Catching our attention this week is Fønd, a new option for Norwegians looking to crowd fund their projects.
A criticism often leveled at Norwegian entrepreneurs is their focus on the home market and lack of international ambition early enough, so is a crowdfunding platform in the Norwegian language really a positive development for the community?
“We see a market because of the lack of Government support to Norwegian entrepreneurs, especially within tech, where we are miles behind the girl next door, Sweden” says co-founder Jon Erik Andersen.
“She is faster, tighter and quicker than the old Norwegian fish. Sweden has delivered world wide innovative services like Spotify and Skype. By building innovative new services for the Norwegian market, we believe we can achieve a change, a more open Norwegian environment for developing and supporting new great innovations through open innovation. It is too hard to cross the chasm in Norway today and Fønd will make that gap smaller.”
“We believe the way people should use crowdfunding is as a proof of concept. Get answers, feedback and insight directly from your backers and adjust or adapt your product with the basis of what the market insight gives you. We believe that is the future of innovation and how you really should use crowdfønding. Whether you are collecting 1,000 or 1,000,000 Kroner, that is just the size of the amour of sample data you want to collect. That is why we believe it will add value to your statement and argument when meeting the government or a BA/VC investor, rather than restrict the opportunities.”
The business model is straightforward. Fønd will collect 5% of the total fund on successful projects, but none on ones that don’t reach their goal. It’s early days for the site but it’s already generated some successful projects. One to watch on the site now is an ambitious project worth NOK 500,000 (€62,000) to fund eSportArena, a social gaming centre in Oslo.
Perhaps the future of Fønd will be to offer additional services to Norwegian entrepreneurs, rather than expand overseas. It’s something Andersen hints at: “Fønd is a proof of concept of its own and the autumn will bring a really exciting time for the fans, followers and users of Fønd.”
A former IT Project Manager, David Nikel now works as a technology writer in Norway. He helps Norwegian companies communicate in English and reports on the entrepreneurial scene for ArcticStartup.