Experiencing TINC - with SevenSix, Strategy Orchestrator and PerceptiLabs
By Karina Sem Glømmi, Intern at Innovation Norway San Francisco & Silicon Valley
TINC Accelerator Program is over for the fall and it is almost too quiet at Nordic Innovation House. It is surely not the same without all the people running around and all the intense discussions. Now the TINCers are on their way home to work hard, and ready to create magic.
During the four weeks the teams became more like a family, and the companies have gone through amazing development. Fortunately, they take with them the Silicon Valley mindset and experiences back to the Nordics. We know that they will keep their learnings in mind now that they are ready to take on the world. As we always say; "Once a TINCer, always a TINCer”.
Below you can read more about the experiences of the three remaining participant companies in the TINC Fall 2018 program:
Trond Kittelsen, CEO of SevenSix
SevenSix helps tennis coaches monetize with what they love the most, coaching! A coach builds his network of players who will then also get access to online coaching and technology. This increases coach accessibility, coach credibility and it is more fun and insightful to follow your progress as a player. By using the platform players are more likely to win more games, winning the tiebreak, 7-6, hence the company name.
Describe the last four weeks in three words: Pitching. Insightful. Laser focus.
The most valuable input you have gotten so far: We are privileged to have such great mentors, lecturers, and the Nordic Innovation House team. They are all here to help and it feels overwhelming to get access to all this knowledge in such a short time. Just the fact that we can spend 4 weeks in the technology and startup hub in the world really makes this special. Our network is growing, and people are helpful in referrals to meet relevant people who can help you go forward. So much input all the time, you need to be grounded to handle all the different feedback, but it has helped SevenSix in focusing the business and delivering a clearer message. Especially the mentor sessions have been very valuable, where you get personalized feedback from great entrepreneurs, investors, and experienced business people.
Highlights from the program: Mentor sessions, great keynotes at Stanford University and meeting the whole TINC group has been incredibly inspiring. The group of 9 companies has really found a common ground to discuss the challenges we face every day.
Advice to companies thinking about applying to TINC: It might seem long to be away from your business and your family at home for four weeks. But I promise you that you will be advancing your business quicker in four weeks than you would do in six weeks back home. You will find a way to get some of the stuff you need to do for your office at home early in the mornings and in the evenings in addition to the program itself. I believe software companies would be the best match for this program since Silicon Valley really has an edge on this in the world. Work hard, Play hard!
Anders Holte, CEO, Vegard Bakke, CTO and Mari Helmer, CMO of Strategy Orchestrator
Strategy Orchestrator helps companies in achieving their strategic plans, not just reporting on them. With their tool both management and employees have one common, transparent, holistic view of the current state and health of the organization.
Last four weeks in three words: Intense. Inspirational. Fun.
The most valuable input you have gotten so far: Think market first, and second!
Highlights from the four weeks:
Tapping into the networks of the people related to TINC is such a great value! In addition, having workshops with people like Julie Hanna and Nathan Gold really gives an extra edge to the program!
The mentor sessions have been a great way to focus on what we actually do, and at times made us question how we are doing things. We have evaluated and discussed a lot after all the sessions and we now know a lot more about how we will actually reach our targets, not only on paper, but in real life!
Advice to companies thinking of applying to TINC:
Just do it! There is only one way to fully understand how things work here, it’s to be here. You will learn so much about the sharing culture and connect with people you would never have the possibility to learn from if you were not here. All the workshops and mentor sessions will leave you questioning and focusing what you are actually doing!
Martin Isaksson and Robert Lundgren, Co-founders of PerceptiLabs
At PerceptiLabs they research within Machine Learning, and more specifically Deep Learning. The main focus is on development of their AI-platform which simplifies the creation and understanding of Al-models. The platform is a leap towards democratizing Al.
Last four weeks in three words: Amazing. Eye-opening. High-tempo.
The most valuable input you have gotten so far: “The ball is always in your court”
Highlights from the program:
We have had meetings with some of the largest companies in the world. We have met VCs and gotten great advice and feedback. We have been able to test the product market fit and pivot/change the business model a lot and gotten feedback on the changes right away (awesome). Some of the highlight meetings were with: Shomit Ghose, who taught us a new way to look at the product and some really powerful future paths. Han Jin, who stepped in as our Business Manager for these weeks and taught us as much as he had time for. He helped us understand the different models and the consequences of them in greater depths. We also went to Google Brain and met Alexander Mossin and had an awesome lunch (their office was awesome as well). Meeting with Lars Johansson at K&L Gates at Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce-event and many other inspiring persons, e.g. Azita Raji. We had a business meeting on a boat in Berkeley, writing down all the ideas on napkins. Retro-style.
Advice to companies thinking of applying to TINC:
Be willing to change your mind and to view the world/your company in another way. Be prepared to structure all the advice you get (because there will be a lot). Remember: “THE BALL IS ALWAYS IN YOUR COURT”!
TINC might be over for the fifteenth time but we are already planning for the next program. In the spring of 2019 a new bunch of Nordic ambitious startups will arrive and take Silicon Valley by storm. They will be challenged, they will be confused, they will be inspired and they will get to test their product and business model in the most competitive tech ecosystem in the world. Coming to Silicon Valley is almost like entering the Olympics for tech startups. Do you want to join?