Oslo Innovation Week

Norway’s capitol will again be a hub of cutting-edge techonology and business this October

Photo: Gorm K. Gaare / Oslo Innovation Week Karl Johan’s gate decked out with Innovation Week banners in 2013.

Photo: Gorm K. Gaare / Oslo Innovation Week
Karl Johan’s gate decked out with Innovation Week banners in 2013.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Oslo Innovation Week is the largest innovation convention in Europe. It is a significant meeting place for those who want to discuss opportunities and practices for growth and innovation. Over 50 different events will take place during the Week this October, with all events strengthened through common marketing. Last year 6,000 local and international participants, from tech, cultural industries, marketing and communication, health, energy, media, and public institutions participated.

This year’s Week will focus on four main categories: Tech, Startup, Maker, and Design. Startup is always in focus. In recent years there has emerged an international movement of makers. Here new production methods, crafts, and innovations can be pushed. Oslo has fostered a strong maker movement. Technology changes the world faster than any phenomena in mankind’s history. What does this mean for future businesses and tomorrow’s societies? The focus will be on the latest trends and the most groundbreaking pioneers. Design as an initiator of or a part of an innovation process has become more and more relevant. The future competitive environment gives us demands for renewal and innovation beyond the technical. Design can add value to an innovation. How can this knowledge be a competitive factor?

Photo: Gorm K. Gaare / Oslo Innovation Week The Mesh — Maker Revolution team in front of a 3D printer at OIW 2013. Oslo has fostered a strong Maker culture.

Photo: Gorm K. Gaare / Oslo Innovation Week
The Mesh — Maker Revolution team in front of a 3D printer at OIW 2013. Oslo has fostered a strong Maker culture.

The week starts with a Startup Weekend. This is a 54-hour event designed to provide the opportunity to learn how to start a business. Anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. It is a place to test your idea and take the first step toward launching your startup.

Another event is the breakfast meeting focusing on what Norway can learn from the Israeli entrepreneurial model. Co-author of “Start-up Nation” Saul Singer will present how it is that Israel produces the highest number of startups per capita of any nation in the world. Creative Mornings Oslo is part of a global breakfast lecture series for the creative community started in New York and now spread to 90 cities. The Oslo chapter was born last year and has had a rapid growth. Innovation is often born when creative minds come together and collaborate. The power of collaboration is like a fuel for creativity and innovation.

Let me also mention that there will be a Silicon Valley seminar arranged by the Silicon Vikings network, an overview of six emerging social innovation trends and a seminar on crowdfunding.

During the same week, the Norwegian Investment Forum will be hosted for the 16th time. This is the largest venture conference in Norway and one of the most important networking arenas for investors and entrepreneurs. I hope the Week will contribute to the city of Oslo becoming the most innovative capital in Europe. The dates are October 13-17. Hope to see you in Oslo!

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.

This article originally appeared in the Aug. 29, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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