Home to a number of key investors and co-working spaces, it is no surprise that the Norwegian capital has a thriving startup ecosystem.
Endowed with rich natural resources, Norway’s economy has traditionally been concentrated in the energy and fishing sectors. But, falling oil and gas prices has led to a flourish of tech entrepreneurialism in the country over the last few years. Coupled with a government-led strategy to diversify the economy, Norway now finds itself as one of the most attractive locations for founding a startup in Europe. This is reflected in the rapid growth in investment over the last few years. In 2018, total venture funding in Norway reached just over €207 million, an increase from €156 million in 2017 and €136 million in 2016. Investinor, the government-backed investment company, is the most active funder in Norway, while other key investors include, Snö, Alliance Venture, Viking Venture and Skyfall Ventures.
The Oslo Business Region drives the city’s startup ecosystem through pilot projects and events, such as Oslo Innovation Week, Oslo ScaleUp Day and Smart Mobility Hackathon. The cornerstone of the city’s innovation strategy is the Smart Oslo initiative, which aims to deliver ‘a smarter, greener, more inclusive and creative city for all citizens’. At the GovTech Summit in 2018, the Vice Mayor for Finance, Robert Steen noted that ‘high citizen expectations have catalysed the city’s efforts in the digitalisation and innovation of public services’. The city has responded to these demands, establishing the world’s first smart city accelerator, SmartOslo, which connects innovative startups with the municipality. Nikolai Astrup, the Minister of Digitalisation for Norway, will be speaking at the GovTech Summit on 14 November 2019.
Co-working spaces, including Huckletree, Mesh and 657 Oslo offer opportunities for startups to meet, collaborate and grow. In addition, the Oslo International Hub and Katapult Accelerator bring together international founders and expats looking to build startups in the city.
Top 10 GovTech Startups
No Isolation tackles loneliness and involuntary social isolation by developing communication tools and robots that can help those affected.
TikkTalk is an online marketplace that offers businesses, governments and consumers access to interpreters over video and phone conference.
Otovo is a smart energy startup that offers solar panels and installation services for state, commercial and residential properties.
Hjemmelegene is an application that allows patients to book a doctor for home consultations.
Documaster is an information management archiving platform that enables organisations to compliantly capture, process, preserve and instantly access their documents.
Spacemaker AI uses AI technology to allow cities, property developers and architects to make better decisions when designing building site.
Urban Sharing provides a SaaS-platform for micro mobility and shared, urban infrastructure.
Versor – Versor develops software for truly autonomous drone missions, leveraging an expertise in edge computing to turn real-time understanding of the environment into sophisticated behavior.
Sammevei is a smart mobility startup developing a ridesharing platform, enabling commuters to share rides daily with those with similar transportation needs.
Meshcrafts is a cross technology platform for payment and energy management with a focus on electric car chargers.
This is part of a series selecting the most exciting tech startups from all over Europe. Every week, we cover new countries – check out other European cities here.