The beautiful room at WeWork Bryant Park was packed with more than 150 guests that all came to celebrate Nordic women entrepreneurship in New York March 7th. The event was organised by Nordic Innovation and Innovation Norway to highlight the Nordic model that promotes, supports and motivates gender equality in innovation and entrepreneurship, and showcase the strengths of Nordic solutions and technology.
"When it comes to entrepreneurship in the Nordics, women generally have greater difficulties than men to grow their companies, to get support, to get investors on board. We strive for more equality because it makes sense both for economic growth and sustainability, and we have a responsibility to work for equal opportunities. These entrepreneurs are great examples of women driving innovation and business", says Niina Aagaard, COO at Nordic Innovation.
After short welcoming speeches by Niina Aagard and Nordic Innovation House in New York chairperson Hege V. Barnes, five specially selected Nordic women entrepreneurs impressed the audience with their pitches.
Nordic women driving innovation
The entrepreneurs were selected by national trade and business organisations to participate in the event and in a competency building program in the days leading up to the events. They all have in common that they head highly promising technology companies working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
"Being here in New York the past three days has been an incredible experience. I have been able to take something from every seminar that we have had, and I will be able to implement that into my business just in the next week", says Sandra Mjöll Jónsdóttir-Buch, CEO of Icelandic biotech company Platome.
The Nordic entrepreneurs pitching were:
- Camilla Lindelid Strand (AbleOn Medical)
- Emmi Jouslehto (Arilyn)
- Evelina Vågesjö (Ilya Pharma)
- Hannah Michaud (The Apple Girl)
- Sandra Mjöll Jónsdóttir-Buch (Platome Biotechnology)
Norwegian Female Entrepreneur of the Year
After the Nordic entrepreneurs had delivered their pitches and answered questions from the audience, it was time for the Norwegian Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The award was presented by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, and went to Grete Sønsteby, founder of N2 Agri, a company turning manure from a smelly environmental problem to a green million-dollar industry.
The award is a collaboration between Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. It is given to a technology entrepreneur working towards one or more of the UN Sustainability Development Goals, and who has global ambitions for the business.
Sønsteby’s company N2 Agri is also part of the Low Temperature Plasma for Chemical Production project, one of the projects financed by Nordic Innovation through the Nordic Green Growth Research and Innovation Program.