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Norway’s spearhead into Silicon Valley, Gro Dyrnes, returns to the Norwegian business scene; joins Norselab as partner

Half a decade in Silicon Valley

Since 2014, Gro has been Innovation Norway’s Regional Director Americas, based in Silicon Valley. Gro has worked daily with Norwegian tech companies aiming to expand internationally.

Having acted as a spearhead into the world’s most dynamic innovation ecosystem, Gro is bringing valuable insights into the developments in the entrepreneurial environment in both Silicon Valley and Norway.

Insights from the world’s leading innovation hub

- One of the things that makes Silicon Valley unique is the ecosystem. The players in the ecosystem are all nudging each other; from academia to talents, to large and small businesses, investors and research institutions. They work together and understand that by helping each other they create a larger ecosystem with more winners, Gro explains.

She is also very impressed by the mindset:

- The Silicon Valley mindset is that you truly believe that you can disrupt and become the next big thing. The location has produced more success cases than any other, providing inspiration for entrepreneurs globally, she adds.

As she now makes a comeback to the Norwegian business scene, she joins Norselab’s newly established growth fund as a partner.

The Nordics at the forefront of sustainability

Over the years, Gro has witnessed how Norway and the Nordics have acquired a standalone position when it comes to sustainability. - We are really considered as being at the forefront of sustainability, says Gro.

Norselab’s approach to sustainability was one of the key aspects she considered when she decided to join the team:

- There is an increasing focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in Europe, and in the Nordics in particular. My experience is that Norselab takes it one step further by adopting sustainability as a core value in their investment strategy, supporting tech companies that have a net positive impact on the sustainability goals. I really look forward to being part of that, she adds.

A setup inspired by Silicon Valley VCs

As Norselab set up their early growth fund in 2020, they built on the team’s proven entrepreneurial experience. Several of the partners are serial founders themselves, and, in addition, the fund has an investor pool including some of Norway’s most talented tech entrepreneurs.

- Whereas European VCs are very often established by people with a background from finance, Silicon Valley VCs are very often run by former founders. I definitely think that the Norselab team’s experience is a strong competitive advantage, she states.

Focusing on Ivaldi and Norselab’s international reach

Starting out, Gro will focus much of her attention on Norselab portfolio company Ivaldi. Located in California, Ivaldi offers digital distribution and on-demand production of spare parts, removing the limitations of a physical value chain and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

She will also play a key role in connecting Norselab to relevant partners globally, fuelling the fund’s ability to propel the best, sustainable tech startups in Norway towards international success.

- Gro’s experience and knowledge from the Silicon Valley early-stage tech ecosystem is hard to beat. She also has a wide-ranging, international network that will be a welcome addition to the Norselab team. We are thrilled that she decided to join us, says Chief Investment Officer at Norselab, Yngve Tvedt.