Recap: Oslo Innovation Week 2019 Kick-off

On Tuesday 26 February 300 people gathered at Epicenter Oslo to kick off the 15th edition of Oslo Innovation Week 2019. In 15 years we have come a long way, and in 2018 we even landed on Forbes´list of “Must Visit Tech Events”. But Oslo Innovation Week is not about us – it´s about YOU! It’s the collaboration that makes us strong. Last year 140+ organizers created 56 events entered in the heart of Oslo. 13 000 innovative minds got to experience the knowledge of 300+ speakers and this year we want to make it even better.


Mike Butcher shares his predictions for the top tech trends of 2019. Photo by Julie Hrncirova

To get a sense of which tech trends will engage us in 2019, we heard from editor-at-large at TechCrunch, Mike Butcher. He predicts that in a post-digital landscape, businesses must look beyond digital transformations and adapt to new, emerging technologies in order to stay competitive. So what will drive us forward in 2019? It can be boiled down to one word – DARQ, which stands for distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing. Butcher especially highlight AI as one of the trends that will be important in 2019, noting that it´s already a booming field of technology and Europe needs to keep up with the rest of the world.

Andy Chen giving us a status update of Norwegian startups. Photo by Julie Hrncirova

We also heard from Andy Chen, CEO of WeOrder, Nordic venture partner for Vector Ventures, and serving advisory council for media and technology and at World Economic Forum. He provided an out-side-in perspective to the state of Norwegian and Oslo startups and scaleups. He explained that we have the technology needed to compete on the level of countries like Sweden and Copenhagen, but maybe the eco-system is not quite there yet. Chen also presented five challenges he believes the eco-system must address in order to become more competitive: a limited market, investor complacency, cultural barriers, risk mentality and talent attraction.


Panel discussion: Mike Butcher, Ingeborg Frøysnes, Carla Carzenzuola, Andy Chen and Karina Kirkland Lome. Photo by Julie Hrncirova

To finish off the first part of the program, we heard a panel discussion on what the future of work looks like, moderated by Karina Birkeland Lome, Head of Accelerate Innovation at DNB. The panelist included Mike Butcher, Andy Chen, as well as HR Director at Kahoot, Carla Carzenzuola, and COO at Anzyz Technologies, Ingeborg Frøysnes.


Siw Andersen and Jørn Haanæs from Oslo Business Region. Photo by Julie Hrncirova

After a short break, we invited former and new partners and organizers, curious minds, and community leaders to hear more about Oslo Innovation Week 2019 and how they can get involved in the dugnad.

Oslo Innovation Week 2019 brings forward new voices and innovation in action. We believe that the solutions are out there. We just need to find them. That’s why Oslo Innovation Week 2019 is all about EXPLORERS, the theme for 2019. The founders, the investors, the corporate and public sector leaders who dare to take the path less traveled to find solutions that will help build a better world.

We believe in not only talking about change, but actually change the world we live in. We believe action speaks louder than words. That’s why we invite you to our city on September 23-27 to explore over 50 events, to meet like-minded AND different pioneers. And please bring both your solutions and your problems.

Oslo Innovation Week 2019 has got 5 tracks to navigate the program; Future of Work, Cities, Quality of Life, Entrepreneurship & Startup and Explore Oslo. 

Want to organize an event? Have a look here and see what we need from you and what you get from us and get in touch with Siw at

Feedback from attendees:

Overall, how would you rate this event: 3.8 (out of 5)

90% got new, useful ideas

63% made new, useful contacts







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Posted on: March 1. 2019
News, Oslo Innovation Week