Tales Of A Travelling Salesman

    Editorial note: This is a guest post by Kristoffer Lawson, the Travelling Salesman. He’s on a 10 000 kilometre drive to meet Nordic startups. ArcticStartup is supporting the project, by covering his travels and findings.

    I’ve now been one week on the road in my expedition to find the world’s most arctic startups. I’ll be honest: it feels like much longer. I am now on my way to Trondheim from Tromsø and have added over 2500 kilometres to the trip meter of the trusty Land Rover. It has given me a unique perspective into the lives of the real travelling salesmen. Each night I have slept in a different location. Each day I’ve driven for hours on end, with my life travelling with me. Weather conditions have varied from sunny and green, to icy, dark and snowy. I’ve crossed the Arctic Circle twice and even entered Sweden by mistake.

    Everything has not gone has planned — things never do — but the thought of capturing more inspiring stories and fabulous ideas pushes me ever onwards. The highlights have been seeing the Lappeenranta University Entrepreneurship Society put together their first meetup, enjoying the entertaining pitches in Oulu and meeting Kim Arthur of Playfish, in Tromsø. But equally the sheer beauty of the places I have seen is such that my mind can only barely take it all in. Each bend feels like it hides yet another missed photographic opportunity.

    Thankfully since Tromsø I have had the companionship of friend and Scred co-founder, Tuomas Toivonen. He will be staying on board until Stavanger, after which I would be happy to take on another co-pilot (so get in touch, if interested). It does mean an extra pair of hands on the cameras, and helps to keep me awake and focused.

    I expect Norway will be the most difficult, as the roads are twisty and conditions vary greatly, although it is also hugely memorable. I am very much hoping to meet some great startups in places like Trondheim, Stavanger and Oslo. Anyone who is out there, who wants their story told, do not be afraid to get in touch (details are on the blog).

    I hope I have been providing you with a few great stories of startup culture at the top of the world. For better or for worse, that is my goal. It is my story, of their story.

    The Travelling Salesman, in Norway:

    From the Jyväskylä meetup:

    From the Oulu meetup:

    Crossing the Arctic Circle: