I have known Fertram for a number of years but never got around to inviting him to speak in Startup Iceland. I am delighted to have completed that task this year. Fertram Sigurjonsson is the Founder and CEO of Kerecis, a biotechnology company which uses fish skin to heal human wounds. In addition to biotechnology, Fertram has founded and run companies in the financial technology and renewable energy sectors. Fertram has served as a board member and executive of companies in Europe, North-America and Asia. Fertram was featured on Virginia Business 100 People to Meet in 2022. He was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 and Entrepreneur of the Year in Iceland in 2015. Fertram has received innovation and entrepreneurship awards from the President of Iceland.
I cannot think of a better example of a founder and entrepreneur who has brought the circular economy to create incredible value. If one goes into the back story it is fascinating. The fish skin is usually discarded after the fish is caught. It is considered waste, however, Fertram who used to work at Össur saw the problem in the world of skin wound care and decided to dig into how fish skin could be used to solve the human skin wound problem. As I wrote in my previous blog post about Circular Economy; in nature there is no waste. The wound heals considerably faster with fish skin and it also leaves less of a scar. Fertam is from a small fishing town in the north of Iceland called Isafjordur and Kerecis’s manufacturing and processing facility is based out of there. Isafjordur is not know for Biotechnology processing but due to a Founder’s vision and execution now this town has more economic value. This is what I had envisioned when I started this journey of building a vibrant startup community in Iceland. We can bring economic value to any part of the world, however what it really needs are founders and entrepreneurs. I cannot wait to hear him share his story in Startup Iceland 2022.