For the past decade, I’ve immersed myself in several startup ventures. Similar to any dedicated entrepreneur, my journey has been a blend of both triumphs and setbacks.
At the core of my philosophy has always been the belief that achieving success necessitates the creation of remarkable products and exceptional customer service. To achieve this, assembling an outstanding team is paramount. Throughout my journey, I’ve been fortunate to recruit and guide some truly exceptional individuals. However, a persistent question remains: How can one attract and guide the finest young talents, fostering their commitment and motivation to prevent them from seeking opportunities elsewhere?
This question has continually occupied my thoughts. Over the years, I’ve undertaken extensive research and conducted interviews with over 100 millennials and Gen Z individuals, all aimed at comprehending their desires and requirements within a work environment for achieving contentment and productivity.
What fuels my motivation each morning? The pursuit of establishing enterprises that generate revolutionary products and services, coupled with outstanding customer experiences, thereby challenging conventional norms and making a positive impact on our world.
Sharing the knowledge from my journey in a fun, high energetic and practical way
10 years entrepreneurial journey
Over the past decade, I’ve been actively engaged in multiple startup ventures. Just like any entrepreneur, my journey has been marked by both failures and successes.
ClickLift marked my inaugural foray into the startup landscape, aiming to revolutionize the container lifting process of offshore cranes to enhance efficiency and safety. We presented our concept to investors and successfully secured seed capital, which enabled us to join an incubator program and secure public grants. Our startup boasted a team with extensive expertise and exceptional talents.
Through strategic efforts, we orchestrated a Joint Industry Project collaboration with a prominent oil and gas corporation, and we were actively engaged in negotiations with two additional companies. The collective value of the Joint Industry Project was projected at an impressive $1.5 million. However, the turbulence of the oil and gas crisis in 2012 led to the withdrawal of our partners, compelling us to close the company amidst the economic turmoil gripping Norway’s oil and gas sector.
This experience provided me with invaluable insights into diverse domains, including public relations, investor capital acquisition, venture capital navigation, filing for a patent and getting it granted, and the intricacies of negotiating joint industry ventures.
My partner and I launched six IT repair stores across Norway, introducing a pioneering approach that revitalized the industry through customer service innovation. Our groundbreaking initiatives included being the first to provide online booking, digital receipts, card payment options, comprehensive warranties, and establishing inviting, well-designed spaces staffed by skilled and personable experts.
The rapid rise in popularity of our stores was a testament to the resonance of these innovative features. Eventually, our company garnered significant attention and was acquired by Supportia, underscoring the impact of our strategic approach and customer-centric mindset.
#3 Mess and Order
I was a member of the team that initiated the launch of Stavanger’s inaugural co-working space. Spanning an impressive 1200 square meters, this endeavor played a pivotal role in nurturing a robust and thriving startup ecosystem within the city. My contributions encompassed various facets, including branding refinement, business model formulation, and conceptual development.
#4 Mess and Order Creative
At the Mess and Order co-working space, I had the opportunity to cross paths with Fredrik, an exceptionally skilled and seasoned graphic designer. It was during this period that I nurtured a strong desire to delve deeper into the realms of branding, marketing, and cultivating a distinctive visual identity for startups. This shared vision prompted the formation of Shapes and Tapes, and our debut year saw us successfully securing a substantial client base.
As our journey progressed, we encountered Tore and Joachim, individuals also adept in graphic design and photography. This fortuitous convergence led to the establishment of Mess and Order Creative, a collaborative effort where I assumed the role of CEO, overseeing projects and spearheading sales efforts. After a year of dedicated involvement, I eventually made the decision to step away from the company.
#5 Coffee House London
In collaboration with Leica, the esteemed luxury camera manufacturer, we ventured into an intriguing project: a pop-up coffee shop.
Within this venture, I shouldered several key responsibilities, including:
- Spearheading marketing efforts
- Overseeing the recruitment and training of staff
- Pioneering the development of the concept
- Orchestrating the transformation of the store into a captivating coffee shop
- Crafting an innovative and appealing menu
The culmination of our efforts resulted in a thriving establishment that operated successfully for two years, leaving a distinct mark on the landscape.
#6 Wrap and Roll
Recognizing a significant surge in the popularity of sushi burritos in Australia, we identified a promising opportunity to introduce this trend to the Norwegian market. We believed it aligned well with the Norwegian consumer base due to its health-conscious appeal, affordability in comparison to traditional sushi, and the convenience of being a quick on-the-go option.
However, our journey was marked by several critical errors. One notable misstep was our rapid expansion strategy; within just two years, we established four selling locations, including two within shopping malls that ultimately proved to be an ill-suited fit for our concept.
Unfortunately, the market wasn’t fully prepared, and its scope in Stavanger city was comparatively limited. This situation necessitated us to make the difficult decision to shutter all of our stores after the two-year period. Despite our best intentions, the outcome underscored the importance of market readiness and strategic growth considerations.
#7 Bankers Pizza
I took on a pivotal role in establishing the inaugural Bankers Pizza outlet in Stavanger, assuming the mantle of CEO and co-founder of the enterprise. My responsibilities encompassed a comprehensive overhaul of a 300-square-meter space, transforming it from a raw setting into a fully operational pizza takeaway establishment. This endeavor encompassed an array of tasks, including implementing branding initiatives, conceptualizing the store’s design, and setting up technical systems to ensure seamless operations.
Following the successful launch of the first location, I transitioned away from the CEO position and divested my ownership stake. It’s with immense satisfaction that I reflect upon the journey, having transformed the initial idea into a tangible reality. Today, Bankers Pizza stands as one of Norway’s most rapidly expanding pizza chains, boasting over eight locations. Witnessing its growth and success serves as a source of pride.
#8 Fram Venture Studio
Presently, I’m fully engrossed in the development of Fram Venture Studio, alongside my partner Ola Farup.
Fram Venture Studio revolves around three core activities:
- E-commerce Store Audits: Our focus lies in meticulously scrutinizing e-commerce stores, evaluating elements such as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), email workflows, and advertising strategies. This process ensures that these stores are operating at peak efficiency and effectiveness.
- D2C Brand Launches: We embark on launching direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands that possess the potential to create a positive impact and introduce innovative products that significantly enhance people’s lives.
- AI Implementation and Training: We extend our expertise to assist companies in integrating AI tools into their operations. Additionally, we provide comprehensive training to marketing managers, equipping them with the skills to adeptly leverage AI in their daily tasks, thereby optimizing efficiency.
By harnessing the collective proficiency of our team, deeply rooted in e-commerce marketing, we channel the proceeds generated from our consulting services into nurturing our own e-commerce brands. This exciting journey encapsulates our commitment to crafting a dynamic and prosperous future.