NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On September 20, the Nordic countries launched Nordic Innovation House – New York (NIH-NY). NIH-NY is unique alliance of all five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Supported by Nordic Innovation and Nordic Council of Ministers, the aim of NIH-NY is to support and bring to fruition the full potential of Nordic innovators and create a strong Nordic startup community in New York.
The official launch of NIH-NY took place on September 20, 2017 with high-level representation from all five Nordic countries: Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelsen, Ambassador Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, State Secretary, Iceland, Kai Mykkänen, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development in Finland, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende of Norway, and the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström took the stage to pitch unique Nordic ideas to a New York audience. Speakers from Nordic companies took the stage and Isa Notermans, the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion of Spotify delivered the keynote of the evening.
The NIH-NY was officially opened by the Secretary General at the Nordic Council of Ministers, Dagfinn Høybråten, who comments the opening of NIH-NY: “Innovation and creativity are among the core Nordic values, and the Nordic Council of Ministers is glad to support Nordic Innovation House in New York. We hope your work will offer Nordic innovative talents a gateway to new networks and opportunities.”
The majority of funding for Nordic Innovation House – New York comes from Nordic Innovation, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ innovation arm. The managing director of Nordic Innovation, Svein Berg, expresses his support for the program as: “The Nordics have a lot of promising and talented startups and entrepreneurs, but one of our largest challenges is how to help more of them scale their business. The Nordic Innovation House in New York can be a part of that solution, and can provide our talents with the support they need to go global.”
NIH-NY calls WeWork Grand Central location home, and is welcomed by Ole Ruch, Managing Director, Strategy at WeWork: “As a native Norwegian, I can personally attest to the fact that Nordic people share a unique culture of collaboration and openness, which has led to a high concentration of innovative entrepreneurs and companies coming from the Nordic countries. We are honored that a leading innovation organization recognizes the value that WeWork can bring to communities, both in the US and abroad, and look forward to working closely with the Nordic Innovation House in the future."
New York has become the 2nd largest startup ecosystem in the world, and the community grows faster than anywhere else. The City has invested strongly in infrastructure that supports innovations and technology, and is a welcoming and inspiring environment for an immigrant entrepreneur. New York City’s Commissioner for International Affairs, Penny Abeywardena, brought the City’s message to the Nordic entrepreneurs and participants at the opening event saying: "New York City is thrilled for the launch of the Nordic Innovation House. NYC has always been a place for people from around the world to come grow their businesses, and we welcome them today as much as ever. We look forward to becoming a home for even more innovators from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden—countries that have produced wonderful companies and shown the world that business growth and equitable societies can go hand in hand. We know the entrepreneurs from these five countries will find in our five boroughs the talent, innovation and creativity that matches the spirit of their home nations."
Hege Barnes, the Chairperson of the NIH-NY Steering Committee states: “We are open for business in New York. We believe in Nordic technology, products and services and what the Nordics have to offer on a global scale.”