Mr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland

Mr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, president of Iceland here opens Startup Iceland 2013 conference by talking about the financial crisis and its effects on the Icelandic market and economy. Enormous wealth of creative power has been created since 2008 where small entrepreneurial companies have sparked innovation while creating jobs.

Noah Ross and Melanie Weinberger

In the last few years alone, Melanie Weinberger has played a multitude of roles throughout the advertising industry and startup scene in Executive leadership, Digital Strategy, Business Development and Account Management. As Founder and CEO of Fit Steady, her mission to make personal health and fitness more accessible for the average person at key interaction points in everyday life came to fruition after placing first at Startup Weekend Austin in 2012. In her role as Director of Business Development at Launchpad Advertising she has become an active mainstay in New York and Austin’s startup scenes and Melanie has played a key role in helping Launchpad make the Inc500 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. In 2012, and Crain’s B2B agency of the year list.

Noah is a Partner and Executive Creative Director of Launchpad Advertising in New York City, an award-winning full-service agency specializing in redefining opportunities for brands in transition. Over the last 10 years Noah has launched products and multidisciplinary campaigns for brands including Conde Nast, NimbleTV, Xbox, CenturyLink, Knoll, Absolut, Pepsi, LG, Brown Forman, The Tony Awards and DL1961 Jeans. Prior to joining Launchpad, he’s served creative tenures at Fathom, TracyLocke and McCann-Erickson, and worked on a feature film in between. His work has been featured in The New York Times, LA Times, New York Magazine, Huffington Post, Gawker, Communication Arts, and 7 international film festivals, including a world premier at International Film Festival Rotterdam and a screening at Cannes. Launchpad was named on of Inc500′s fastest growing private companies in the U.S. in 2012.

Ted Zoller

Ted is back. After participating in Startup Iceland 2012, he has fallen in love with Iceland and is coming back again with more insights into networks and how they influence startup communities. He has been doing a number of things in his local community like

As a senior fellow for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Ted Zoller performs research and advises Foundation leaders on entrepreneurship strategies and programs. Most recently, Zoller was director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Kenan-Flagler school of business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill., where he oversaw its teaching and outreach programs. He is the founding instructor of UNC’s “Launching the Venture” course, which has increased the number of companies to spin-off from the university.

Zoller also taught in UNC Kenan-Flagler’s GLOBE Program for undergraduate students and the European Summer School of Advanced Management in Denmark. He has developed venture academies in Europe with INITs, the leading new venture accelerator in Austria, and with the Symbion Research Park, the leading research park system in Denmark. He founded CommonWeal Ventures, a venture accelerator and private equity firm, and is a small business owner. He serves on the boards of several entrepreneurial ventures, including Idea Fund Partners, Southeast TechInventures, and CollectiveIQ Private Equity.

Zoller is a former associate dean, high-tech entrepreneur, and a principal of American Management Systems, Inc. He was founding director of economic development at the College of William & Mary, where he developed Jefferson Park, an advanced technology research park. He received his PhD from UNC, his master’s degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Virginia, and a dual bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary.

Dr. Thor Sigfusson

Dr. Thor Sigfusson founded the Iceland Ocean Cluster in 2011 and Codland in 2012. The role of the Iceland Ocean Cluster is to connect people and firms in ocean related fields and by that seek new opportunities. Codland´s goal is to increase the value of raw materials from fish. Codland is now owned by Vísir and Thorfish fisheries. Thor has worked as CEO of Sjóvá, CEO of Iceland Chamber of Commerce and deputy director at the Nordic Investment Bank in Finland. Thor has written five books on topics such as international business, knowledge networks and salmon.

Thor graduated with a P.h.D. in International Business from University of Iceland 2012. He has a Masters degree in Economics from The University of North Carolina.

Brad Burnham

Brad Burnham is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures. He began his career in information technology with AT&T in 1979. Brad held a variety of sales, marketing and business development positions there until 1990 when he spun Echo Logic out of Bell Laboratories. As the first AT&T “venture,” Echo Logic was a catalyst for the creation of AT&T’s venture capital arm, AT&T Ventures. When Echo Logic was sold in 1993, Brad joined AT&T Ventures as an Executive in Residence. He became a Principal in 1994 and a General Partner in 1996. At AT&T Ventures, Brad was responsible for 14 investments including Argon Networks, Audible, Avesta Technologies, Classic Sports Network, Multex Systems, Physicians Online, and Paytrust.

Brad currently serves on the boards of Tumblr, Stack Exchange, DuckDuckGo, DuoLingo, Flurry, GetGlue, SimulMedia, Meetup, YieldMo and Bug Labs. He represented USV on the board of Indeed prior to the companies successful exit. Brad has a BA in Political Science from Wesleyan University, is married with two kids and lives in New York City.

Angela Jackson

Angela brings a decade’s experience placing 30+ angel investments (multiple sectors) and a serial entrepreneur family history to Portland Seed Fund. She has advised hundreds of entrepreneurs and seed‐stage companies across a broad spectrum of industries at AB Jackson Group, and also oversees the Portland State University Business Accelerator, with 25+ resident bio-tech, technology and clean-tech companies. She is current President of the Portland chapter of Keiretsu Forum, the largest angel network in the world, and was Chair of the state’s premier angel investment event, Angel Oregon, in 2010.

Luis E. Arrega

The US Ambassador in Iceland giving the guests at Startup Iceland 2013 a welcome speech.

John Secrest

John Secrest is the founder of the Seattle Angel Conference and the Willamette Angel Conference, each providing a venue for new angel investors to explore the process. He is a co-organizer of the Lean Startup Seattle, helping entrepreneurs get focused on stronger company processes. As a global facilitator for Startup Weekend, he has worked with several communities take a step forward on entrepreneurial ecosystem development.

Ryan Secrest

Ryan Secrest and Bala Kamallakharan at the hackathon

John Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn, NY and writes about technology, security, gadgets, gear, wristwatches, and the Internet. After spending four years as an IT programmer, he switched gears and became a full-time journalist. John’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Laptop, PC Upgrade, Surge, Gizmodo, Men’s Health, InSync, Linux Journal, Popular Science, Sync, The Stir and he’s written Black Hat: Misfits, Criminals, and Scammers in the Internet Age and Bloggers Boot Camp. John is also a speaker and consultant. His forthcoming book is about Marie Antoinette’s watch as well as a YA fiction book, Mytro.

John is currently the East Coast Editor of and runs the BWL family of blogs, and He also records the HourTime Podcast with Ariel Adams. For goofy stuff you can visit and for most of his serious content head over to TechCrunch.

Helga Waage

Helga is Co-founder and CTO of Mobilitus, a mobile software solution development house. Mobilitus develops mobile solutions such as websites and e-commerce for the live entertainment industry. Their biggest partners are Ticketmaster and Live Nation for which they develop and operate mobile websites in multiple countries, such as the US, Canada, Northern Europe and Australia.

Helga is a software entrepreneur with extensive experience in project management, software architectural design and software development. In addition to her experience in the field of AI and mobile development, she has participated in the evaluation and grant committees for Eurostars, the EU (7th framework), the technical fund at Rannis (the Icelandic Research Council) and others. Helga has also been active on various commitees for the Icelandic government, specifically on research and IT policies. She is one of the founders of the Icelandic chapter of Girl Geek Dinners and is especially interested in innovation and the social impact of technology.

Helga has a degree in Artificial Intelligence – and we fear she’ll be on the side of the robots when they come to take over. She’s responsible for the awesome core of the Mobilitus system. For fun she serves as an Independent Expert for the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union.

Panel discussion

Pannel discussion about building antifragile Startup Ecosystems with Ryan McIntyre, Jason Mendelson and Bala Kamallalharan at Startup Iceland 2013

Panel discussion among Startup Entrepreneurs

Jonh Biggs chats about stories and lessons learned on the path to success with Thorsteinn Fridriksson, Sesselja Vilhjalmsdottir, Vala Halldorsdottir and Kjartan Olafsson

What is a Hackathon?