Startups, Venture Investing and Mentoring, I was curious to learn about Marel. He referred to Marel more than once as a Software Systems Company and this was a few years back. Marel has some fantastic in-house software systems that more or less run their food processing machines. I am pretty sure Marel is probably one of the first companies in the world to invest in software technology as it relates to food processing. It was interesting to notice a while back when Marel was shuffling their talent deck. They were hiring more Software Engineers and letting go of those who did not align with the Software is Eating the world thesis, literally in Marel’s case. I think bringing Ragga into this transformation was really smart.

It would be very interesting to learn about a large listed company fundamentally transforms itself given the technological progress is that going on in front of us. Ragga is going to talk about that journey. I am excited to bring the entire stack of Iceland’s business community to Startup Iceland. I believe we need to build bridges between Startup Founders and large companies and governments and industrial organizations and the broader community. I am really fortunate to be in Iceland where the community is willing to engage and contribute and participate if there is value in the effort. Startup Iceland is round the corner and I cannot wait to learn more for all the awesome speakers and mentors who are participating. If you have not bought your ticket, there is still time. We are still running the 50% Early Bird tickets because of the participation from all the regional winners of the Nordic Startup Awards coming to Iceland for the grand finale. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with this vibrant community.