Kick-off: Ocean Entrepreneurs´Capital

My message to the audience gathered at the informal kick-off for our initiative to mobilize and grow the global leading capital for sustainability & tech-oriented entrepreneurs.


Oslo is the Nordics´ fastest growing entrepreneur hub, and Top 3 leading maritime capital, gateway to the most complete ocean industry cluster worldwide. There is a huge untapped potential in bridging these two ecosystems. While our parents and grandparents’ generations have extracted and exploited our shared natural resources – and created prosperity at the cost of our planet – it will be up to my generation and the following ones to build new and more sustainable business and societies. We cannot continue with “business as usual”.

It´s time to break silos. We want to build on the experiences and resources of Oslo´s startup community and the established ocean industries to create a globally leading ecosystem for bright minds across our planet. Engaged experts and entrepreneurs who wants to use their insights and drive to create new solutions for a world in great need of systemic change.

The world’s eyes are on Norway, sustainability and the oceans. We aim to spearhead a dedicated focus on sustainability-oriented ocean & tech entrepreneurs, working with or providing solutions that can be utilized to resolve key ocean related challenges – and deliver new business opportunities to strengthen the ocean industries as well as Norway´s function as inspirator and problem solver.

Our first delivery will be the creation of an Ocean Entrepreneurs Ecosystem Map for the Oslo Region. We seek to identify current gaps in the ecosystem, then mobilise and inspire the industry & stakeholders across society to work collaboratively to fill them. The Oslo startup ecosystem has actually previously been mapped, with around 300 resources identified.

But something was missing! The ocean industry was almost invisible – and it was time to do something about that. Our kick-ass ambition is to inspire, support and promote the ocean ecosystem of the Oslo region – with the humble vision of creating the world’s most attractive capital for ocean entrepreneurs with a passion for sustainability and tech. We want to build and strengthen the bridges between entrepreneurs and the established industry ecosystem, incl. R&D, the government and financial resources.

Here are our specific ambitions;

NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES: Promote key unresolved global ocean challenges & opportunities linked to the SDGs towards the next generation of sustainability oriented problem solvers.

BRAINPOWER: Utilize Oslo´s attractiveness to establish a natural gateway for ocean entrepreneurs worldwide, with Oslo as starting point but also positively impacting the other ocean clusters of Norway. Inspire young talents to choose a career path related to the ocean industries early on, through promoting unresolved problems and new opportunities across ocean, tech & sustainability

MAKING IT REAL: Bring stakeholders together to realize a floating entrepreneur co-working hub in Oslo – the OCEAN OPPORTUNITY LAB

Most innovation hubs and coworking spaces are placed in ordinary buildings. As we aim to explore the future of sustainable ocean industries, why stay onshore? 

How do we create the optimal coworking space for ocean entrepreneurs from across the world, where entrepreneurs can live, co-create and test their ideas, meet the major players and experts?

How can we inspire our industries and societies to utilize and apply existing resources, ideas and technologies in radical and different ways – across silos and established structures? 

How can we create a visible, accessible and physical floating pilot hub to explore new radical solutions linked to key global ocean challenges? Inspire our societies beyond the ocean industries to care about the ocean, realize new opportunities and serve society needs, but without negative impact on the ocean ecosystem? How can we build a hub showcasing off-the-grid solutions for floating energy production & storage, water desalination and waste management, ocean farming – and beyond? These are our initial thoughts – and we have invited our peers to share ideas and collaborate to remove some bottlenecks and make this happen.

When you come up with an idea, you have two options; either keep your idea to yourself until its fully developed – or open up and attract people who wants to get involved, and collaborate openly to improve and mature it, and consequently be part of something bigger and better. We believe in collaboration, crowdsourcing and creating bigger impact by pulling good forces together. Collaboration is what we must succeed with if we are to fix societal systems that are currently sub-optimal.

As we launched our initiative, we invited experts across ocean & tech sectors to join us for an interactive session, in the spirit of true entrepreneurship and crowdsourcing. We invited our participants to look at the following;

  • WHICH gaps are most critical?
  • HOW can we fill the gaps?
  • WHO should be involved?
  • WHAT can you contribute with?

Based on the input, we will complete the resource map for Ocean Entrepreneurs, which will be made public. We will share this publicly and encourage other Norwegian ocean hubs to do the same exercise. Imagine how cool it would be if we had a national resource map for ocean entrepreneurs!!

During the next year, we have already identified some key ocean events where we will be organising activities to further develop the Ocean Entrepreneur Capital initiative. These include, but are not limited to; Passion for Ocean last Saturday of August , EntrepreneurShip X Voyage 2-4 September, Oslo Innovation Week last week of September, and Nor-Shipping 3-7 June 2019. We welcome everyone to get involved in these.

Let’s create the future!

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