Meet Startup Reykjavik, Iceland’s #1 Accelerator Program

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Startup reykjavikWhen I was in Iceland this month for Startup Iceland, an event started by serial entrepreneur Bala Kamallakharan, I had the opportunity to meet a host of locals working on start-up initiatives.

Leading up an effort within the Startup Iceland community is Kristján Freyr Kristjánsson, who is spearheading Iceland’s #1 Accelelerator program: Startup Reykjavik.

The startup energy is growing in Iceland and is being taken so seriously that Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson showed up at Startup Iceland to give an inspiring talk to attendees.

Startup Reykjavik is similarly structured to TechStars but open for any type of businesses to apply. The program includes ten teams (16k at 6% across 10 weeks) and ends with an investor day on August 23, 2013. It kicked off while I was there and one of the team building exercises was to take 20 or so entrepreneurs into the interior of Iceland’s natural wonderland for games and bonding. They headed to a place called Thorsmork, within the Þórsmörk Nature Reserve where they had pow-wows in volcano huts and hiked, a little different from our pizza and soda networking shindigs in Silicon Valley.

Here is an overview of the teams for this year’s program:

Tech Companies:

  • Mindlantis: While helping children discovering their true potential, they make high quality products based on their ideas.
  • Activity Stream: They enable capture, processing, visualization and reporting of Business Activity Information – in real time – cloud based.
  • Golf Pro Assistant: GolfPro Assistant is a web app designed for golf professionals to help them manage all aspects of running a golf teaching business.
  • SARdrones: SARdrones develops unmanned drones and image analysis software for search and rescue purposes in barren landscapes.
  • Snjohus Software: Snjóhús is a two man team, programmer and artist, working to make high
    quality apps.
  • Silverberg: Designing and developing a measuring equipment for fitness centers, along with a software solution where users can track their progress.

Non-Tech companies (e.g. Bio-tech, Fashion, Alumnium Roller coaster, Whiskey Brewery)

  • Herberia: Herberia fills the gap between unregistered natural products and medicines by manufacturing herbal
    medicines of the highest quality.
  • Y-Z: Y-Z is an innovative fashion brand aimed at forward thinking women – classic design with avant garde flexibility.
  • Zalibuna: Zalibuna will design and build a one man rollercoaster in the most traveled area of Iceland, Kambarnir.
  • Þoran Distillery: The Þoran project it the brainchild of a few like-minded individuals who dream of establishing the first whisky distillery in Iceland.

They have 10 alumni teams and a database of 100 Icelandic startups they have been helping through the past years, with roughly $20 million invested so far. Below are some of the entrepreneurs who participated and are part of the startup scene, from the Hackathon, the Startup Iceland and the entrepreneurs who will be part of this year’s accelerator group.

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Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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