Three more days until Startup Iceland 2017. I am looking forward to meeting old and new friends, connecting with founders, listening to inspiring talk with founders, investors, visionaries and change makers. I will be moderating the investor panel. The investor panel discussion is always a popular show in the Startup Iceland event. We kicked it off in 2012, with my interview with the Brads i.e. Brad Feld and Brad Burnham.

I was very nervous, what was I going to ask these veterans who have been doing this through so many cycles. I have to say it is always very interesting to hear the wisdom coming from those who are vested in the venture investing world. Yes, it looks glamorous but believe me I have never seen anyone work harder than some of the venture capitalists I know. They are founders in their own right. So, I am excited to listen to this year’s panel’s wisdom, this year we have 5 panel members

Arvind Gupta who is with SOS Ventures, Brad Burnham with Union Square Ventures, Jeff Slobotski with Router Ventures, Svana Gunnarsdottir with Frumtak Ventures and Jack Donenfeld with Boomtown Accelerator. I have written detailed blog posts about Arvind, Brad and Jeff, here is the brief bio of Svana Gunnarsdottir


Svana Gunnarsdotir

Svana Gunnarsdóttir will join the VC Panel during Startup Iceland 2017. Svana is Co-founder and General Partner of Frumtak Ventures. She has overseen several mergers and acquisitions internationally and has extensive experience founding and leading startups. Before returning to Iceland in 2009, Svana lived and worked in The Netherlands, South Africa and the United States.

Well, that really does not tell the whole story. Svana has been a friend ever since I started working on building the startup community in Iceland. I have been told many times that I should write a book about this journey, but I believe you need a good climax to have a good story, anyways I digress. Svana is the Co-founder of Frumtak Ventures with Eggert Claessen the other Co-founder and Managing Partner. Eggert has been a long time friend since the days I used to work at a bank. I have seen Frumtak Ventures slowly emerge as one of the leading venture firms in Iceland. I am really happy to see the growth and transformation in the team. Paula Gould one of the founding team member of Startup Iceland joined Frumtak Ventures late last year. Paula is a great addition to the Frumtak team. I believe Svana really gets it and has been a leader within the community. I have seen her participate in most of the community activities, atleast to the ones that I happen to participate. It is unbelievable to see the transformation that has happened in Iceland. There are so many meet ups and conversations that I cannot keep up or even show up. I would say the Startup Community in Iceland is alive and kicking well. Did I mention that the community has created a fund to support anyone wanting to do meet ups or events? If you have an idea to do a meetup reach out to the Community Fund. I just love this initiative.

Jack Donenfeld Photo

Jack Donenfeld

The fifth panel member is Jack Donenfeld. I have not met Jack Donenfeld but I got introduced to him by John Biggs and Jack comes highly recommended. Welcome to Iceland Jack. Here is a brief bio of Jack Donenfeld:

Jack A. Donenfeld is co-founder, Managing Partner and General Counsel of the Boomtown Startup Accelerator in Boulder, Colorado. He helps manage Boomtown’s investment funds and has invested both personally and for angel funds both in the U.S. and in other countries where Jack has personal and professional relationships. Jack regularly works as a mentor and Advisory Board member for start-ups and emerging businesses and as legal counsel in connection with capital-raising and securities law issues for venture capital and private equity groups, investors, securities broker-dealers and several prominent crowdfunding platforms.