I was blown over by the participation of the Iceland Startup Community and the founders in Startup Iceland 2017. I feel we have finally turned a corner in Iceland with regard to Startup Thinking and the founders. I was humbled and overwhelmed by the contribution of time, effort and unique quality of #giving by the speakers, mentors, sponsors and my volunteer organising team. To sum it up, it was probably one of the best Startup Iceland events that we have ever had, maybe as memorable as the first one.

Here are some of the highlights, we sold out the event. As I have said before, the limited seats in the event is a feature and not a bug. We keep the ticket limited to 300 participants, this enables more intimate connections and relationship to be formed during the event. I can say with some pride that despite all temptations to make this event bigger, I have stuck to my belief that small intimate event where founders are the focus and providing a platform for the founders to meet influencers is a valuable part of the Startup Community building activity. This year was no different, it was fantastic to see the connections and discussions that was happening in the hallways and during breaks and lunch sessions. Michelle Morrison, one of the speakers at the event asked the audience to put up their hand if they were an entrepreneur or startup founder and I did not have time to count but I was pretty sure there were 150+ hands, when I saw that I told myself I can die now. My mission is accomplished at least we have achieved the local peak in Iceland.

Prime Minister of Iceland emphasised the importance of Icelanders being pioneers and how that is needed more now than ever. Entrepreneurship and Startups have never been in more demand given the social, economic and environmental changes that is upon us. I could not agree more. It was wonderful to see over 100 people show up for the Meetup and PitchOff event in the Whales of Iceland Museum the evening before the event. It was wonderful to see Tristan Gribbin win the PitchOff competition the evening to get a surprise prize of invitation to participate in TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. I am so happy to see so many opportunities opening up for founders who take the initiative, get out of their comfort zones and participate and push themselves.

We live streamed the event from Youtube and the same was simulcast in Visir.is the news media outlet. Here is the recording for those who could not make it to the event

As I write this post more than twice as many people saw the event through he live stream as the people who were in the conference centre. I believe we have an interesting value proposition to distribute the event world wide, even though we run a small event.

We have already created the place holder for the next year’s event, you can book your Early, early Bird ticket, it only costs $100 and we have only 100 seats. If you are a founder do not wait, remember there is no tomorrow there is only the now. Make the decision. I keep the cost to a minimum to encourage founders to participate because being a founder myself I understand the challenges of building a business and we need to watch every penny. I think this is a good value to cost ratio. If you are interested in sponsoring the event please reach out to me, the sponsorship slots usually fill pretty fast as most of the past sponsors have seen the value of attaching their brand to Startup Iceland. The impressions and connections that the sponsors get to the founders and the Startup community has been of incredible valuable to them.

The video does not capture all the moments so we have captured them in pictures. Here are the pictures. I am looking forward to the next chapter in the Startup Iceland story. Watch this space for more announcements.