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Team Hedgehog was excited to participate in this year´s Startup Extreme, based in the mountains of Hemsedal, Norway on April 26-27, 2022.
Startup Extreme began in 2015 to highlight and support the Norwegian startup scene. Since then, Norway has become one of Europe's fastest growing startup ecosystems.
Startup Extreme´s mission is “building a more connected startup ecosystem,” particularly following the intensity and isolation of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The event is not only an opportunity to listen to speaker panels and network with other startups, funders, and corporations, but it is also at its core an opportunity to connect outside of Zoom calls and office meeting rooms by participating in the best that the Hemsedal outdoors have to offer. Alongside conference sessions, there are amazing activities including dog sledding, hiking, ice bathing, snowshoeing, skiing, yoga, coffee tasting, and more.
Startup life and extreme sports are integral to Hedgehog founder Bjørn Holte´s way of life. He started “extreme” sports at age 14 when living in Australia, at a time when skateboarding was a crime in Norway, then bought a used hang glider and tried teaching himself to use it at age 18 (note: it did not go well). Since then, he has done bridge jumping, water skiing, and his favorite – kite surfing, both on the water in the summer and the snow in the winter. Bjørn is also a serial entrepreneur, starting his first company at age 16, building and exiting several tech companies, and now changing the world with Hedgehog Dryer, one dry boot at a time.
Bjørn, a Hemsedal local, kicked off the Startup Extreme opening dinner with parallels between entrepreneurship and sports. Entrepreneurship is like surfing, he said, plenty of chaos, a huge amount of work, lots of ups and downs, and you need to take risks in order to reap rewards. His key advice for entrepreneurs:
Bjørn and Team Hedgehog are grateful to the Startup Extreme team for fostering a sense of excitement and collaboration in Norway´s startup scene. We had an extremely good time!