By Katja Kotala, Community Coordinator and Program Manager at Nordic Innovation House.
Life is a celebration - especially during the final week of TINC! The participants have gone through the journey of getting an overdose of information, working on their focus, and finally getting “crazy busy” - according to Wiral - with accelerating their business.
The program culminated in a Pitch Graduation night for the companies, where they got to pitch and get direct feedback from esteemed Silicon Valley investors from Funders Club, Alliance Ventures, Canvas VC and NewGen Capital. This is where they got tested on how well the teams have managed to hone their value propositions and relevant metrics of their companies.
The only workshop of the last week was another inspirational session with Julie Hanna. Some call these “psychology sessions”, because of the way Julie manages to bring up thoughts that stay with you long after the program. The group got to talk about issues involving the aspirations and values of a company and how they affect work culture.
As always, TINC program ended with an impressive reception at the Norwegian Consul General in San Francisco. There the teams could finally lay back and enjoy time together, before continuing their respective journeys. Most of the companies have clear plans of continuing their business in the US and we will be sure to see them at Nordic Innovation House in the future!
Below you can read more about how the last three teams, Vibble, Winningtemp and Wiral, have to say as the four weeks come to an end.
Dag Langfoss-Håland, Erlend Drevdal Hausken, Pål Wagtskjold-Myran
Vibble team has taken advantage of spending four weeks together in the program, since the team is usually distributed in different locations back in Norway. It has been valuable to be able to focus and learn things at the same time.
“The most important thing in coming from Norway to Silicon Valley is the mindset, people work at a different speed here. Learning about the investor mindset is one thing, but another is the lean mentality which is more established here. It’s all about testing, making decisions and moving on.” Erlend explains.
Tristan Kromer’s workshop in Lean Startup was especially uselful for the team and Jonatan Littke from Lookback helped them to apply the Lean method to Vibble’s specific needs.
“Experiencing and learning about the lean work method within tech has been very interesting, it is the first time we really understood what it is all about. These mentors actually have real experience in it.”
Not quite ready to go back yet, Vibble will stay in the area for a week more to follow up on meetings.
Vibble is a music app that helps people stop listening to music and start playing with it. Vibble lets you add cool sounds and effects from popular artists and genres, mix between songs and have fun with your favorite playlists, just by swiping a finger.
Pierre Lindmark, Mathias Hansson
Winningtemp was well prepared for their endeavor in Silicon Valley. They had a clear set of goals they had for the program and they have achieved them all. Nonetheless, they also felt overwhelmed during the first couple of weeks and it took some time for them to learn how to settle down and focus. A big help has been the peer support from the other participants and opportunities to share experiences with companies facing similar challenges.
It is easy to get stuck on fixing everyday challenges in your company, but in order to scale you have to think differently. “You have to continue learning, as well as be able to stop and be experimental.” Pierre says.
For Winningtemp the main takeaway from the program is the way they are forming their value proposition to suit different situations. They learned that in Silicon Valley it is all about putting your story into figures that explain the value you bring to the customer.
Another takeaway is the confidence the program has brought them. Coming to Silicon Valley can be intimidating, in Julie Hanna’s words you are moving from the regionals to the Olympics. But according to Pierre the journey has taught them that Winningtemp is on the right track.
“What we found here was confidence. To understand that in a global scale what we do is right. By going through this program and doing kind of exercises in the workshops and finding solutions to our challenges. When we go back we have a clarity that we didn’t have before.”
Winningtemp is an app that visualizes people’s development and wellbeing in an organization. By using artificial intelligence Winningtemp can identify and intervene stress, anxiety and depression. Winningtemp helps managers to save time by getting insights on what to prioritize in their leadership.
Andrea Holvik Thorson, Emilie Aabakken
Wiral has had crazy four weeks. “At the start the two first weeks had a lot of input, a lot of workshops, a lot of feedback and a lot of mentors. We were kind of overwhelmed with all this and how to act on all these points.” Andrea recalls. “We also got sent to a lot of different directions with the feedback from these different people and it took a while for us to decide the main focus.” Emilie adds.
At some point things got a bit more clear, according to Andrea a one-on-one meeting with the mentor Scott Barclay was the key session. “After that we got a lot of great meetings, we were really operating as a team and it felt like we were really accomplishing something. From that on we have been crazy busy and we haven’t really even slept.”
The program has introduced them to a lot of relevant contacts that have grown into even more contacts. Andrea and Emilie even got a chance to drive down to LA and shoot the Nitro World Games qualifications with their cable camera.
“Everybody here has been so helpful with sharing their network and introducing us, now I feel like we can’t leave or we will loose it all”
-Andrea Holvik Thorson
Wiral will not be losing it, they will leave after the program but are coming back to California already the following week.
Wiral is making amateur filming look professional, by introducing new angles to filming in challenging environments. This camera system runs on a rope with the help of a remotely controlled motor. It gives you close up, follow camera shots in locations where drones are impractical, dangerous or worst case illegal. Wiral helps action sport athletes and videographers capture their most extreme moments in a dynamic and easy way.