“Global league tables show how all the Nordic countries excel as innovative economies. For me it’s vital that we use this position of strength to create sustainable growth and address global challenges,” said Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers in his opening speech.
He was referring to issues such as exploding urbanisation in many parts of the world, which is creating a market for smart, sustainable cities.
Establish a Nordic start-up environment
The purpose of Nordic Innovation House is to support Nordic innovators in New York in realising their ideas and to give them the best possible start as a company.
The goal is to establish a Nordic start-up environment in New York similar to that which has grown around Nordic Innovation House in Silicon Valley on the west coast.
Nordic Innovation House is funded by all five Nordic countries, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and Nordic Innovation. Four countries were represented at the inauguration through their ministers for foreign affairs or trade.
New York welcomes innovators
In attendance were Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen, Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, and Iceland’s Secretary of State Stefan Haukur Jóhannesson.
New York has become the world’s fastest growing and second largest start-up environment. The city has invested in an infrastructure that supports and welcomes innovators from elsewhere in the US and from overseas.
Starting as a pilot project
Nordic Innovation House in New York will offer Nordic start-up companies assistance with legal issues, tax issues, work permits, and other challenges that they face in establishing themselves in the US market.
In its first three years, Nordic Innovation House will run as a pilot project.
CEO of Nordic Innovation Svein Berg, voiced his support for the project:
“The Nordic Region has many promising start-ups and talented entrepreneurs, but one of our biggest challenges is to help more of them to grow. Nordic Innovation house in New York can be part of the solution,” said Svein.