Startup Iceland Entrepreneur Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland from June 1-4, 2013, to Focus on Building Antifragile Startup Ecosystems

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Iceland’s most exciting startups are joined by thought leaders from the Foundry Group, Union Square Ventures, Portland Seed Fund and the Kauffman Foundation to share insights on creating a dynamic environment for innovation.

Startup Iceland Entrepreneur Conference

Startup companies have sparked economic growth in Iceland,” said Startup Iceland Founder Bala Kamallakharan. “Startup Iceland gives entrepreneurs throughout the world the tools necessary to positively impact their community."

The second annual Startup Iceland international entrepreneurs’ conference will take place in Reykjavik on June 1-4, 2013 and showcase the best and most exciting startups in Iceland today. President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and US Ambassador Luis E. Arreaga will open the conference. Thought leaders Brad Burnham (Union Square Ventures), Cindy Gallop (, Jason Mendelson and Ryan McIntyre (Foundry Group), Rebeca Hwang (YouNoodle), Shira Lazar and Damon Berger (What’s Trending), Matt Wilson (Under30Media) and Nicholas Nassim Taleb (Author "The Black Swan and Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder") are among the International presenters at this year’s event. Icelandic entrepreneurs Dr. Thor Sigfusson, Helga Waage, Vala Halldorsdottir and Sesselja Vilhjalmsdottir will also speak. The 4-day conference will focus on building antifragile startup ecosystems throughout the world and include three major events—a 2-day Hackathon, Unconference-style breakout sessions and a day of compelling talks presented by entrepreneurial leaders in Iceland and from around the globe.

“Entrepreneurs are the most valuable builders and creators in their communities. Startup companies have sparked economic growth in Iceland while fostering innovation and creating jobs that facilitate economic well being,” said Startup Iceland Founder Bala Kamallakharan. “Startup Iceland gives entrepreneurs throughout the world the tools necessary to positively impact their community. We accomplish this by bringing together a diverse program of speakers and participants to discuss, create and implement strategies that promote economic growth.“

In addition to the international keynote speakers, Startup Iceland will feature the key innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who are driving Iceland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem forward.

The first two days of Startup Iceland will consist of a hackathon, taking place at the University of Reykjavik, where teams of talented people come together to hack compelling solutions, which at the end of the event will have the potential to be a business. The winner of the Startup Iceland hackathon will be voted on by conference participants and announced at the end of the last day’s discussions.

Day 3 is the Startup Iceland Unconference with breakout sessions on specific industries and disciplines determined by the participants as it relates to Entrepreneurship, Startup Ecosystems and Value Creation. The fourth and final day will feature presentations and discussions from key influencers within Iceland and from Startup Communities around the world to take place at the award-winning Harpa Conference and Events center.

Who should attend and Why?

Entrepreneurs, startup founders, senior executives, venture fund managers, pension fund managers, angel investors, financial institutions, government agencies, business journalists, students and anyone involved in the business of value creation should attend Startup Iceland.

Participants represent startup communities from Iceland, the US, Canada, Europe, the UK, Asia, Scandinavia and South Africa. Startup Iceland will ask important questions and elicit discussions on how to harness local capital, develop a policy framework and capitalize on the collective strengths of the community to foster a sustainable and resilient ecosystem that embraces, encourages and celebrates entrepreneurship. Attendees will learn strategies that can be applied in their own businesses and communities here in Iceland and abroad.

Confirmed speakers include: President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and US Ambassador Luis E. Arreaga; Brad Burnham, Founder, Union Square Ventures; Damon Berger, Co-founder and CEO, What’s Trending; Cindy Gallop, Founder, IfWeRanTheWorld and; Vala Halldorsdottir, Co-creator, The Startup Kids; Rebeca Hwang, CEO, YouNoodle; Angela Jackson, Managing Director, Portland Seed Fund; Joshua Kauffman, Principal Collaborator, Qualified Self movement; Shira Lazar, Host and Executive Producer, What’s Trending; Jason Mendelson, Co-founder and Managing Director, Foundry Group; Ryan McIntyre, VC, Foundry Group; Noah Ross, Partner and Executive Creative Director, Launchpad Advertising, John Sechrest, Seattle Angel Conference; Dr. Thor Sigfusson, Founder, Iceland Ocean Cluster; Nicholas Nassim Taleb, Author, "The Black Swan" and "Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder"; Alex Torrenegra, Founder, VoiceBunny; Sesselja Vilhjalmsdottir, Co-creator, The Startup Kids; Helga Waage, Co-founder Mobilitus; Melanie Weinberger, Founder and CEO, Fit Steady; Matt Wilson, Co-founder, Under30Media; and Ted Zoller, Senior Fellow, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;

Tickets and information:

Special thanks to Startup Iceland sponsors: Icelandair, Síminn, The US Embassy of Iceland, NASDAQ OMX, Deloitte, Nýsköpunarsjóður, GreenQloud, WEDO, Eyrir Invest, Ölgerðin, Frumtak


Founded by investor Bala Kamallakharan, and a grassroots group from the Icelandic startup scene in 2012, the Startup Iceland Conference (#startupISK) brings together leaders from Iceland, the global community of entrepreneurs, enterprise business and government to discuss and create solutions to promote resilient startup communities throughout the world and foster economic growth.

The conference is a 4-day event that includes a hackathon, Unconference breakout sessions, and single track conference presentations by leaders from startup communities throughout the world as well as several conference-adjacent networking and business development opportunities. For more information, please visit

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Paula Gould
Startup Iceland
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