Iceland has a population probably around the size of your capital city’s suburbs, but that hasn’t prevented it from producing some innovative companies. We invited Datatracker to pitch as “the best enterprise startup” at the Arctic15, we recently covered a fresh lightweight CRM tool, and they are even inventing iPhone games you control with your mind.
In recent news, Icelandic deCODE Genetics got picked up by Amgen, a multinational pharmaceutical company, for $400 million cash. We don’t normally cover the biotech scene (although it looks like we should, deCODE is doing some cool things with genetics) but most importantly this is a huge exit for a small country that’s beginning to see tighter forming startup scene.
Things are picking up in Iceland. Last May Iceland saw it’s first startup conference, and in August graduated the first batch from their first startup accelerator.
Obviously it would be fantastic if some of the exit money makes its way back into the Icelandic startup ecosystem through new investments. But even if it doesn’t, it should provide a powerful signal to Icelandic entrepreneurs and foreign investors.
“This is the kind of stories that will bring attention to the fact that entrepreneurship and building companies in Iceland is not such a bad idea,” writes Bala Kamallakharan, CEO of GreenQloud on the Startup Iceland blog.
Is this the right investment at the right time for Iceland’s startup scene? Time will tell. But it’s another clear signal that Iceland isn’t as desolate as its name implies.
Reykjavik photo from Shutterstock