NTNU Accel AS is a new university based business accelerator for promising startups in Central Norway. We strive to be the meeting place for the ideas, people and resources that all aim to make a difference
On this basis, NTNU Accel focuses on three key areas:
1. A targeted development process, with active support and coaching from the NTNU Accel Core Team and other key resources. These people understand the situation and challenges of the entrepreneurs and will guide and help them to spend time and resources most effectively. We supply competence, mentors, directors, industry networking, contacts with relevant businesses, supported by a customised IT infrastructure.
We provide global incubation from Trondheim through an extension, renewal and reinforcement of the foundation laid by the Gløshaugen Innovation Center, and through cooperation and utilisation of synergies with other initiatives locally and regionally.
Also, through facilitating internship opportunities and “landing” near the international markets through agreements with other accelerators and incubators internationally.
2. Access to early-stage capital for deserving startup companies through our own preseed fund, Accel Preseed AS, with opportunities for further capital from our industry networks. This scalable structure can easily expand with additional industry-specific funds, business angels and crowdfunding from private investors.
3. A winning culture through active interaction with the core team, successful and experienced counselors and other members.
The human dimension is essential for the activities of NTNU Accel AS. The members themselves are the most important resource for each other. This requires good facilitation, experienced counsellors and an assertive winning culture. To ensure this energy is released in a cost-effective manner, we organise the operational activities around a core team that holds it all together.
The core team is led by the CEO of NTNU Accel AS, who is accountable to the Board of Directors in accordance with normal business practice. In addition to the CEO, the core team consists of employees at NTNU, Siva, SINTEF and others who see it in their interest to contribute in a simple and effective way to the overall purpose of NTNU Accel.
Together, the core team covers the most important functions of advising and guiding the entrepreneurs. An extended network of mentors, service provider members, helpers, leaders and others will ensure optimal development processes in a strong and inclusive winning culture.
To complement the core team, NTNU Accel AS recruits both young interns and experienced people into a resource pool that member companies can recruit from. In this way also developed talents that contribute directly and indirectly to the attraction and acceleration.
Innovation in Mid-Norway
The development of new knowledge-based enterprises with international competitiveness is essential to maintain the current standard of Norwegian welfare and society. Norway is as productive per capita as many other countries when it comes to the creation of new businesses, but statistics show that Norwegian startups grow at a slower rate and then remain smaller than similar enterprises in other countries.
It is difficult for new businesses to leverage a protected domestic market in a time when global barriers are being removed and worldwide markets are opening up. As a consequence, startups must be established in an international context from the very beginning.
With this in mind, it is essential that entrepreneurs are helped to optimally prioritise time and money through the rapid establishment of effective work processes, access to the necessary infrastructure and capital.
Here in Trondheim, it’s about giving people who have both the knowledge and drive to succeed, the possibilities to realize the potential that lies dormant in the results of publicly funded research. The business must be assumed to have an untapped potential for innovation, which can be realized through closer cooperation with expertise in the region.
Mid-Norway has a proud history and NTNU, SINTEF, St. Olavs Hospital and HiST are natural epicentres of knowledge-based innovation. Our region also has considerable untapped potential for innovation with approximately 10,000 researchers and 40,000 students. Most have access to innovation support from NTNU / TTO, SINTEF / Sinvent, Proneo, LEN and others, but the biggest bottleneck is the lack of industrial networks and early-stage capital during the critical transition from publicly funded knowledge to commercially viable business.
The expectation is that NTNU Accel will establish a new way of working that will be the guiding star and inspiration for similar centres in other regions, while working with them for national purposes. Siva has implemented an “urban agenda” where collection and appreciation of the innovation community in the big cities will create an environment of significantly higher rate of innovation than what we see today. NTNU Accel will be a fundamental component of a future “innovation centre” in Trondheim.