Startup Westfjords 2020 - Startup decelerator at the Blue Bank

Slow Down to Start Up


Startup Westfjords is the Blue Bank’s innovation decelerator for entrepreneurs and creators who dare to venture in a different direction. It's a self-directed program for startups, teams and individuals with innovative projects in all stages, hosted in the Westfjords of Iceland.

October 12th - 18th, 2020.
Up to 12 participants will be selected.

Apply now!
until August 31st


With financial support from Vestfjarðastofa and Öll vötn til Dýrafjarðar.

Start up for a changed world


This is the theme for the 2020 edition: we are looking for projects that offer innovative solutions to the unique new challenges that we are facing in technology, communication and social interactions, with a particular eye on their sustainability.

Startup Westfjords is a program aimed at entrepreneurs who wish to develop their projects in a stress-free, relaxed and inspiring environment. It connects them with experienced mentors and provides the space to work, think and focus far from the fast rhythm of everyday life.

Spend one week (or more—see below) in the Wesfjords of Iceland, hosted by the coworking/innovation centre Blue Bank. Startup companies, teams and individuals can apply. Up to 12 participants will be selected to participate in the program. Mentorship and accommodation are free.

Who is it for?


Startups, individuals with ideas, organisations, companies or anyone working on an innovative project can apply. In particular we are looking for people who are open to new experiences, self-motivated and self-driven, and willing to share a nice community vibe in our little village. You can join as a team or as an individual.

What do I get?


If you are selected for the program, you will be hosted at the Blue Bank, the innovation hub and coworking space in Thingeyri. We will be visited by inspiring and experienced mentors who will help you move your project forward. You will get a chance to connect to yourself, the environment and fellow participants in a unique setting.

What is it not?


We are a small village of 250 people in a remote area of Iceland, that has become a destination for digital nomads and creatives of all sorts. We love welcoming innovative people and hosting them. However, we are not able to invest cash into your project. This is also not a full-time program, so you need to be self-driven and make the most of your experience.

Wait, shouldn't it be "accelerator"?


“Startup accelerator” is the name that everyone is familiar with on the startup scene. But here lies the idea behind the program: our “decelerator” offers the rare opportunity to slow down, disconnect from everyday work life, gain mental clarity and focus on your project.



Apply now!

Activities and self-organized work


Over the whole week, there will be presentations by the mentors in the mornings, followed by one-on-one interactions with them in the afternoons to discuss your projects.

After the end of the decelerator, you can choose to prolong your stay in Thingeyri and at the Blue Bank (*) to focus on what you learnt and work on your own project.

(*) Accommodation after October 18th not included in the program. Participants can work for free at the Blue Bank until October 25th.

What is it like?


A deeper level

“While accelerators teach us to launch, grow, and even fail fast, finding a decelerator that shifts the focus to slowing down while starting up is a breath of fresh air.”Thorunn Jónsdóttir,
Poppins & Partners, 2019 mentor

Your inner clock

“An invaluable opportunity to recalibrate your inner clock and regain focus on what truly matters in the big picture of your project .”Claudio Pedica,
FluidShape, 2019 participant

A good recipe

“Take a bunch of creative souls, dip them in a hot pool, cool them down in an ice bucket and sit them down around a table in a bank over and over again—this sounds to me as a good recipe for innovative talks.”Jakub Baloun,
aFlow, 2019 participant

2020 Mentors


Below are the mentors for this year's program

Huld Magnúsdóttir

New Business Venture Fund

CEO of the New Business Venture Fund since 2017. Previously the director of the State Social Security Institute in 2015-2016, director of the Service and Knowledge Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired from 2009 to 2017, and manager at Össur for 15 years.

Helgi Rúnar Óskarsson

66° North

CEO of 66° North since 2011. Previously the founder and manager of several companies, and the director of Human Resources at Glitnir Bank. Under his leadership 66° North has grown to be a player on the international market.

Ásta Kristín Sigurjónsdóttir

Iceland Tourism Cluster

CEO of the Iceland Tourism Cluster since 2016. She has worked as business advisor for a national bank, manager for development and innovation for the Development Centre of East Iceland, and now manages the Tourism Cluster on a national level.

G. Fertram Sigurjónsson

Kerecis

Founder and CEO of Kerecis, the company using fish skin to treat human wounds. Forging an important connection between science, technology and knowledge with economic growth. Winner of Icelandic Innovation Award 2018, now with a strong presence in the US market.

Stefán Þór Helgason

KPMG

Member of the Advisory team of KPMG in Iceland, specializing in innovation and entrepreneurial support. Prior to joining KPMG, Stefán was a project manager at Icelandic Startups, supervising programs such as Gulleggið, Startup Reykjavík and Startup Energy Reykjavík.

Þórarinn Bjartur Breiðfjörð Gunnarsson

Fab Lab Ísafjörður

Specialist in prototyping and digital manufacturing. Manager of Fab Lab Ísafjörður, a fully equipped prototyping workshop with 3d printers, CNC machines, laser cutters, etc.

Schedule

(Schedule and program still subject to change)


There will be a welcome dinner for participants on Sunday, October 11th.

The program starts on the morning of Monday, October 12th.

Each morning there will be a presentation from a different mentor; in the afternoon you will have a chance to meet mentors one-on-one to discusss your own project.

On Saturday, October 17th, a final session will wrap up the official program.

On Sunday, October 18th, farewell for participants leaving Thingeyri, (optional) lunch and activities for remaining participants.

Activities and meetings with the local community will be organised for the participants during the week.

Apply now for Startup Wesfjords!

Applications for our innovation decelerator close on August 31st.

For questions, contact us at info@blabankinn.is

Apply now!

The host



The Blue bank is a coworking space and an ideas incubator. Located in Thingeyri, a traditional fishing village in the heart of the Westfjords region of Iceland.

400km by car from Reykjavík or 40min by air via Ísafjörður airport, visiting the Blue bank is an adventure in itself.

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Proudly sponsored by



Westfjords development fund, managed by Westfjords Regional Development office.

Vestfjarðastofa
Öll vötn til Dýrafjarðar

High-quality, innovative outdoor clothing designed to withstand the ever-changing Icelandic weather.

Fish-skin wound treatment from the pure waters of Iceland. Icelandic innovation awards 2018.

Arctic Fish is farming salmon in the pristine environment and conditions of the Westfjords.

KPMG professionals are leaders in the digital world, making a difference in more than 150 countries.