After the financial collapse, Iceland finds itself at a perfect time to embrace entrepreneurship. The country has the education and tech talent needed to support new industries, but being an economy of 300,000 people in the middle of the Atlantic leaves entrepreneurs without much hands-on support. To help kickstart a new era is Iceland’s first accelerator, which is taking applications right now and is starting this summer.
StartupReykjavik is built in the Y Combinator / Techstars model where entrepreneurs are mentored for 10 weeks and then pitch to investors at a Demoday. Accepted companies are also given 2 000 000 ISK (€12 000) for a 6% stake, a place to work, and free services. The deadline to apply is May 7th, and the program starts the 1st of June.
They’ve already got over 40 mentors signed up, and supporting the program is Innovit Entrepreneurship Center, Klak, and Arion bank. It should also be noted that you don’t have to be from Iceland to apply. Once accepted, they should be able to help you get into the country without visa problems.
On top of that, the same folks are running a Startup Iceland conference on May 30th that looks well worth checking out. They’ve got names such as Brad Feld of the Foundry Group; Brad Burnham, founder of Union Square Ventures; and Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland (take that Estonia), and the theme for the event is Building a Sustainable Startup/Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.
We’re always on the hunt for more Icelandic news here at ArcticStartup, so hopefully this accelerator program and conference will be the catalyst for a new, interesting companies from the island nation.