The status of the Icelandic startup ecosystem – good or bad?

The innovation ecosystem in Iceland has been recently well documented in most recent years. The addition of Northstack has severely helped. I have also written about this positive development. But ecosystems are not stagnant, they evolve and mature or whither.

Continue reading

Which types of companies should apply to Startup Reykjavik?

Getting closer to Startup Reykjavik‘s application deadline, I frequently get asked what kind of ideas or companies should apply to the accelerator.

Many consider an accelerator like Startup Reykjavik the perfect forum for business ideas in their early stages and that the program suits founders well for assisting with incorporation, shape their idea and strengthen the business model. To some extent, they are right.

Continue reading

Startup Reykjavik’s startups from 2012 – How have they performed?

Building an excellent company takes at least ten years. We often see successful companies that we perceive became superstars overnight. Founders of companies like Uber, Lyft and AirBnB had all worked on their current business ideas in some shape or form for over ten years before they became household names. Nothing happens by itself, and it’s usually founders’ tenacity and perseverance mixed with good luck that places excellent companies at the top, where they deserve to be.

Continue reading

Hvernig fyrirtæki eiga að sækja um í Startup Reykjavik?

Í aðdraganda umsóknarfrests í Startup Reykjavik fær maður gjarnan spurningar sem tengjast því hvernig fyrirtæki eða hugmyndir eiga erindi í Startup Reykjavík.

Margir álíta Startup Reykjavik góðan vettvang fyrir hugmyndir sem ekki eru orðnar að veruleika og að hraðallinn sé fullkominn til að aðstoða frumkvöðla við að stofna fyrirtæki, móta hugmyndir og koma þeim í styrkari farveg. Vissulega er það rétt.

Continue reading

The digital journey of Arion Bank

Telling a good story on successful business measures is gratifying. Arion Bank has compiled detailed information on how it went about creating its internal accelerator, Digital Future, and presenting real impact of delivering new digital offerings. Investing in internal and external innovation has become part the Bank‘s genome. Continue reading

The ten selected teams in Startup Reykjavik 2017

It’s that time of the year. Spring, sun and a selection process… Startup Reykjavik commences on June 12th, now for the sixth consecutive year. Although we saw a substantial drop in number of application for the accelerator, the quality of the teams is actually improving, at least on paper.


Diversity in the teams is great, as in recent years. Simplified, the participants are in five sectors:

  • 2 hardware teams
  • 2 gaming / VR teams
  • 2 food teams
  • 2 software teams
  • 2 services teams (built on software)

The teams are:

  1. Bone & Marrow –
  2. Dataplato – cloud-based dashboard on monetary factors for accounting systems, targeting SMEs.
  3. Itogha – Technology to identify diet related problems and food based solutions
  4. Myrkur Software – Myrkur has developed platforming game projects, leading edge virtual reality software solutions and is currently working on a third person role playing fantasy game.
  5. My Shopper –
  6. Neat Team – We offer employees a choice of what they can have for lunch by ordering off a versatile online menu from various restaurants.
  7. Porcelain Fortress – game-development company with an emphasize on Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).
  8. Project Monsters – eildstætt einstaklingsmiðað námskerfi sem byggt er á nútímatækni og leiðandi kenningum í sálfræði.
  9. SAFE seat – SAFE Seat is the lowest cost suspension seat for boats. It keeps your spine safe in rough seas.
  10. ZIfra –  open source memory cards that provide live encryption. Our smart memory card has the ability to automatically encrypt any information on the fly, as soon as the content is created

As before, Startup Reykjavik is a joint venture between Arion Bank and Icelandic Startups.

Listing your Nordic (startup) company is a viable option

Since 2012, I have worked with investing in startups in Iceland through my work at Arion Bank in Reykjavik, Iceland. These investments come through the business accelerators Startup Reykjavik and Startup Energy Reykjavik. Each participant in the accelerator receives fresh equity in addition to the various support and perks available. Continue reading

Startup Reykjavik 2017 – Application quality is still improving

The Startup Reykjavik saga continues. Arion Bank‘s accelerator program, Startup Reykjavik which was established in 2012, will be held from June – August this year. We have now chosen the ten participating teams for the summer. We will present them in the next few days. As in previous years, the diversity of the teams is great, ranging from food, software, hardware to gaming. Continue reading