High North Young Entrepreneur

Join us at the High North Young Entrepreneur contest

High North Young Entrepreneur contest is an international pitch competition of Arctic-related business ideas of young entrepreneurs and start-ups. The overall goal for the contest is to bring attention to the economic potential and special needs of the High North areas and to encourage young people to develop their business ideas. The contest final is a part of the program of the annual High North Dialogue conference in Bodø. At the final session, three start-ups have an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to 350 conference participants – Arctic experts, and to win financial funding for their business:
A check for 50 000 NOK.

The contest background

The idea of the contest came after the High North Dialogue conference 2017 when the prominent investor Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners received the High North Hero Award, in recognition of his efforts to highlight the economic potential of the Arctic by promoting long-term investment in the region. Scott Minerd donated the award money to a fund to support young entrepreneurs and their business ideas. Accordingly, Nord University Business School in cooperation with Bodø Science Park launched the High North Young Entrepreneur contest for young entrepreneurs and start-ups from all over the world.

The first contest final took place in 2018 during the High North Dialogue conference session where three young entrepreneur groups presented their Arctic business ideas to an auditory of experts in High North issues. The final session was recognized as an important part of the conference, and we, therefore, decided to continue with the High North Young Entrepreneur contest for the years to come.

From 2018, Innovation Norway Nordland supports High North Young Entrepreneur initiative including the funding of the prize for a winner in the amount of NOK 50 000.

Who can  apply?

Companies and individual entrepreneurs from any country and sphere are eligible to apply. However, the business idea has to be related to the circumpolar north. This may be an individual start-up or a company registered and operating in the High North area. This may be a business idea connected to the Arctic. As the contest focus is on start-ups and fresh business ideas, the company must not be older than three years of the start-up date. Age of the applicant – up to 40 years old.

We especially encourage, but not limit projects to the areas as follows: Bioeconomy, Clean Energy, Health and welfare, Ocean, Smart society, Creative industries, and tourism.

High North Young Entrepreneur 2021

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak across Norway in March 2020 and respective restrictions, the High North Dialogue conference was cancelled a week before the planned start. We also had to postpone the High North Young Entrepreneur contest until the next High North Dialogue conference 2021.

The  High North Dialogue conference is digital this year, and so is the High North Young Entrepreneur contest. Participation in the conference is free of charge.

The High North Young Entrepreneur contest will be held on Wednesday, April 21st, 2021, from 16.00 to 16.30 Norway time, as a closing panel of the High North Dialogue conference Day 1.

Projects finalists:

1) Arctic Biotech Oath, Alaska, US

2) Norskin, Bodø, Norway

3) Music Alchemy, Arkhangesk, Russia

Three finalists – young entrepreneurs are asked to make 3-minute videos presenting their business ideas. The videos will be put on the conference platform one week before the High North Young Entrepreneur session on April 14th.  Only registered participants of the conference will vote for the best project via the conference platform poll (Kahoot or similar). Each registered participant will have one vote. The voting will start on April 20th in the morning and finish during the High North Young Entrepreneur session after we show video pitches and announce the end of on-line voting.

The winner will receive a check for 50 000 NOK to develop their project. The prize-giving will be at the end of the session.

Join the conference and vote for your favourite project!

The High North Young Entrepreneur Jury consisted of the experts as follows:

Erik Eriksen, StartUp Week North Norway
Elena Zhurova, Ph.d. / Adviser at High North Center / Nord University Business School, Norway
Iselin Kristine Mauseth, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Group / Nord University Business School, Norway
Vitaly Akimov, Northern Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Murmansk Region, Russia
Alexandra Middleton, University of Oulu, Finland.
Bjørg Helene Jensen, Innovation Norway, Nordland.

Previous winners:

Any questions?

Do not hesitate to contact adviser Elena Zhurova: elena.zhurova@nord.no.