Yellow cabs in New York.

Nordic Entrepreneurs Must Learn the Game in Order to Succeed

Nordic Innovation and Team Nordics in New York have created an Entrepreneurial Marketing program which will increase Nordic CCI companies’ competences within sales, marketing and branding in one of the world’s most competitive marketplaces. Excited and gathered in a conference room at 657 in Oslo, batch one out of two met for the first time to prepare for their next big adventure: the US market.

There to welcome them was Ola Forsstrom-Olsson, Program Coordinator and Senior Advisor at Innovation Norway in New York. He believes a key aspect of the program is for the entrepreneurs to fully grasp the level of competition they are up against on the international arena.  

"By meeting world-class mentors, the participants get an idea of the level of competence of the best of the best, which represents their competition, in some way. They need to get just as good, and actually better than that, in every aspect of their businesses. This can be an intimidating realization, but can also be invigorating, if they respond in a constructive way and work hard", says Forsstrom-Olsson, himself a former Swedish entrepreneur. 

Anna-Maija Sunnanmark, Senior Innovation Adviser at Nordic Innovation, is very happy to be able to offer this program to help Nordic entrepreneurs in creative industries to reach their goal of entering the US.

"Having met them and gained knowledge about their businesses at the kick-off, I know they will benefit from the Entrepreneurial Marketing programme. It will give them skills, tools and mindset to brand, market and sell their products and services in the global marketplace. The program is hands-on, with a mix of learning-days and doing-days, as well as one-to-one meetings with top US mentors", she says.

In addition to a two-week program in New York, the companies will get a free seat for three months at Nordic Innovation House New York which opened in September 2017 in partnership with WeWork. This will allow the companies to take their learnings to the next level and continue their presence in New York while preparing for their next steps.

The Entrepreneurial Marketing program is aimed at CCI companies at a late startup stage or early growth phase with a product in the market. The program consists of two batches, and the first one is on its way to New York now. Sunnanmark is excited to follow them on this next important step for their companies.

"We know that outside Europe, the Nordic brand is strong and associated with sustainability and quality. I think there is a distinct Nordic dimension to their products, which is an advantage", she says.

The application for the second batch will be opened soon and it will specifically target Creative Tech companies. The initial timetable is:

  • August 26th 2018: application deadline
  • September 27th-28th 2018: kick-off in Oslo
  • November 5th – 11th 2018: Entrepreneurial Marketing program in New York

Meet Batch 1:

Brassybra (NO)

Brassybra is a strapless adhesive bra like no other. Even works under a swimsuit. Shapes, lifts and supports with Second Skin Technology.

Roro (IS)

An Icelandic company that specializes in developing products that aim to increase quality of sleep, wellbeing and safety for babies and their caregivers. RoRo´s first product, the Lulla doll, is a unique, science based sleep companion that helps babies stabilize their breathing and heartbeat which improves the quality and length of sleep.

ONAR Studios (FI)

ONAR Studios is a Helsinki-based design house established in 2014. ONAR makes high-end fashion garments out of natural materials, specialising in sheepskin and leatherwork. ONAR has a strong sustainable & ethical value basis - all materials are a by-product of food industry, the tanning process is chrome-free and all leathers are vegetable-tanned.

Lapuan Kankurit (FI)

Lapuan Kankurit is a linen and wool weaving mill from Finland, where weaving skills and material knowhow have been refined into excellence for decades. Behind the success-full products are top designers, professional staff, the latest weaving techniques and a responsible attitude towards the environment and people.


AGUSTAV is a high-end furniture design- and manufacturing company based in Iceland. AGUSTAV creates quality furniture and aims at making pieces that can last lifetimes. The creation process centers around weighing out aesthetics and functionality and quality is assured by using the best possible materials worked with traditional Scandinavian joinery techniques.


Happy Pet Project creates functional, aesthetically pleasing premium products to help pets to stay healthy and pet parents to show their love to their companion animals. Happy Pet Project is founded by Magisso, the multi-awarded young design company from Finland. Magisso is obsessed with creating meaningful, function-driven design products that solve everyday life problems at home.


Portrait Anna-Maija Sunnanmark

Anna-Maija Sunnanmark

Senior Innovation Adviser
Anna-Maija is a finance and business development professional with 20 years’ of experience in identifying innovations and scalable business models in various industries in international context with execution capability, a can-do-attitude, holistic perspective and passion to build on Nordic strongholds.

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