Rocketfarm puts curiosity to use
The Norwegian startup tinkers with everything from robots to mobile apps
They have been called the number one productivity tool by Forbes. The startup has more than 100,000 registered users, fewer than 10,000 of whom come from Norway. In Los Angeles this April, Rocketfarm presented their new software and touch platform to control a camera robot made by Electric Friends.
In 2008 four graduates from NTNU started Yast AS. The company’s specialty was their experience and knowledge with robots and development of web and mobile applications. In 2012 they merged with the consulting part of nLink and changed their name to Rocketfarm. From the start they have been located at the Fjordincubator at Foshaugane Campus in Sogndal. The business stretches from developing advanced robotic software to web security and useful mobile apps. In addition, they also create products from ideas both on request from customers and as a consequence of their own technology curiosity. Being curious and motivated has, among other projects, resulted in the world’s easiest time tracker system, which has a bright future inside wireless robotic software, and a new groundbreaking app to organize and control the information flow involved with events.
nLink specialized in industrial robots. At the RoboBusiness conference in Boston last year nLink was declared winner, earning a private consultation with Grishin Robotics and free consulting services. The company makes the world’s first Mobile Drilling Robot, which the judges agreed is a truly disruptive technology that will relieve construction workers from overhead work involved with measuring and drilling in concrete ceilings.
Today Rockfarm counts 16 employees. The company passed one million dollars in revenue in 2013. Among the owners is the seed fund Fjord Invest Sørvest. The fund believes demand for sky and mobile solutions is growing and that their investment will finance growth and development. The fund is located in Førde and investing in growth companies on the west coast.
CEO and one of the four founders Halvor Gregusson has said that he started on his own because it was a dream and a huge motivation being able to live off doing what you think is fun. For him the most exciting is to create new technology every day. He has a degree in cybernetics and a master’s degree in entrepreneurship. The startup was helped financially by the local savings bank and a scholarship from Innovation Norway. They have also taken part in a mentor program and received funding from the NTNU Discovery fund and local business angels.
Financing has been Rocketfarm’s most challenging task. Gregusson has learned that the horizon was farther than he thought when they started. One must take the necessary time and avoid risky shortcuts. He has the following advice to others who want to start a business: “Don’t do it alone. If you don’t have anybody to share the fun with it will soon be boring. You just have to make sure that the persons are people you want to hang around with ten years from now.”
This article originally appeared in the May 15, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.