TINC Fall Profiles Ch. 3: TINCing ahead

And just like that, TINC Fall 2016 is over and the companies are getting ready to leave Silicon Valley. But although this round of TINC is completed, the work doesn’t stop.

The TINC Team are already now beginning to prepare for TINC Spring 2017, which will take place in from April 24 to May 19 with kick-off in Oslo in March. Take a look at the TINC page if you want to know more about the application process and information about the program. But keep in mind, the application deadline is January 10.

For the companies, their journey has just started and it is time for them to consolidate and implement the knowledge and ideas they have gotten under the four intense weeks of TINC. Some will stay in California, whereas others will be heading home to the Nordics.

And just as TINC Fall is at an end, this will be the last post outlining the participants. In this chapter: Lizer Group, Spintr, Watchbox and HR Monitor

Karl Lillrud and Fredrik Bolander,
Founder/CEO and Partner Lizer Group

Big Data is one of the hottest topics in the Valley, as well as the technology industry. Conversely, innovative ways to get that data is becoming increasingly important.

Bridging the gap between e-commerce and data collection is Swedish Lizer Group, represented at TINC by founder and CEO Karl Lillrud and partner Fredrik Bolander. And with Fredrik and Karl’s respective backgrounds in e-commerce and investment banking, the guys seem to have found their niche. 

The company works to simultaneously increase retailer’s online sales while collecting and analyzing consumer behavioral data. Lizer group hence offers solutions that help online retailers sell more at the right price.

Attending TINC was a way to “test ideas and hypotheses and get feedback from people in the tech industry,” said Fredrik. But he pointed out that even from the first day at the kickoff in Oslo, he realized that TINC has more to offer. And after four weeks in Silicon Valley, the company has undergone drastic changes that were needed to scale and expand the company.

“We have learned to communicate directly with the big players in the market,” said Karl, “and we now have a better company and product.”


Daniel Hagenfeldt,
CEO and Founder Spintr

Improving communications is one of the most important elements of streamlining a company and improving efficiency. This is not only true in customer relations, but also within a business.

For organizations and collaborators there are a multitude of tools available to share information, but information overload can sometimes be a problem. This is what CEO and founder Daniel Hagenfeldt of Swedish Sprintr has set out to change with an innovative way to improve intranet solutions.

“It’s a way for companies to communicate, collaborate and do less emailing,” said Daniel. He has over 20 years experience within software development and building user-oriented solutions.

“The goal is to reinvent the intranet and change the digital workspace.” He said. And in a world where online collaboration is becoming increasingly important, his product is ready to fill a big gap in the market.

Attending TINC has also helped Daniel develop a clearer vision on how to make sure that his product is noticed and a clear plan on how to navigate forwards.

Being in Silicon Valley, he said, has also helped him better understand how he can tap into the ecosystem, resources and knowledge available. He said, “Even as a modest Swede you can get really good perspectives from the networks here.”


David Simonarson and Kristjan Mikaelsson,
Co-founders Watchbox

Making companies a better place for employees is also the goal for Icelandic company Watchbox, co-founded by David Simonarson and Kristjan Mikaelsson.  Watchbox provides a fun and innovative way to increase employee engagement at the workplace.

Watchbox is an interactive screen for employees to easily share photos in the office. The solution operates in the same space as teambuilding companies, but is a low-cost and less time-consuming way for companies to improve social interaction amongst their staff.

87 percent of companies struggle with culture and “disengaged employees,” said David. Watchbox is a way to tackle this problem by creating engagement amongst staff. “We bring coworkers together,” he said.

Joining the TINC program is a way for the company to get a foothold in Silicon Valley but the decision to join the accelerator program was made easier owing to the fact that TINC does not take equity in participating companies.

Overall, Daniel and Kristjan are very pleased with the experience. In particular, the duo noted the extensive networking opportunities and the ability to gain local knowledge from people who have in-depth knowledge about how Silicon Valley really works.

“We are ready to sit down and take everything in and refocus,” said Kristjan.


Trausti Hardarson and Daniel Sigurdsson,
Chairman/COO and CTO HR Monitor

This was the first time Icelandic companies have taken part in TINC. In addition to Watchbox, the Nordic island was represented by Trausti Hardarson, Chairman and COO, and Daniel Sigurdsson, CTO, of company HR Monitor.

Taking a different approach to both efficiency and worker relations, HR monitor offers a way to monitor and gain information about the internal workings of a company.

TINC has worked as a “milestone,” said Trausti. “It’s the first step for us to touch Silicon Valley and the U.S. Market.”

“It’s like a crash-course for startups,” said Daniel about experiencing TINC. Coming from a technical engineering background, the program has been a valuable way for him to learn about the business, marketing and investor relations that are so crucial for companies aiming for international success.

Trausti is very happy about Iceland’s integration into TINC, which he also believes works to strengthen the tie between companies in the Nordics. Experiencing Nordic Innovation House has additionally inspired HR Monitor to take advantage of our ‘Softlanding’ space and set up a permanent presence in Silicon Valley.

Considering TINC over all, Trausti said, “Every software company in the Nordics should try as hard as they can to be a part of this program.”


But as the last few posts have shown, TINC is open to companies from a range of tech industries. Take a look at our requirements and application process if you and your company want to be a part of TINC Spring 2017. And remember, the application deadline is January 10.