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Connecting the Norwegian scale-ups with leading national and international investors

PARTNERS:

Horizons Ventures

BKK Spring

And other sponsors

OUR ROLE:

  • Initiator

  • Project manager

  • Program manager

  • Community management (investors + companies + partners)

  • Marketing

The world to Norway

When one of the leading private investment funds in the world, Horizons Ventures, based on recommendations from Acceler8. decided to host their annual TechCracker in Bergen, we decided to kick it off with a grand investor event showcasing the most exciting startups in Norway. Horizons supports technology companies with the potential to make transformational differences to our societies, and profits are returned to the Li Ka-Shing Foundation, which supports health, education and cultural projects around the world. Their portfolio includes some of leading tech companies in the world. 

 

TechCracker has previously taken place in destinations such as Tokyo, Whistler and Singapore, and in 2019 Bergen was the destination. It brought together 150 people, including the founders Horizons portfolio companies,  their full investment team and special guests, for a weekend of experiences and a two day (closed) conference. In every destination Horizons choose for their TechCracker their investment team spends a full day scouting for investment opportunities. For Norwegian startups, this was a massive opportunity to connect with one of the most respected investment funds in the world, and join their portfolio alongside companies such as Facebook, Impossible Foods, Slack, Endless West, Spotify, Demetrix, Zoom, Deepmind, Spaceship, Waze, Skype, Nanoegg, Siri and more.

Acceler8. took the initiative to organize Acceler8. Game Changers - a two day investor summit - before TechCracker kicked of. In addition to Horizons Ventures, investors from all over Norway and international funds joined to scout for interesting companies. Two full investor days with ongoing pitch sessions in the grand auditorium at Media City Bergen put the game changers of Norway on stage, startups showcased their products and services in the exhibition space, and private meetings with Horizons investment team was on the agenda. A number of the founders of Horizons portfolio companies also hosted a the half day TechCracker Lab conference to talk about their journeys.  

All startups presenting during the summit was handpicked. Horizons Ventures chose to meet privately with 60 selected companies, and the Electorate consisting of leading investors from BKK Spring, PayPal, Northzone, Creandum, StartupLab, Momentum and more selected 40 companies that presented from stage.

Two days packed with talks, meetings, presentations, networking and fun

With the support of a number of partners in Bergen and nationally, an amazing program was put together in record time. The event was organized in only three months from the conception of the idea, which underlines Acceler8.'s ability to move fast and engage people around a mission and vision.

The Game Changers Summit was kicked off with a grand reception in King Haakon's Hall hosted by the Mayor of Bergen. The Municipality of Bergen took great pride in welcoming the investors and startups to their amazing city and made sure everyone was served both tasty local food and could enjoy some great wine.

 

Partners supported the summit with side events including an evening conference hosted by First Tuesday and workshops in financial modeling for startups hosted by Escalon.

 

The full event was filmed and videos are available from both all presentations, keynotes, and panels, and our own media team sat down with selected founders for interviews. Some of the videos are shared below but make sure to visit our YouTube channel for the full selection.  

Celebrated by Nasdaq on Times Square in New York

Nasdaq is interested in the growing Norwegian startup scene, and took great interest in the event. As Game Changers kicked of in Bergen, Norway it lit up the Nasdaq building in the city center of New York.

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Acceler8.'s global network was key to succeed 

Acceler8. has access to high-level experts and leaders across the world, and this was key to make Acceler8. Game Changers happen!

Horizons Ventures reached out to Acceler8.'s Silje Vallestad to learn about FutureTalks winter of 2019, and one thing led to the other. This is often the case, as connections and network often lies at the core when amazing things happen. FutureTalks led to Horizons Ventures choosing Norway as their destination for TechCracker, and the choice of Norway inspired Vallestad to arrange Game Changers to give back to the Norwegian innovation ecosystem. That amazing partners, sponsors and co-organizers supported the vision and enabled Acceler8. to make it happen in only three short months, was again based on networks and the ability to engage people and organizations to join.

Acceler8. wants to make Game Changers happen again. Covid-19 has put most events such as these on pause, but we have high hopes for winter 2022. Stay tuned and feel free to reach out to us if you want to join the project! 

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves"

Ingrid Von Streng Velken

Director of Innovation, BKK