Green Stories: Mentoring Spotlight

A mentoring program focused on sustainable business solutions was one of the first initiatives announced during the launch of Oslo Business Region’s: Oslo European Green Capital Business Program. We are happy to report that the mentoring program is going well and would like to share some positive updates with the community.

Oslo Business Region invited the Oslo startup community along with expert leaders within innovative business to participate in this program. The next step was pairing together 20 mentors with respective mentees. The program is cross-industrial, and a two-way mentoring program focused on bridging the best from two generations, where both the mentor (experienced leader) and mentee (entrepreneur or startup) learn from each other’s strengths. Overall, there are six main areas of expertise highlighted: Energy, Ocean, Tech, Construction & Real Estate, Finance and Mobility.

Kjetil Hermansen is the CEO and founder of Holocene. He joined the program as a mentee to make a stronger network for his startups. “We are focusing on developing floating waste to energy solutions, targeting islands and other coastal communities. We want to operate in countries with underdeveloped infrastructure in Asia, Africa and South America,” he explained. Hermansen started the company in January, after he was intrigued by international plastic waste management and cleanup projects. “After conducting some research in 2018, I saw there was a gap within waste collection,” he reflected during our Oslo ScaleUp:ReThinking Green Investments event.

Within the Oslo European Green Capital Business mentoring program, Hermansen is a mentee of Blue Ocean entrepreneur, Per Elvestuen. Elvestuen is a strategic counselor, human rights advocate, and co-founder of Clean Sea Solutions. He is currently the Director of Oslo Freedom Forum with a focus on Democracy, Human Rights and Technology. “The mentoring program has a great value and I’m glad to be part of it,” Elvestuen proudly declared.

To Hermansen, the project is a powerful tool to any founder willing to make meaningful connections: “I’m open, hoping to make contacts in order to attract pilot customers outside of Oslo… and investors, of course.  You never know who you can meet and you never know which doors can open.”

This is the first mentoring program facilitated by Oslo Business Region and it is supported by an app (Spring Winter). Mentees contact mentors via chat and set meetings that are complimentary to both schedules. Additionally, there are mingling sessions hosted in connection with key business conferences held in Oslo.

Our mentors included:

Hege Schøyen Dillner (Veidekke), Cathrine Barth (Circular Norway), Bjørn Haugland (Norge203040), Anniken Fjelberg (657), Heidi Aven (SHE Community), Sagar Sen (Simula), Are Knutsen (Bertel O. Steen), Niels Astrup (Clean Sea Solutions), Dimitris Polychronopolous (Founders Institute), Anja Stokkan (Bymiljøetaten), Chris Hovde (Telia), Mathis Grimstad (Stor-Oslo Eiendom), Joachim Levin (657), Besim Ismaili (Numus), Stian Steen-Olsen (mobility), Harald Marting Gjøvaag (Selvaag Bolig), Luis Paulsen (impact and angel investor), Klaus Hatle (Bentley Systems) and Jørn Haanæs (OBR).

Photo: Jan Kuhr

About Green Stories: Oslo Business Region is leading the business program during Oslo European Green Capital (EGC). The European Commission awarded Oslo the prestigious European Green Capital title for 2019. Being the European Green Capital in 2019 is a great recognition and an opportunity to showcase Oslo as a truly Green City linked to innovation, both in the international context and to Oslo’s population.  In 2019 we will invite the world to Oslo – to share and to learn. Read more about EGC here and about the Industry Challenges here.


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Posted on: May 31. 2019
European Green Capital 2019, News