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Green light for new Nordic incubator in New York

The Nordic Innovation House in New York will open on Manhattan. Photo: Colourbox
  • Published 13/02/2017
  • Last updated 13/02/2017
Nordic Innovation House in New York City, a soft landing incubator, will help the most promising early stage Nordic startups access the American market fast and easily.


Building on the success of the Nordic Innovation House in Silicon Valley, government agencies from all the five Nordic countries have joined forces to open the soft landing incubator Nordic Innovation House in New York City.


By providing a co-working office space and access to legal advice and help with accounting, tax and work permits, the Nordic Innovation House in New York City is an attempt to give the most promising Nordic companies a soft landing on the US east coast. The startup ecosystem here is somewhat different than in Silicon Valley, and the incubator will give opportunities for a more diverse group of Nordic startups.


"This is a good example of Nordic cooperation in practice! I've been to New York myself and experienced its culture of entrepreneurship through the meetings I’ve had with entrepreneurs and startups there”, says Ms. Monica Mæland, Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, who thinks the incubator will be welcomed by ambitious Nordic entrepreneurs.


 “A Nordic innovation house will help pave the way for Norwegian startups, both established ones and those with high ambitions. Small Norwegian communities can reap great benefits by cooperating with their Nordic colleagues when entering the big American market", says Ms. Mæland.



For ambitious startups

The incubator is meant to be a service for early stage Nordic companies with the high potential for international growth and success. They need to see the US market as a good target market for their products and services, be ready to go global, tackle international markets and competition.


The Nordic Innovation House will be located on Manhattan and initially have ten desks. There will be two dedicated desks per country, and a flexible plan to utilise other countries’ desks if they are not filled.


The companies will be selected based on a given set of criteria which are equal for all countries. Each country qualifies their own companies. The selection is done on a country by country basis, and approved by the working group together with the Program Director.



A strong Nordic initiative

A strong consortium consisting of government agencies working with innovation and business from all five Nordic countries had been developing the project for some time, before the Nordic Innovation board gave green light for financing it in December 2016. The project aligns well with previously Nordic Innovation funded US initiatives like the Nordic Innovation House in Silicon Valley.


The Nordic Innovation House aims to start operations gradually in the beginning of 2017, and open with full service in spring 2017. It will initially be run as a three-year pilot project before becoming a self-sustained enterprise.


Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, is pleased to see that Nordic cooperation can lead to concrete examples of initiatives that will enable Nordic companies to go abroad and contribute to sustainable growth in the Nordic countries.


 “I am very happy that we are strengthening the Nordic business cooperation with the Nordic Innovation House in New York City. It is an important step towards ensuring that Nordic startups can get the best possibilities for access and success in USA. By building a solid common Nordic platform for entrepreneurs and startups, new doors open for closer cooperation and not at least an incredible opportunity for the Nordic countries to grow stronger together”, says Mr. Høybråten. 



Innovation Norway is coordinating the project in partnership with the Consulate General of Norway and NACC (Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce). The following organisations are project partners:

  • Swedish Consulate General in partnership with Business Sweden and Team Sweden
  • Innovation Center Denmark
  • Finnish Consulate General in partnership with Team Finland (FinPro and Tekes)
  • Innovation Center Iceland in partnership with the Consulate General of Iceland and Promote Iceland



 U.S. work authorization