Hermann Ørn Vidarsson

Hermann is the Head of Events with us at Technoport.
He has been working as a producer for the last 20 years. Primarily in the art sector, but largely with corporate events for the last 5 years.

Online advertising
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Hermann Ørn VidarssonFebruary 5, 2015

Why Online Advertising is Nerfed by Google

For quite a few years we have heard about how online marketing is the future.

It gives value to the end consumer by being more relevant and the advertiser can be more targeted in who they want to reach. But right now it’s just not working, and it isn’t the technology that’s the problem.

Buy a plane ticket to Amsterdam and I can guarantee that your internet experience is going to be peppered with ads for KLM for the next couple of days. Book a hotel in London and the same is happening again, my browser is filled to the brim with ads for booking.com and Expedia, with special offers on the hotel I just booked the day before.

It certainly is contextualised, but it doesn’t offer me value. After booking a flight to Amsterdam, adverts for hotels, shows and restaurants in Amsterdam would offer me value.

The problem is the pricing model of Google Adwords and lack of imagination among the advertisers. Google Adwords are auctioned off to the highest bidder. You wish to reach those contemplating a trip to Amsterdam you name the search terms of the people you wish to reach, the price you’re willing to pay and an algorithm at Google picks the lucky winner. I would seem that relevant advertising for the end user is not a factor in this algorithm.

So when I book a ticket to Amsterdam, KLM has defined everyone searching for both ”flights” and ”Amsterdam” and is going to win the bid in the battle for my attention. An amazing restaurant or an art exhibition relevant to an article I commented on in Arstechnica does not have the budget to win such a bidding war.

If online advertising wishes to stay ”friendly” with its audience it needs to fix this.

It needs to be proactive by assuming my next need and give seeding to the advertiser catering to this need.

This could be done by mapping average chains of purchase habits (e.g. people who buy plane tickets usually need hotels)

Pick up social data (four of my Facebook friends bought a ticket to Amsterdam and then bought tickets to a football game)

Or it could match profiles with previous customers and their chain of events (There is a lot of people going to this conference in Haag in this period who also follows Arstechnica, Wired and Fast Company)

Is there an opportunity here for a keen young Norwegian startup?

Photo credit: Paul Townsend

Live Crowdfunding
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Hermann Ørn VidarssonDecember 8, 2014

Live Crowdfunding Experience: FAQ

Just like last year, the Live Crowdfunding Experience has sparked interest from startups the length and breadth of Norway.

We’re receiving many questions from curious entrepreneurs, so we took contact with Aleksander Langmyhr from FundedByMe, who in collaboration with Technoport, Innovation Norway, Kunnskapsparken Nord-Trøndelag and NTNU Accel, organises The Live Crowdfunding Experience.

Hello Aleksander. We have many exciting companies that have expressed interest in the event, while being a little unsure of the process. Can you explain how it works?

Hey, I can! The concept of equity crowdfunding is the still new so it’s understandable there are many questions. One can look at FundedByMe as a very good tool for companies considering raising capital to test interest in the market.

Let me take you through our process step by step.

Firstly, the company creates a presentation on the FundedByMe website. Those startups chosen for the Technoport event will be closely monitored by us to ensure they create the best possible presentation.

Do companies need this help?

Often they do. We have seen many good (and not so good) presentations on our site. I have personally worked with creating this type of presentation when I worked with the purchase and sale of large businesses, so the startups get a high level of help.

After companies have developed their presentation and are happy with it, they can publish it on the website. This is what we call “go live” on our site.

When your company is live on our site, anyone can view the presentation. If they think it’s interesting enough that they will consider investing, they can indicate their interest. This is done by pressing “invest” and indicating the sum they wish to invest.

So money is not transferred straight away?

Correct, there is no money transferred. It is only an indication that you are interested if the company chooses to fetch money at a later date. We see that almost all investors who express their interest do join the share issue, if and when the company implements it.

This leads me on to the next phase. When the company is “finished” on our platform, we have 45 days by default, so they see how many people have expressed an interest in investing.

And for how much …?

Yes that’s right, how many are interested in investing, and how much they have collectively indicated that they want to invest.

Sometimes the interest is very high and sometimes the interest is lower than we hoped for. Either way, the use of FundedByMe gives the company a good basis for deciding whether they choose to raise money or not.

After this process we come to the last step. When companies are finished on the platform (after about 45 days) they will decide whether to accept the investment offers or not.

So the startups can pick and choose?

Yes. If the company chooses to follow through with a share issue, they invite only the people they want to have as investors. If they are not experiencing enough interest and choose not to pick up the money, this of course is entirely up to them.

One last question, would you recommend companies to apply as a participant to Technoport 2015 in March?

Hehe, leading questions, but of course, yes! Normally, FundedByMe takes a percentages of money that companies choose to retrieve. For companies that are selected to participate in the Technoport event there is no charge at all, it’s completely free!

Everything is free?

Yes, everything is free, from our assistance to prepare a good presentation to the use of the platform itself. There are no direct costs for the startups, because our event partners Innovation Norway, Kunnskapsparken Nord-Trøndelag and NTNU Accel cover the cost.

In addition, participants will get a lot of attention through pitching on stage at Technoport 2015, in front of hundreds of people, just look how it went with Assistep Last year. Their participation did they subsequently received investment from a seed fund, in addition to over half a million kroner from investors who had expressed interest via the platform.

The deadline for applications is 15th December. See full details of the event and how to apply here.

Skjermbilde 2014-11-20 kl. 11.38.12
14Hermann Ørn Vidarsson

Hermann Ørn VidarssonNovember 20, 2014

Call for Pitches

The Live Crowdfunding Experiment last year was a success. More than 1MNOK was raised for the 4 companies participating last April. And we are ready for a second run, but not as an experiment, this time it is an experience.
At Technoport 2015, you have the chance to get attention from investors, valuable investments and the network to accelerate YOUR business.

What is equity crowdfunding?
Funding a company by selling shares to crowd investors
in exchange for partial ownership. Equity crowdfunding
investors are entitled to dividends from future profits
and receive a share of the value when shares are sold.

Why live crowdfunding?
Your company will get valuable exposure through the presence
at Technoport 2015. You get a forum to speak
to potential investors, and the opportunity to pitch
in front of a crowd ready to commit. In addition, your company will be featured on FundedByMe,com, a European funding platform.

Who can participate?
Startups that wish to participate should
– Be technology related.
– Be registered as a limited company (Aksjeselskap)

How do I apply?
To register your interest, simply send an application to
aleksander(at)fundedbyme(dot)com. You can also send him
questions or call him at +47 45 15 32 85

The application must include:
A one-pager describing:
● Your business
● How much capital you are seeking
● The valuation of your business
● What you will achieve with this investment
After the deadline an independent jury will pick the most
promising companies with the best/highest potential for
success in the Live Crowdfunding Experiment.

The chosen startups will receive:
● A free campaign on FundedByMe and counseling throughout the campaign preparations
● Two delegate passes to Technoport 2015
● Stand at Technoport 2015
● Participation in “pitch camp” to perfect your pitch

Skjermbilde 2014-11-20 kl. 11.02.17

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Hermann Ørn VidarssonOctober 20, 2014

Technoport 2015: First Three Speakers

We are proud to announce the first three speakers for Technoport 2015, all of whom represent the entrepreneurial mindset in one way or another.

Samantha Quist
Samantha is the Founder and CEO of Copywriter Central, an online marketplace for elite freelance business writers. She also founded an editorial business, led marketing for a fast-growing Internet startup and served on Google’s Product Management team. She is passionate about leveraging technology to make the world a better place.

Martin Kupp
Martin’s area of expertise lies in strategic innovation, competitive strategy and organizational creativity. He has worked for clients such as Bosch, ThyssenKrupp, Siemens, MAN, Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, and Bertelsmann. Martin’s current research interests focus on the relationship between arts and business, business strategy in technology markets, strategic and technology-enabled innovation. In these areas Martin has designed programs, workshops and regularly gives key note speeches

Tobias Stone
Tobias Stone is an active mentor and entrepreneur in the European tech scene. He has set up the world’s first tech accelerator focused on eye-care, and is an advisor and mentor at accelerators across Europe, from the Baltics to the Balkans. In his spare time he is an academic researching accelerators and innovation, and is interested in how to build tech ecosystems.

Before we release the full program, we offer a strictly limited number of super early bird tickets. To reward you – the most creative, challenging and innovative minds out there – we offer the tickets at just 1,000 kroner, one-third of the cost of the full-price ticket.


Buy Now

Liz Wald Indiegogo
14Hermann Ørn Vidarsson

Hermann Ørn VidarssonOctober 7, 2014

Technoport 2015 Starts Here

Technoport summons challengers, creators and capital providers to Trondheim for the Technoport 2015 conference.

Together we shall awaken the entrepreneurial mindset and answer:

  • How can the entrepreneurial mindset improve established businesses?
  • What is the dark side of the entrepreneurial mindset?
  • How can adopting an entrepreneurial mindset solve global challenges?

From 18-19 March, Technoport 2015 will mash-up the freshest thoughts and trends within innovation, brought to you by top-notch, thought-provoking speakers from around the globe. We will introduce you to new concepts and innovations, while testing out new tools for idea development and problem-solving.

At Technoport 2015 we want YOU to:

THINK about emerging trends and new ways of doing things

MEET & SHARE to build your network, both locally and globally

EXPERIMENT and try out new approaches for evoking innovation

ACT! Use this creative input to change behaviours in your startup or workplace

Before we release the full program, we offer a strictly limited number of super early bird tickets. To reward you – the most creative, challenging and innovative minds out there – we offer the tickets at just NOK 1,000, one-third of the cost of the full-price ticket.


Buy Now

(Are you a student? Click here to register)

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Hermann Ørn VidarssonSeptember 26, 2014

Bigger roads or smaller cars?

Most of the cars I see in the morning traffic jam have just one person in them.

One person occupying 6 square metres of road space.

Car-sharing lanes have been trialled with mixed success, but now the car companies themselves seem to be addressing the problem.

Toyota is launching a new electric concept car for urban transportation. It’s already cooperating with France’s Grenoble and energy supply company EDF to pilot a sharing scheme for it.

It’s a small 3-wheel electric vehicle available in both a single-seat and a two-seat model – and it looks really fun to drive!

According to the Foreigner.no, it’s considered for launch in Norway.

Could smaller cars, not bigger roads, solve our the congestion problems in our cities?

At our Share the Problem on the 2nd October we are looking at the future of urban transportation.

We need a shift of paradigm in the transport sector. We just don’t have the real-estate to support the growth and we certainly don’t have the planet to continue to do as we have been doing.

We invite you on 2nd October to Share the Problem, a crowdsourcing event with a group of people from diverse backgrounds: arts, engineering and social studies. Working together, we will get a better understanding of the challenge ahead and share some new perspectives.2

We’d love to see you there – please register yourself here.

Photo credit: Toyota

photo by DISSING+WEITLING architecture
14Hermann Ørn Vidarsson

Hermann Ørn VidarssonSeptember 8, 2014

Help us solve it

Share the Problem: Transnova

It’s time to share a new problem. This time the future of Trondheim’s transport system needs new thoughts. The Norwegian infrastructure strategy is painted out in a document called Nasjonal transportplan (crudely translated to National plan of Transport). This strategy stipulates that all increase in personel transportation should be done by mass transit or other environmental friendly means like bicycling or walking. To examplify; a city which 10% the of trips are done with the help of mass transit, by bicycle or on foot. This share need to grow to 35% by 2040 to handle the expected increase in transportation needs. That’s a 250% increase in 25 years.

On the 2nd of October we invite you to a Share the Problem on this issue. It is a complicated issue that we won’t completely solve during the 6-hour workshop, but our intention is to describe it, inspire different ways to approach it, and hopefully share a more complete understanding of the problem. Who knows, we might plant the seed of a solution that germinates further down the path of time.

We are in the process of recruiting a diverse room of solvers for the workshop. As one looks for new thoughts, new heads to think them thruogh is often a good idea. So besides curiosity and an internal drive for solutions we ask for little or no previous knowledge of the field. In fact we will start the session with a couple of speakers to paint the backdrop.

These are

Erlend Solem. Fylkesdirektør for samferdsel i Sør-Trøndelag Fylkeskommune (head of transport in the regional municipality.) Erlend has been working with transportation issues in the region and nationwide for over a decade.

Steen Savery Trojaborg. Partner Architect at Dissing Weitling.
Steen is the architectural firm’s partner in charge of «Cykelslangen» a new bike-bridge in central Copenhagen and a contributor to the Copenhagen Cycling Environment.
A city that aims to be the Cycling capital of the World

Guro Berge. Sociologist and Senior advisor at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA)
Guro has worked with travel habits and sustainable transport in both NPRA and The Institute of Transport Economics
She has led multiple research projects and programs, is the director of the development of a national pedestrian strategy and is on the Advisers board of Transnova.

The workshop will be held at DIGS on the 2nd of October. form 10:00-16:00 followed by a short social event with something to drink and bite into.
To register your participation, please go to this site.

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Hermann Ørn VidarssonAugust 22, 2014

Waltz with Investors?

How does it sound to pitch your start up on the red velvet in a Vienna Ballroom?

Last year we visited  a quite intriguing conference in Vienna called Pioneers. Its been going for few years and has established it self as one of the leading Central European events for Start ups.
What really impressed us in 2014, besides the beautiful venue its held, was the quality of the pitches and start ups that got presented. The thickness of the wallets in the panel reviewing them wasn’t a drawback either. Long story short, its quite an opportunity for getting attention outside of scandinavia.

It is closing in on this years conference and the deadline for start ups that wish to present at the event is already on the 1st of September.
This year they also added a few more rewards to those who win the major pitching competition (the Pioneers Challenge 2014).

Among other things, the winner can pocket a $50k seed investment from SpeedInvest and a complete travel package to meet VCs in Silicon Valley and London.

So if your idea is ready for the big world out there, check out the application website