Former StartupLab founder Alexander Woxen joins forces with Norselab to build growth fund
Former StartupLab founder Alexander Woxen, investor and Olympic Champion Aksel Lund Svindal join forces under the Norselab umbrella to build a world class growth fund. Plans to be unveiled later this year.
Norway needs a growth engine
"The Norwegian startup environment has demonstrated tremendous growth and maturation over the past decade. We now have the grassroots needed to become a leading startup hub, but the Norwegian potential has by no means been exploited. A few companies have managed to get out of Norway and into global markets, but there should be far more", explains former StartupLab founder Alexander Woxen.
Ever since the creation of StartupLab, he has been dedicated to helping technology entrepreneurs. Back in 2010, he quit his job in Private Equity to start the StartupLab incubator. The ambition was to boost the startup and venture capital environments - an ambition he has truly achieved. Since the official launch in 2010, StartupLab has supported over 400 startups, including Huddly, Kahoot, reMarkable and NoIsolation, bringing entrepreneurial Norway up to speed.
"Over a period of time, I have observed that we have a pressing lack of growth capital in Norway. When I started the dialogue with Aksel and the serial entrepreneurs at Norselab, it quickly became clear that we had a common analysis of what the Norwegian ecosystem is missing today; a growth capital system that can support the best Norwegian technology companies. We want to bridge the gap between promising seed stage companies and the international venture scene", he continues.
Woxen recently revealed that he is stepping down from StartupLab to focus on the next phase of the value chain (article in Norwegian). It is in this context that he joins forces with Norselab, starting this June. Together with Aksel Lund Svindal, Norselab founder Yngve Tvedt and the rest of the team, he has already started the intense efforts needed to build the growth capital ecosystem Norway is missing.
Bridging the gap
The newly formed team works towards the long-term ambition of building a world-class growth capital ecosystem. Successful investor and former Olympic Champion Aksel Lund Svindal believes now is the right time to take the first step; building a Norwegian growth fund.
"The timing has never been better for building a growth fund in Norway", he stated.
The downhill champion explains that, unlike before, we now have a very favorable environment for startups and great access to seed capital. In addition, everyone's attention is focused on digitization and green transformation. At the same time, we are benefiting from a fantastic legacy from the oil industry; now that Norway is in the midst of a green shift, both world-class technology and talents are flowing onto Norway's startup scene.
Both structural and cyclical trends are in Norway’s favor right now. Recent crises - both corona and falling of oil prices - are reinforcing these trends.
"Access to seed capital and top-tier talents has never been better for startups. The only problem is that there is a real gap in our ecosystem - there are almost no players to propel the best Norwegian startups forward", Lund Svindal explains.
Norselab founder Yngve Tvedt is clear about one thing: their ambition is not limited to building a growth fund. He wants Norselab to become a player that coordinates and collaborates across the whole ecosystem, both nationally and internationally. To succeed in building a world class growth capital environment, he stresses the need to build on what we already excel at in Norway.
With Alexander Woxen and Aksel Lund Svindal, Tvedt has topped up his team and positioned Norselab to lead the way on growth in Norway.
"Alexander is one of Norway’s most experienced early-stage investors, and by building StartupLab he really proved his startup know-how. Aksel has repeatedly demonstrated his flair for good investments and has an international network few can match. With these two on the team, we will be in a position to attract both the best entrepreneurs, ideas and international growth capital going forward", Tvedt explains.
"There is no doubt that the timing is excellent. Now it is all about bringing on board investors who share our values and vision of creating a capital ecosystem for technology companies that will contribute to a more sustainable future", he concludes.