The Minister of Local Government and Modernisation, Jan Tore Sanner, had 2 hours of spare time in Trondheim. What better way to spend this time than in the premises of the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship?
NTNU School of Entrepreneurship (NSE) is a two-year master degree program at NTNU. NSE is one of Engage’s five partners. The aim is to educate the best business developers in the world. Over three semesters, the students work in teams to develop a business idea to commercial success.
Meetings with seven selected startups from the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship was on the agenda. The time schedule was tight in order to show the range of what they are doing at NSE. The day turned out to be a playful time for the minister.
A successful approach to learning entrepreneurship
The day started off with an introduction to Engage and NTNU School of Entrepreneurship. Coordinator and lecturer at NSE, Even Haug Larsen, thinks it is important that the minister responsible for modernisation in Norway is aware of the work done by NSE.
– We think we do something right here at NTNU School of Entrepreneurship. Everything needs to be modernised, also the educational sector and the universities. The NTNU School of Entrepreneurship is something unique. We develop innovative mindsets by combining academic background with a very practical approach, he stated.
The minister was informed about the search process of NSE. The program is highly competitive with a class consisting of only 35 students. Applicants needs to account for their entrepreneurial motivation in their pursuit of being selected. The minister asked many questions and seemed impressed by the master program. Evidently, there is no reason not to be impressed: Approximately half of the students continue working in their startup after graduation.
Solutions for the future Norway
NSE definitely works with solutions for the future. Seven promising startups from NSE got the opportunity to show their product to the minister. The startup Easy Intervals gave the minister the first physical challenge of the day: A small workout session on their new spin bike. The product appealed to the minister.
– It was great fun trying out the new spin bike, because it was all about working out to achieve good health. Their secret is that maximal good health can be achieved by working out three times a week for only ten to twelve minutes. I think they really got something for busy ministers, he said.
The range of the presented products was wide. The startup Exero develops sport equipment to people with disabilities. ALVA Industries aims at producing light-weight electrical motors, which will be perfect for the minister’s electrical car. Wiral were in an ongoing Kickstarter campaign. They were able to explain the minister how Kickstarter can help startups realize their ideas. The startups were mostly devoted to welfare products, which the minister addressed as assuring.
– I think the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship makes a right choice with many of the students targeting the area of welfare. The challenges within welfare are growing. We need innovation in the welfare sector.
Pleased students and a pleased minister
The minister ended up leaving the premises of NSE seemingly pleased. He stated that he always leaves NTNU as an enthusiast, and that the interdisciplinary sharing of knowledge that goes on here is essential to solve the challenges ahead. He had only warm words to say about NTNU School of Entrepreneurship.
– This must be one of the most exciting places in the country. These young people solve problems for people. I am sure that we will see many of the products developed here again in different contexts. Not at least the students. They are change students for the future.
The students of NSE was also happy with the visit. In the startup Easy Interval, that originates from NSE, Håkon Krogh is a Co-CEO. He finds Jan Tore Sanner’s visit cool because it shows that those in control of our country are interested in entrepreneurship.
– I believe that him visiting today implies that he thinks entrepreneurship is exciting. It is really nice to see that the people on the top thinks of us. For the years to come, maybe they will facilitate success for us and other startup companies, by helping us through legislations.