Tucked away in the middle of Norway is a town called “Trondheim”. It is probably the best student town in Norway. The town is home to one of Norway’s most popular University – NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology). Among the many things that take place at this vibrant town of Trondheim, is an event called Technoport. Annually, it brings together people interested in innovation from various walks of life – researchers, technologists, policymakers, politicians, innovators and corporations. Tommy and I represented Nord University Business School (https://www.nord.no/en) at the annual Technoport 2019 conference.This was my first visit to this wonderful event: https://conference.technoport.no/
The day started with a breakfast discussion on Innovation. Two politicians, a central bank leader and Prof. Mariana Mazzucato (https://marianamazzucato.com/) discussed numerous views on the future of innovation for the world. It was wonderful to see how politicians and policymakers embraced new ideas and explored possibilities for Norway’s future as well as the world. The group set the stage for a wonderful day of deliberations around innovation. Prof Mazzucato’s remarks on the difference between value-creating and value-extracting innovations were insightful. I had recently read her latest book titled “The value of everything” which details this argument in detail. Since I had enjoyed this great book, the deliberations and ideas were doubly interesting.
I was also happy to meet Prof Timo Vuori of Aalto University. I am a fan of his paper in the Administrative Science Quarterly on Nokia. He elaborated on his research regarding the role of emotions in innovation. As a scholar of corporate innovation, it was a real treat meeting him.
The day rounded off for me with a session on a topic close to my heart – Corporate Accelerators. Audun from Techstars Energy Accelerator led a wonderful program with executives from Equinor and Kongsberg. It was great to participate in discussions around a topic I closely research and write about. Our brief interaction after the session was interesting. We hope to contribute to the larger understanding of corporate accelerators through our interactions and potential collaborations. The Techstars Energy Accelerator is open for applications to its 2019 cohort: https://www.techstars.equinor.com/ (Entrepreneurs interested in scaling their startups should check if they are eligible and try getting in. Caution: It is highly competitive and rewarding.)
I left the event making new friends and gaining fresh insights. If the schedule suits, I will definitely be there for the next edition too.