Innovation, Startups and Venture Capital in Iceland

The Memo: Where are the community driven startup events?

Last week, Óli Johnson, co-founder of Rainmaking Loft and Catapult, was in Iceland. One of his stops was a breakfast meetup at Startup Reykjavik where he discussed community building. I couldn’t make it, but met up with him (Daði joined as well) later.

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As expected, our discussion quickly turned to the Icelandic startup community.

Where are the community driven events?

The Icelandic startup scene has become more lively in the last couple of years. We have had five Startup Iceland conferences, and this summer is the fifth batch of Startup Reykjavik companies. These events have come to mark a rhythm in the startup scene. This fall we’ll have the second Slush Play, which will likely become the cornerstone event in the fall.

These events have been important in making the startup scene more prominent, and connecting people. They are also prominently sponsored by big companies (Arion Bank, Industry for Innovation, Deloitte, and more) and professionally produced.

What’s missing are the community driven events. The ground-up beer nights organised by founders to meet with other founders. Why isn’t anyone organising that?

The developer community actively organised meetups. The most prevalent and successful ones are probably the Javscript meetups. Kristján Ingi and the team have worked hard at growing that community. Their work is culminating in JSConf Iceland 2016, which will be in Harpa. JSConf is one of the biggest javascript conferences in the world, and it will organised by the team behind the Javascript meetups. The JS meetups are works of passion. Where are the startup meetup works of passion?

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Please note that I’m by no means trying to belittle the effort put in by the Startup Iceland or Icelandic Startups teams. I’m just asking why the entrepreneurial spirit, that’s evident in the companies that we are building, isn’t being put to work in community building?

Is anyone working on events like these? Would you like to? Send me a message (just hit reply) and let’s see if we can make something happen.

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