Klak – Icelandic startups is part of the Nordic collaboration in the so-called VC Challenge, which was launched in Copenhagen last week. VC Challenge is a course for future fund managers of index funds in the Nordic countries, and for several months Klak has been working with representatives of VC Challenge to develop and promote the course and to find interested representatives from Iceland to participate in it as well as Icelandic mentors from the fund environment to guide the participants. The goal is to bring Iceland into a Nordic partnership that aims to make future fund managers ready to collect and manage index funds, give them access to experts in this field and access to an important network.
The VC Challenge is supported by various partners from the support environment for innovation in the Nordic countries, including Startup Norway, Helsinki Partners, Klak - Icelandic Startups, Canute and Nordic Node, but these parties run the VC Challenge course with support from sponsors such as Nordic Innovation, Denmark's Export and Investment Fund , the Icelandic fund Kría and other strong parties from the Nordic countries. This is the third time that the VC Challenge has been held and this year 20 teams are participating in the program, including 5 teams from Iceland who are looking at the possibilities of raising funds.
Kría, the start-up and innovation fund is a sponsor of the VC Challenge, but Sæmundur K. Finnbogason, Kría's fund manager, says, "It is extremely gratifying that Kria - start-up and innovation fund is one of the sponsors of the VC Challenge for 2023. We are particularly pleased with the joint goals of Kria and VC Challenge, which is to support and encourage the further development of index funds [specialized investment funds] and create to an even stronger financing environment for start-ups and innovative companies.
VC Challenge is an excellent course where experienced, international teachers play a key role in supporting and guiding new fund managers on their journey to start new specialized investment funds in the market. With the cooperation between Kriu and VC Challenge, Iceland's innovation environment is being improved and strengthened, and since this is a pan-Nordic course, connections and cooperation between new fund managers in the Nordic countries are also being strengthened..”
Funds typically invest in 20 startups over a 4-year period and spend a lot of time and capital to support the growth and development of these startups so that they can thrive. In this way, the VC Challenge indirectly supports 400 promising start-ups in the Nordic countries, which pays off many times over and strengthens the market, accelerates innovation and helps create more success stories.
It is followed by Kristján Inga Mikaelsson, one of the founders of MGMT Ventures.
"With the pan-Nordic cooperation organized by VC Challenge, we get various tools and devices in our suitcase to strengthen our work and advance with our companies on foreign soil. It is time to strengthen the foundation of early-stage investments in Iceland with greater professionalism and predictability. Great work has been done in the second tier investment stages in recent years, but the first ledge has been a bit overlooked.”
"It is obvious when you come to an international platform like VC Challenge that we Icelanders have a lot to offer and we are noticed. Lyft has been a stumbling block in the framework of innovation in this country, which approaches the best that happens abroad, but we still lack a better flow and continuity in the financing phase of innovative companies. The VC Challenge is therefore a great step to support people like us in setting up a form of fund that is not known in Iceland." Kristján concludes.