On Friday the 14th of September, investors and corporates gathered in the Oslo Science Park. This was the first event held in Oslo by the GREENTECH CHALLENGE (GTC).
The attendance of the event was a mix of sustainable startups, business angels, and corporate businesses. All eager to collaborate and help each other to achieve the best foundations for sustainable startups to succeed.
"This far it's been really good", said Charlotte Aschim, founder of TotalCtrl and one of the startup participants of the event.
TotalCtrl is a software system developed to help reduce food waste within the grocery industry. Aschim built the first prototype herself. Now, less than a year after the launch of TotalCtrl, she has established a global team of 12 people working in the business.
Will you be here in the future?
Things are moving fast for many of these sustainable startups and getting the best advice from industry experts is just what GTC are wanting to accomplish. Three days prior to the event, the startups had the chance to meet up with field experts such as KPMG, AWA, Simonsen Vogt Wiig, Innovayt and Climate-KIC.
"Getting advice from Awa and Innovayt has helped a lot to figure out what to do next for our business and -that's good" said Aschim.
With a startup which has recently exited their prototyping phase, Henrik Prestmo, Founder of Sildr, found that "it was really important to have a consultancy on legal matters that was Norwegian based because a lot of our challenges the next year is based in Norway as well." Prestmo was particularly happy with the help they got from Simonsen Vogt Wiig as it was just the kind of help they needed in this stage of the business.
Problems can become opportunities
With the right guidance, a startup focusing on sustainability will be able to become a good business with a fundamental sustainable business approach.
Eivind Berstad, Senior Associate at KPMG in Norway explained that “to be a company years down the road you need to be a sustainable company. So sooner or later if you are not a sustainable company you will die out.”
“We want a client for life. We want a client that we can work with for 10’s of years down the road. And if you are not a sustainable company then we will not be partners down the road, because you won’t exist” said Berstad.
Good for business?
Being a sustainable business is no doubt a good thing, both from a marketing perspective but also from a business perspective. The standards and demands for businesses to think with an ethical mindset are no longer unique, but a much more normal approach that businesses need to address. Otherwise, "you won’t exist”, as Berstad so clearly put it.
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