Why doesn’t everyone want to start their own business?

Startup Weekend Stavanger’s 2015 event is sponsored by DNB, which is Norway’s largest financial services group. Kristine Moe Sirnes, Marketing Manager DNB corporate, Rogaland and Agder, gives her perspective on partnering with Startup Weekend Stavanger as a Platinum Sponsor.

Kristine Moe Sirnes, Marketing Manager DNB corporate, Rogaland and Agder
Kristine Moe Sirnes, DNB

After having worked hard (and a lot) with getting to know what Startup is all about, I can’t understand why everyone who is still trying to figure out what to do with their life, won’t consider starting their own business!

Okay, so you need a good idea, I get that 😉

All jokes aside, here’s some of what I’ve learned this past year or so.

Working with corporate marketing in DNB is fun, I enjoy almost every single day! We want to engage and encourage more people to start their own businesses. We are cheering for the entrepreneurs, the people who are willing to create not only their own, but new jobs for others as well! We want to share our knowledge and help people build healthy companies by cheering, coaching and giving them economical advice and counselling. No matter the circumstances, we aim at being there for all businesses. Every day. And when it matters the most.

I have learned a lot about entrepreneurship this past year. It’s a never ending learning process, and it thrills me every time I’m in touch with the startup-environment.

Throughout 2014 I was out and about a lot – participating, joining, meeting, presenting, communicating, listening and asking a lot of questions! What gives me a kick is that this is such an incredibly exciting business! We have met all sorts of people and entrepreneurs. So many interesting businesses – and it’s very rewarding when we get to work together with companies like Innovasjon Norge, Skape, Ipark and many more.I love what we have accomplished by working together and towards the same goal – helping and being the best for each other.

If you haven’t yet visited Open Coffee or any of the various co-working spaces in Stavanger east – Mess & Order, Absinthen, Erfjordgt. 8 or Tinnfabrikken yet, be sure to do so! And I am sure you’ll be as amazed as I am when you get to spend time in the exciting facilities hosting Startup Weekend right now – Innovation Dock. I love spending time in Stavanger East!

Anyway – one of the most fun, engaging and amazingly inspiring events we participated at last year when we were out and about, was Startup Weekend Stavanger in October. The concept is great! This is so edutainment! Loads of fun and extremely educational. All kinds of inspiring people, (most of them a lot younger than me though 😉 If I were to contemplate on starting my own business this would so be the event to attend! But, I sincerely think that the Startup Weekend event is a great place for anyone to join, as you get to embrace the positive energy that evolves when people eager to create and innovate get together.

Startup Weekend Stavanger [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
Startup Weekend Stavanger [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
I am very glad we are engaged as a Startup Weekend Stavanger Platinum Sponsor again this year.

I have personally been impatiently waiting for a very interesting report that is soon to be released and published (20th of April). Menon Business Economics has studied a variety of successful Startups from 2003 and up until last year. Menon Business Economics has been digging for information on what successful entrepreneurs have in common. Do they have certain similarities? What do they have in common? What is it about these specific cases that made them successful? I don’t know of any similar study, which makes me very happy that it was DNB who decided to have this type of research done. I’m hoping this is a kind of recipe on how you might succeed as an entrepreneur.

DNB cropped

And I can’t wait for us to be able to share this information with you and with everyone. You are hereby specially invited to spend half an hour with us on Saturday 25th of April, when we are ready to share the headlines with you. We will be celebrating the official opening of our flagship store in Stavanger city center by giving you a little festival with OnklP, Highasakite and Leo Ajkic, among others. Around noon we’ll present the report and show you some cool stuff 😉 (That said, I think you should join us for the entire day of course, check out details about the full program here. It’s free and there will be some great live music, an outdoor scene, entertainment and hopefully some great edutainment as well!

Lots of luck at the Startup Weekend event! I hope to see you all at our event by our Stavanger-flagshipstore on the 25th this month!

Best regards – Kristine

DNB is Norway’s largest financial services group and one of the largest in the Nordic region in terms of market capitalisation. The Group offers a full range of financial services, including loans, savings, advisory services, insurance and pension products for retail and corporate customers. For more information see here.








It all Started with Pitching on Green Grass!

Day One – Friday: The doors opened for Startup Weekend Stavanger at 6:00pm with eager participants waiting to get inside and explore the event space at Innovation Dock. dnb image

Gift bags lined the registration desk waiting to be explored and this year, the participant gift bags were filled with even more cool things thanks to the generosity of the 2015 local sponsors, DNB, KPMG and Innovation Norway! The quirky participant weekend passes were also back with the option to draw yourself as well as write your name on the badge!

With bags and badges distributed, the participants headed straight to the dinner tables to enjoy a range of amazing burgers and spiced potato wedges from the local catering business, House of Fingerfood.

Dinner was followed by a brief welcome from this year’s event Lead Organsers, Natalie Hilton and Nina Meldahl, before passing over the microphone to event Facilitator, Dwight Gunning, to lead the way and get the participants on track for Stavanger’s 2015 Startup Weekend event.

First Guest Speaker Takes the Stage…

The first guest speaker of the night got participants in the right mind set for the weekend by challenging them to think differently about their startup business ideas with a thought provoking presentation. Alain Fassotte, Partner at the Stavanger based change management company, Tribe, inspired participants to move away from habit and automatic thinking and get used to the way that change feels, and just maybe, find a better way to do things. Who would have thought that a simple thumb experiment would make everyone sit up and listen and realise that that when we sometimes do something, we do it out of habit. This showed us all that a little bit of focus and thought is all that is needed to make a small change that could actually make you experience something familiar in a different way. It might feel “weird” but it might also be the solution you were looking for. Thumbs up to our first speaker for presenting a talk that challenged the same old thinking in business and encouraged the entrepreneur mind-set in all of us!

Time to Pitch!

With around 60 guests and participants filling up the venue space with standing room only just before the pitches, it looked set to be a great evening for everyone and the Stavanger event team were there in full force to make sure all participants and guests have a great Startup Weekend experience.

Following the guest speaker presentation, event facilitator Dwight, wasted no time to get the participants ready for the next stage of the evening – the eagerly anticipated pitches!! The audience included some sponsors and all of this year’s event mentors who came along to the pitches to get a glimpse of the ideas and show their enthusiasm for the event concept.

Of the 45 participants that registered to take part in this evening’s pitches, nearly half of them decided to pitch. There were 23 pitches that took place on the rather unusual green grass stage at Innovation Dock tonight, with ideas including a rival concept to Facebook, an online art buying business and an entertainment concept requiring it’s guests to complete challenges to escape specially designed rooms.

With pitches completed, participants and guests excitedly buzzing around the room, casting their votes. After a lively voting session, the votes were counted and 10 teams formed to go forward to the next phase. Groups quickly set up camp around the tables and started to explore the available business tools to structure their ideas, which included printed sheets of the Business Model Canvas.

With the most popular business ideas selected, the newly formed teams used their final hour to get started with exploring the potential of their freshly pitched concepts and test their team dynamics. Before closing the event venue at 11pm, the event team used the bribe of a great breakfast tomorrow sponsored by the new startup business caterer, Food for Thought, in association with Helgø Meny and Alpro, to inspire participants to get up and get started early for their day!

With a good breakfast and two amazing guest speakers to kick of the event tomorrow morning, the participants are in for another exciting day at Startup Weekend Stavanger’s 2015 event. The event team and mentors are also looking forward to seeing where tomorrow leads and what the teams do with their ideas on their startup journey that all started with a green grass stage, some courage and some interesting ideas that may have the potential to win over the judges this Sunday!

Good luck to the newly formed teams for this year’s event. See you tomorrow for breakfast, two great speakers from DNB and Future Home, and another exciting day bursting with your great startup energy and enthusiasm!

AND – If you want to connect with other participants from the Friday pitches and you forgot to exchange details, email stavanger@startupweekend.org and we can try to connect you!