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Five tips to your scaleup journey

Johan Odvar Odfjell, Investor at Farvatn
Johan Odvar Odfjell, Investor at Farvatn. Photo by Innovasjonsuken OPP - Petter Tran

A panel of professionals shared their experiences and lessons learnt on their path from startup to scaleup.

The common denominator were that all panelists had been through our Ocean Tech Scaling Programme that we organise in collaboration with Norwegian Business School (BI) and MIT in Boston, to help businesses grow.

Here are their five tips:

1. Embrace the Customer-Centric Mindset: Hege Hammersland (photo), Business Development Manager at Scantrol Deep Vision, emphasized that success hinges on a profound understanding of your customers.

She recounted how Deep Vision was founded a decade ago in response to a need expressed by fishermen, who realized they knew little about their catch until it was in their nets.

Deep Vision's innovative solution offers eco-friendly fish sampling and analysis in trawls. Hege commended the Ocean Tech Scaling program for driving transformative change within Deep Vision.

Photo by Innovasjonsuken OPP - Petter Tran.

2. Chasing two rabbits:
Johan Odvar Odfjell, Investor at Farvatn, underscored the utmost importance of unwavering focus. Johan advised concentrating efforts on solving one problem brilliantly before expanding into new territories. Investors, he noted, prioritize first and foremost the quality of the team, the product, and customer or market validation.

3. To choose and unchoose: Thorleif L. Gustavsen, General Manager at Aanderaa - a Xylem brand, offered great advice on resource allocation and the importance of deliberate choices. He cautioned against spreading resources too thinly, emphasizing that when you choose one path, you inevitably unchoose another. It's crucial to be fully aware of your choices and commit wholeheartedly to them.

Furthermore, Gustavsen emphasized the significance of acknowledging what you know and, equally important, what you don't know. He highlighted the virtue of patience, underscoring its immense value in the entrepreneurial journey. His parting words resonated with hope: "All will be well in the end; don't give up."

4. Navigating Corporate Alliances: Michael T. Smith (photo), Business Development Manager at Imenco Metas, shared their journey of being acquired by another participant in the scaleup program, Imenco. He highlighted how their pre-existing familiarity with each other's companies and strengths, nurtured during the program, was instrumental in their successful integration.

Photo by Innovasjonsuken OPP - Petter Tran.

5. Experience Meets Fresh Perspectives: The panel agreed that both seasoned industry veterans and younger "naive" talents has their own advantages within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, but is perhaps best together where experience  is combined with an ability to seeing through conventional boundaries.

Photo by Innovasjonsuken OPP - Petter Tran.

– There is an imperative need for the ecosystem of a cluster, that involves entrepreneurs, corporations, academia, risk capital providers, R&D, and public institutions to bridge Norway's gap in commercializing innovation, said Owe Hagesæther, CEO of GCE Ocean Technology as he introduced the Ocean Tech Scaling Program.

He underscored that 80% of startups disappear within five years, emphasizing the pivotal role of supporting scalable companies, not just for their survival but for fortifying Norway's exports, particularly in the energy and renewable sectors.

If you would like to know more about this programme. Do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact Information

Thea Båtevik

Innovation Consultant

Thea Båtevik

Kjersti Boge Christensen

Communication Manager

Kjersti Boge Christensen


The Ocean Tech Scaling programme is a unique scaleup programme for the ocean industries organised by GCE Ocean Technology together with BI Norwegian Business School, MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology and supported by Agenda Vestlandet.