Startup Campus founding partner Kjartan Slette on staying true to the coworking brand
Co-founder and COO of Unacast, Kjartan Slette wants to teach others how to scale, but also advices Startup Campus to prioritise quality over quantity.
With the official opening of Startup Campus on October 31st, we do of course have both great ambitions for the future — and great things planned. And one of the ways in which we are set for a bright and continuously innovative future is through our founding partners.
Below, you can read about Kjartan Slette — the co-founder and COO of Unacast. He is one of our interviewees for our column — where we focus on founding partners and their journeys, and why they have decided on joining in on the Startup Campus.
Tell me a little bit about yourself — who are you and what are you doing in the startup world?
I am the co-founder of Unacast and was part of the founding team at Tidal. I am at the board of Angel Challenge and SHE, and I have invested in The Nordic Web Ventures and Startup Campus. I used to be a board member of IKT Norge. 99,9% of my time is spent building Unacast.
Why did you decide on being a founding partner of Startup Campus?
I have been following the projects of Maja (Adriaensen) and the rest of the Startup Norway team during their entire journey, and I’m at the advisory board of Angel Challenge. So I know them from the inside, and I like their ambition of connecting a coworking space with established founders who can give of their competence and experience. I have seen them succeed at their projects before, so I very much appreciate being part of Startup Campus too.
I think several of the coworking spaces in Norway are mainly glorified offices that call themselves “coworking” and draw upon the “innovation” term, but which really are normal offices. What I like about Startup Campus is that this coworking space is cultivating the idea of there being something more than just a bunch of companies working in the same building.
If you can share some advice for how Startup Campus can succeed in the best possible way — what would that be?
Don’t turn into an office space! We already have enough of them, and I think it’s very difficult to compete with the big players that are coming to Norway. So I would advise you to share competence and experience, be the epitome of innovation and coworking. In order to do this, you will have to work in a completely different way than the regular places where you can rent an office. So go for quality rather than quantity.
Startup Campus is set to become a meeting point and arena for learning for entrepreneurs, investors and everyone else at different stages. What do you want to learn more about — and who do you hope to meet here?
I haven’t primarily joined the Startup Campus to learn, but to teach others what I once learned. I want to teach people and companies how to scale, as relatively few startups in Norway have managed to enter the scaleup phase. I think it would be amazing to help the scaling-ready startups when they are entering that phase.
Kindness is generally underrated: But who has helped you in your career and what did they do for you?
Within the startup world, it’s primarily Patrick Berglund from Xeneta. He has definitely taught me the most. Xeneta isn’t the same as Unacast, but they have a similar business model and similar products, as they’re in the same phase. So learning from Berglund has been — and is — very valuable.