Board members on what they would like to learn at the Startup Campus
Learning is a life-long experience — and one you definitely shouldn’t give up on once your studies are through.
With the official opening of Startup Campus in Oslo, there is a new arena for public learning and knowledge-sharing about innovation and startups. Sure, the Startup Campus has already been open since March 2019, but October 31st 2019 marks the liftoff for the “spaceship” that is aiming to teach us all something new and valuable about what it takes to build companies for the future.
Below, you can read some viewpoints from three of the Board members, who are citing what kind of learning they would like to have at the new Startup Campus — but also their vision for the new office space (which by the way doubles as an event space too!).
Thomas Bostrøm Jørgensen: — Build sustainable
Thomas Bostrøm Jørgensen is a successful and strategic leader of growth stage tech companies in Fintech and IT security. He is the the Chairman of the Board at Startup Campus, and his primary role is to ensure that the Board is effective in it’s task of setting and implementing the company’s direction and strategy. Asked why he has decided to take upon this role — as well as being one of the 32 founding partners of Startup Campus, he cites the ambition of the coworking space.
I believe in the vision of Startup Campus and founding team behind it. The Norwegian startup ecosystem needs to evolve and the idea of a campus where knowledge and insight is easily shared made me want to become a founding partner.
Jørgensen hopes Startup Campus will become a key arena for sharing information, skills, and expertise that is valuable to the greater startup community and our society at large. As for what he’d like to learn more about at Startup Campus — he mentions a task that is going to become even more important during the coming years.
I’d like to learn more about how to build environmentally sustainable businesses.
Sarah Lerche: — Bringing in Silicon Valley
Sarah Lerche from Escalon Services is also part of the Board, and a founding partner. Escalon Services provide CFO / controller / accounting / HR / Tax / Sales Ops services to early stage companies who need relevant experience but only on a part time or interim basis. Client base includes life sciences, clean tech and software companies, both local and international. We have offices in Palo Alto and New York, LA, San Diego, Chandigarh and Oslo. Lerche says the chose to join the Board and become a founding partner of Startup Campus because of the vision for a greater ecosystem.
For Norway to grow up and also accelerate (as a tech innovation player), the ecosystem needs to have clusters where experiences are shared, people are pushed, hard questions asked, competition is encouraged, and thinking big is cheered. I believe my part of the ecosystem is to bring a little bit of Silicon Valley thought, process, and experience to this campus. Still based in Silicon Valley, I can drive an active bridge between the 2 ecosystems. And it is really fun and inspiring to pass it forward.
Asked what she wants Startup Campus to contribute with, she cites the need for a community where skills can be accelerated.
I want Startup Campus to accelerate the skills — not just the inspiration for founders to start and continue their very long and hard journey to an uncertain success. That takes stamina and support. Startup Campus should be there all the way on this journey.
Making knowledge and skills accessible to both new and experienced founders and entrepreneurs is part of Startup Campus’ vision, and one that aims to build bridges — even all the way across the Atlantic. Lerche mentions how she imagines Startup Campus will contribute in providing new learning for her.
I feel I learn every day and being part an organization where it is all about innovation and new ideas of all sorts, then I will only not continue to learn but learn broader than just sitting on my side of the “pond”.
Per Baumann: — Part of a “startup family”
Per Baumann has a background from the hotel industry and internet entertainment games. He is currently working as sales director for a Big Data Analytics software company. Baumann’s drive is not best practice, but rather creating ways that work for him or the applicable organisation. Asked what his role will be at the Board, he cites his strengths.
I believe my strengths given this opportunity is to support the administration in matters concerning structure, sales and “outside the box”-thinking. As time is a limited resource and I do no longer have the capacity to take part in start-ups, so being a founding partner for Startup Campus gave me the opportunity to still be a part of the “startup family”.
Baumann says that as life is about learning, he would like to meet new people with different ideas, as well as skills unlike his own. He adds that the inspiration coming from this will lead to learning.
Startup Campus should be the arena where startups can help learn from each other, but also meet, being mentored, and financed with the resources needed for them to develop their business ideas and build sustainable businesses for the future.