Optimism and positivity hovered over the waters in the main Hall of Gróska on Wednesday, December 7th, where the final day of Startup Social took place and nine start-ups pitched their projects, all of which focus on solving emerging social problems.A group of entrepreneurs have participated in the incubator Startup Social for the past 16 weeks, receiving education and training from domestic and foreign experts in the field of social affairs and innovation, as well as meetings with experienced mentors who have followed them over the past few months.
Each team presented for 3 minutes and then answered questions from the "sharks" Svana Gunnarsdóttir, CEO of Frumtak and Kristján Schram, founder and owner of Instrúment.
Examples of start-ups that presented on the final day include Fort which combats acute sarcopenia, Sara – a girl with ADHD that contributes to increased awareness of ADHD's manifestation in girls, and BioBuilding who are developing Icelandic hemp casting.
The final day marked the graduation of these start-ups who have dedicated themselves to solving society's challenges with ingenuity and a strong vision for the future, and it will be exciting to watch them in the future.
A lot of people made their way to Gróska, but the presenter of the day was the comedian and former mayor Jón Gnarr and he really took the stage. Among the guests were Þór Sigfússon, CEO and founder of the Ocean Cluster, Hrund Gunnsteinsdóttir, Managing Director of Festa, Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland and Lóa Bára Gunnarsdóttir, Marketing Director of Origo. People agreed that the event had been a success and managed to fill people with hope and optimism for a better world.
Kolfinna Kristínardóttir, Project Manager of Startup-Social: "It's good to see this interest in social innovation and it's great to be able to welcome over 150 people here today. The teams made great progress over the 16 weeks and I am very pleased with the results".
Startup Social was founded in 2018 by Höfði Peace Centre and now took place for the fourth time. KLAK – Icelandic Startups is responsible for the growth space in collaboration with MIT DesignX and is the focal point of workshops where MIT experts come to Iceland and share their knowledge.
The goal of the growth space is to spur innovation that tackles contemporary challenges and thus provides an important platform for community startups.
The goal of the incubator is to spur innovation that tackles contemporary challenges and thus provides an important platform for community startups. The project is supported by the City of Reykjavík, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Labour Market, the University of Iceland, Reykjavik University, Marel, Origo, the Ministry of University, Industry and Innovation, Landsvirkjun and Deloitte. Other partners were the University of Akureyri, the Iceland Academy of the Arts and Festa.