Last week a few hundred select startup founders, journalists and investors gathered in the mountains for a truly unique tech event: Startup Extreme.
The premise was simple: combine extreme experiences with more traditional elements of a tech conference, to get the blood pumping and ease networking, not to mention showing off the very best of what Norway has to offer.
DIGS co-founder Mats Mathisen told me what he thought of the event:
"I was surprised how good the atmosphere was and how well the setting worked. It was a very informal and chilled atmosphere so it was really easy to sit down and talk to people, unlike more traditional conferences where there is a packed program and a more formal environment. There was something going on in the main tent all the time, but also plenty of places to go and hang out, work, chat or relax."
I chose fjord kayaking. We left at 8am and came back at 6pm so I spent a total of ten hours with the 18 people in my group. That's a lot of time to have proper conversations and form geniune relationships."
One of the more interesting aspects for the foreign visitors was the food.
"We ate traditional Norwegian food including Smalahove (sheep's head), lapskaus (a meat and potato stew) and rømmegrøt (a sour cream porridge)."
The media coverage of Startup Extreme has been excellent, both for the individual startups and the Norwegian scene in general. Norway's scene is often dwarfed by the successes of Stockholm and Helsinki, so it's refreshing to see the country's startups in the spotlight. Now let's see if the buzz can be maintained.
Here's a selection of that buzz, followed by some visual highlights!
4 Norwegian startups ready to take on the world - "At Startup Extreme in Voss, Norway, WIRED.co.uk got an insight into some of the emerging tech talent that has global ambition" (WIRED UK)
«Dere har større ideer her» - "De to investorene er enige om at Kahoot for øyeblikket ligger an til å bli det første norske virkelig store suksessen" (3in.no)
I lived the dream, I went to Startup Extreme - "It’s hard to capture in words how amazing this inaugural event was. Even calling it an event seems out of place; ‘experience’ hits much closer to home" (Tech.eu)
3 Things Driving The Future Of Nordic Tech - "Speaking at the warm-up event for the Startup Extreme conference in Norway, 500 Startups’ partner for the Nordics, Sean Percival, said he’s “sold” on the opportunities of the region" (Strategy Eye)
Se en gründer forsøke å fly - "Norsk ekstrem-festival sendte gründere og investorer til værs." (Teknisk Ukeblad)
Photos: Dan Taylor