The history of Seed Forum

Seed Forum originates from the first local Campus Kjeller Seed Forum in Norway in 2001, and has since then grown from a local process in Norway to a global network and organisation with activitites on all continents. A continuous evolvement of Seed Forum as a best practice since 2001 is emphasizing the need of a strong cross-boarder financial market place to access private equity funding for start-ups and SMEs. Seed Forum is recognised as an export process from the Norwegian innovation system and is after 15 years of existence annually bringing a great amount of investor ready born global companies to pitch to investors locally, nationally and overseas. The process has created a tremendous activity and enormous amount of investor leads for companies and investors.

 

The born global trend means that start-ups are also seeking equity investment from investors cross boarders, and many companies are also pitching in Seed Forums overseas as a part of a strategy to access new markets. When investors are investing into overseas companies they also often open their own network to bring the company into their market. This also proves that private equity investment is an important tool for many companies to access new markets. 

 

Seed Forum has created spin-off concepts such as the iHUB accelerator concept, the establihsment of Business Angel Networks, tools for coimmercialisation of technologies and young entrepreneurhip training. Seed Forum is currently growing into a complete innovation system in more and more countries with activities beyond the original Seed Forum process. Seed Forum is currently the main tool and a model for regional development and the establishment of regional and national innovation systems in many countries.

 

Historic highlights

Spring 2002

  • 1st Seed Forum London presenting companies from the Campus Kjeller Science Park in Norway in Trinity House in the CIty of London

Autumn 2002

  • 2nd Seed Forum London presenting companies from the Oslo area

Spring 2003

  • 3rd Seed Forum London presenting companies from all Norway in "Haraldssalen" in the Inn & Out Club in St. James 
  • Seed Forum Norway Entrepreneurs network is established
  • Seed Forum Norway Foundation is established
  • 1st Seed Forum Oslo in cooperation with Venture Lab

Spring 2004

  • 1st Seed Forum Moscow
  • 1st local Seed Forum in Kongsberg in Norway
  • 1st local Seed Forum in Oslo
  • 1st Seed Forum “Innlandet” at Gjøvik
  • Seed Forum International Foundation is established in London

Autumn 2004

  • 1st Seed Forum New York City
  • Seed Forum Iceland Foundation (Sprotathing Iceland) is established

Spring 2005 

  • 1st Seed Forum Reykjavik
  • 1st Seed Forum Bodø
  • Seed Forum International Foundation taking responsibility for all international Seed Forum processes
  • Seed Forum Norway Foundation moves to new premises in the IT Fornebu Science Park in Oslo

Autumn 2005

  • Seed Forum Norway Entrepreneurs network is transferred into the Seed Forum International Entrepreneurs network working out of London
  • The President of Iceland gives the opening remarks at the 2nd Seed Forum Reykjavik
  • The President of Iceland participates in Seed Forum New York City
  • Seed Forum London is hosted for the first time in The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Previous Lord Mayor of the City of London Sir Robert Finch gives the opening remarks.
  • 1st Seed Forum in Stockholm
  • The Lord Major of the City of London is mentioning Seed Forum as a major collaboration between Norway and the UK during his welcoming speech to the King & Queen of Norway in the official dinner in Guildhall

Spring 2006

  • First Seed Forum Trondheim
  • Conclusion of collaboration between the Seed Forum Norway Foundation and Innovation Norway regarding all local processes in Norway
  • Seed Forum London is organized in Mansion House and the Lord Mayor of the City of London gives the opening remarks
  • 1st Seed Forum Helsinki
  • 1st Seed Forum Tallinn
  • 1st Seed Forum Shanghai
  • 1st local Seed Forum in Karlstad, Sweden
  • The President of Iceland introduces the Seed Forum concept at Bessastadir in Iceland to the President of Nippon Keidanden – the Japanese Federation of Industries

Autumn 2006

  • 1st Seed Forum Warsaw. The Deputy Minister of Economy of Poland, Mr. Andrzey, Kaczmarek, gives the opening remarks.
  • 1st Seed Forum Minneapolis
  • 1st Seed Forum Beijing
  • 1st Seed Forum San Francisco (Palo Alto in Silicon Valley)

Spring 2007

  • Previous Sherriff of the City of London, Mr. Geoffrey Bond, gives the opening remarks in Seed Forum London
  • A national collaboration agreement for Norway is concluded between the Seed Forum Norway Foundation and the DNB bank 
  • 1st Seed Forum Copenhagen – Seed Forum is from now a complete Nordic Region process with forums in all Nordic Region capitals

Autumn 2007

  • Previous Sherriff of the City of London: Mr. Nick Anstee, gives the opening remarks at Seed Forum London
  • 1st local Seed Forum in Tromsø, Norway

Spring 2008

  • Seed Forum Estonia Foundation is established
  • Seed Forum Poland Foundation is established
  • Seed Forum Latvia Foundation is established
  • Innovation Norway completes a national evaluation of Seed Forum in Norway with very positive results
  • Seed Forum London is hosted for the first time at the London Stock Exchange Previous Lord Mayor of the City of London, Sir John Stuttard, gives the opening remarks
  • 1st Seed Forum Riga
  • 1st Seed Forum Kyiv
  • 1st Seed Forum Madrid

Autumn 2008

  • 1st Seed Forum Hamburg
  • 1st pitch training in Kyiv
  • The Mayor of Tallinn, Mr. Toomas Vitsoot, is the host of the Seed Forum Tallinn evening reception in the Medieval City Hall in Tallinn

Spring 2009

  • 1st pitch training in Copenhagen
  • 1st pitch training in Stockholm
  • 1st pitch training in Riga
  • 1st pitch training in Tallinn
  • 1st pitch training in Reykjavik
  • 1st Seed Forum Ålesund
  • Seed Forum Norway Foundation is the coordinator of the official visit to Norway of the President of the State Agency of Ukraine for Innovations and Investments, Mr. Victor Ivchenko

Autumn 2009

  • The Norwegian Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Trond Giske, gives the opening remarks at Seed Forum Oslo (Vekstforum)
  • The Chairman of the Singapore Venture Capital Association, Mr. Eugene Wong, gives the opening remarks at Seed Forum Singapore
  • The Deputy Mayor of the City of Kyiv, Mrs. Ludmilla Denitsiok, gives the opening remarks at Seed forum Kyiv
  • 1st Seed Forum pitch training at the first Commercialization Reactor in Riga

Spring 2010

  • Seed Forum Lithuania Foundation is established
  • The Ukrainian Vice Minister of Education, Mr. Victor Ivchenko, opens Seed Forum in Kyiv
  • 1st pitch training in Vilnius
  • Seed Forum Oslo and Seed Forum Trondheim co-organized with the DnB Bank Innovation Award
  • 1st Seed Forum in Vilnius
  • The president of LIAA, Mr. Andris Ozols, gives the opening remarks at Seed Forum Riga

Autumn 2010

  • Seed Forum Norway Foundation moves to new premises in Asker
  • A renewed cooperation agreement is concluded between the Seed Forum Norway Foundation and the DNB bank 
  • 1st Seed forum global partner meeting in London
  • Seed Forum Eastern Europe Foundation is established with responsibility to conduct the Seed Forum Process in the post-Soviet region
  • 1st local Seed Forum in Steinkjer in Norway
  • The Mayor of Trondheim, Mrs. Rita Otervik, gives the opening remarks at Seed Forum Hamburg
  • 1st local Seed Forum in Kharkiv in Ukraine

Spring 2011

  • Mr. Yuriy Boldyrev, Chairman of Sub Commission of finance of the Ukrainian Parliament opens Seed Forum Kyiv
  • A national cooperation agreement is concluded between Seed Forum Norway and PwC
  • 1st Seed Forum in Dubai
  • 1st regional pitch training in Estonia in Tartu
  • 1st regional pitch training in Latvia in Ventspils
  • 1st regional pitch training in Lithuania in Kaunas
  • 1st local Seed Forum in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine
  • 1st local pitch training and Seed Forum in Drammen in Norway
  • 1st pitch training in Malmô
  • 1st Seed Forum in Malmô hosted by Swedbank

Autumn 2011

  • Establishment of the Seed Forum Ukraine Foundation
  • Seed Forum is the coordinator of the official visit to Norway of the Secretary General of the Ukrainian Parliament to Norway
  • Conclusion of the Seed Forum Interreg Home-Team Market project for the Central Baltic Area
  • 1st pitch training in Valmiera, Latvia
  • 1st pitch training in Pârnu. Estonia
  • 1st pitch training in Klaipeda, Lithuania
  • 1st Seed Forum in Abu Dhabi hosted at the Emirate Palace Hotel 
  • Seed Forum London conducted in the Butcher`s Livery Hall in the City of London. Previous Lord Mayor of the City of London Sir Robert Finch gives the opening remarks.
  • Bilateral Letter of Intent of cooperation signed between SIVA (the Industrial Corporation of Norway) and the Seed Forum Ukraine Foundation

 Spring 2012

  • 1st pitch training in Liepaja
  • 1st pitch training in Moscow
  • Skolkovo is confirmed as the Seed Forum partner in Russia
  • Seed Forum Helsinki is hosted first time in the Nordea Old Banking Hall
  • Seed Forum Vilnius is hosted first time in the premises of Swedbank 
  • The President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimson, gives the opening remarks for the 2nd time at Seed Forum Reykjavik.
  • The CEO of Argentum Mr. Joachm Höegh-Krohn gives the main key-note in Seed Forum Reykjavik. 
  • The opening remarks of Seed Forum London was given by previous Lord Mayor, Alderman Nick Anstee
  • 1st pitch training in Dubai hosted at the Dubai Silocon Oasis 

  • 1st pitch training in Singapore 
  • 1st pitch training in Shanghai 
  • 1st Seed Forum in Manila

Autumn 2012

  • Seed Forum London hosted in the Wax Chandlers Hall, and the opening remarks was given by Alderman Fiona Wulff
  • The opening remarks of Seed Forum Riga was given by the Minister of Economy of Latvia, Mr. Daniels Pavljuts 
  • Opening of the first Seed Forum IHUB in Kyiv
  • CEO of Investinor, Mr. Geir-Ove Kjesby gives the main key-note in Seed Forum Reykjavik
  • Seed Forum Moscow hosted at the Skolkovo Hypercube as an internal part of the 5th Russian Innovation Convention with opening greeting by President Vladimir Putin

Spring 2013

  • Establishment of Seed Forum Academy in London 
  • The Minister of Economy of Estonia, Mr. Juhan Parts, opens Seed Forum Tallinn
  • 1st Seed Forum in Sarajevo in the Central Bank of Bosnia-Herzegovina opened by the President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Bakir Izetbegovich  
  • 1st pitch training in Jakarta
  • Establihsment of the Seed Forum Singapore Foundation
  • Launch of the Seed Forum Global Business Angel Network in London
  • Launch of the Seed Forum Norway Business Angel Network
  • The Vice President of SIVA (The Industrial Corporation of Norway). Mr.Totkel Ystgaard, gives the main key-note in Seed Forum Reykjavik  

Autumn 2013

  • 2nd Seed Forum Sarajevo hosted in the main assembly hall of the Parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina 
  • Seed Forum London is hosted in the Plaisterers Liverly Hall 
  • 1st pitch training in Kirkenes, Norway 
  • 1st pitch training in Ankara 
  • 1st Seed Forum Ankara as an integral part of the official program for the State Visit of the King & Queen of Norway to Turkey. Seed Forum Ankara is opened by the President of Innovation Norway, Ms. Gunn Ovesen  
  • Seed Forum Vilnius is opened by the former President of Lithuania, Mr. Valdas Adamkus
  • 1st regional pitch training in Russia in Astrakhan 
  • Seed Forum is the organiser of the official visit of the Head of the Ukrainian Financial Securities Authorihies, Mr. Boris VIzirov, to Norway  
  • Bilateral Letter of Intent of cooperation signed between The Norwegian Gouverment Investment Fund Argentum and Seed Forum Ukraine 
  • Seed Forum Oslo is opened by Vice Mayor Hallstein Bjerche, and the main key-note speaker in Seed Forum Oslo is the VIce-.President of the Russian Venture Company, Mr. Alexander Potapov 
  • Seed Forum Reykjavik is opened by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Ms Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir 
  • Mr. Patrik Bakman, founder of MySQL,is the main key-note speaker in Seed Forum Kyiv
  • Mr. Terje Mikaelsen, grand man in Norwegain Venture Captial, is the main key-note speaker in Seed Forum New York 
  • 1st Seed Forum Exclusive in Stockholm hosted by Carnegie 
  • Seed Forum Moscow is conducted in API in Digital October  
  • 1st pitch training in Tel Aviv
  • 1st Seed Forum in Tel Aviv 

Spring  2014

  • Establishment of the Seed Forum North-America Foundation
  • 1st pitch training in Bangkok
  • 1st Seed Forum in Bangkok hosted at the Sasin Graduate Institute of the Gualalonchorn University  
  • 1st pitch training in Belgrade hosted by PwC
  • 1st Seed Forum in Belgrade hosted in the National Bank of Serbia  
  • 1st Seed Forum Barents in Murmansk 
  • 1st regional pitch training in Russia in Kazan
  • 1st regional pitch training in Russia in Kemerovo in Siberia
  • 1st regional pitch training in Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East
  • Seed Forum Oslo is opened by the Major of Oslo, Mr. Fabian Stang 
  • Establihsment of the Seed Forum Serbia Foundation 
  • SIgning of cooperation protocoll with the Ukrainian Parliament, Verhovna Rada, co-signed by the Ambassador of Norway and overlooked by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affars, Mr. Børge Brende 
  • Signing of cooperation protocoll with the Guvernor of Odessa, Mr. Igor Palytsia
  • Seed Forum Minneapolis is an integrated part of the offical program in the US MId-West for the 200 anniversary of celebration of the Norwegian Constitution 
  • Seed Forum London in EBRD is opened by Alderman Jeffrey Evans 
  • Seed Forum New York hosted first time by Anchin & Anchin at Broadway

Autumn  2014

  • 1st pitch training in Tirana 
  • 1st Seed Forum in Tirana opened by the Albanian Deputy Minister of Economy Ms Brunilda Paskali 
  • 1st pitch training in Pristina
  • 1st Seed Forum in Pristina 
  • Launching the Seed Forum Start program in Ukraine in Lviv and Odessa
  • Seed Forum Moscow hosted at the Moscow Stock Exchange 
  • Seed Forum Tallinn is opened by the Norwegian Vice Prime Minister, Mr. Vidar Helgesen
  • Seed Forum Kyiv is an integraded part of the program of the official visits of the Norwegian Prime Minister, Mrs Erna Solberg, fo Ukraine 
  • Re-opening of Seed Forum IHUB Kyiv in new bigger premises   
  • Signing cooperation protocoll on the initiative of Seed Forum regarding export of eGoverment and cyber security competence from Norway to Ukraine between leading partners in the two countries  
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperation and Public-Private Partnership Agreement with the Major of Lviv, M. Andrij Sadovij 
  • Seed Forum London hosted in Digital Greewich  
  • Seed Forum Moscow hosted for the first time at the Moscow Stock Exchange

Spring  2015

  • Seed Forum is confirmed a global pro-bono partner of DLA Piper 
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperation and Public-Private-Partnership Agreement with the Major of Vinnitsa, Mr. Sergiy Morgunov  
  • 1st pitch training in Australia in Adelaide
  • 1st Seed Forum in Australia in Adelaide hosted at the New Venture Institute of the Flinders University  
  • Launchng of the Seed Forum revenue split model and the strategy for the Seed Forum Global Innovation System for funding of companies 
  • Seed Forum London hosted in the Pewterer`s Hall in the City of London
  • 1st Seed Forum iHUB Ring in Kyiv
  • 1st Seed Forum Odessa
  • 1st Seed Forum Lviv
  • 1st pitch training in Chisinau, Moldova  
  • 1st Seed Forum Chsinau opened by Deputy Primie Mininster, Stephan Bride
  • Grand opening of Seed Forum iHUB Chrenihiv
  • 1st pitch training in Yangon. Myanmar

Autumn 2015

  • Establishment of the Seed Forum Sweden Foundation
  • Establihsment of the Seed Forum FInland Foundation
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperation and Private-Public Partnership agreement wih the Mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperatiion with the Vice-President of the Ukrainian Academy of Science, Mr. Serhii Pyrozhkov  
  • Signig cooperatiion protocoll with the President of the Academy of Science of Moldova, Mr. Georghe Duca
  • Seed Forum Kyiv first time hosted at the International Institute of the Taras Shevchenko Univeristy of Kyiv (KIMO), and a cooperation agreement is signed with the General Director of KIMO, Mr. Valerii Kopika
  • Signing cooperation protocoll with the President of the Student Society of Kyiv
  • Grand Opening of Seed Foruom iHUB Lviv by Major Andrii Sadovy
  • Grand Opening of Seed Forum iHUB Vinnitsa by Major Sergey Morgunov
  • Seed Forum Tallinn for the first time hosted by Swedbank is opened by the former Vice-President of the European Union and the former Prime Minister of Estonia, Mr. Siim Kallas
  • Seed Forum Oslo opened by the Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Elsbeth Tronstad
  • Seed Forum Stockholm opened by Member of Parliament, Penilla Gunther
  • Seed Forum Riga for the first time hosted by Swedbank
  • Signing cooperation protocoll with the Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitchko
  • Signing cooperation protocoll with the Vice-Mayor of Kharkiv
  • 1st pitch training in Rio de Janeiro
  • 1st Seed Forum Rio de Janeiro in Sofitel as a part of the program of the offical visit of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway to Brazil. Seed Forum is opened by the Chairman of Innovation Norway, Mr. Per Otto Dyb
  • 1st pitch training in Tbilisi in Geolab
  • 1st Seed Forum Tbilisi in the National Library
  • Signing cooperation protocoll with Georgia`s Innovation and Technology Agency
  • 1st Seed Forum pitch training in Almaty, Kaxakhstan
  • Seed Forum Stockholm hosted at the Carnegie Investment Bank for the first time

Spring 2016

  • Establihsment of the Seed Fourm Moldova Foundation
  • Establihsment of the Seed Forum Geoergia Foundation  
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperation and Public-Priate-Partnership agreement with the Univeristy of Georgia to establish iHUB in Tbilisi
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperation and Public-Private-Partnership agreement with the University of Technology of Moldova to establish iHUB in Chisinau
  • Signing of Public-Private-Partnership agreement with the University of Georgia to establish IHUB in Tbilisi
  • 1st Seed Forum Chernigiv, Ukriane   
  • 1st Seed Forum iHUB RIng in Lviv
  • 1st Seed Forum pitch training in Lviv
  • Seed Forum Chisinau is opened by the Deputy Primie Minsiter and Minister of Economy of Moldova, Mr. Octavian Calmiac
  • 1st pitch training in Milan, Italy
  • 1st Seed Forum in Milan in presence of King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway as a part or the State Visit to Italy
  • Grand opening of iHUB Tbilisi by the Head Adisor to the President of Georgia, Maia Melikidze
  • 1st Seed Forum Brussels, Belgium
  • Signing of MoU with the Governor of Gagauzia in Moldova, Irina Vlah   

Autumn 2016

  • Seed Forum Helsinki at Vanha Satama as a part of the program of the State Visit of the King & Queen of Norway to Finland. Seed Forum is opened by the CEO of Innovation Norway, Anita Krohn Traaseth
  • 1st pitch traiing in Minsk, Belarus
  • 1st Seed Forum in Minsk, Belarus   
  • Grand opening of iHUB Chisinau by the Deputy Minister of Economy oif Moldova Mr. VItalie Iurcu       
  • Seed Forum Lviv opened by Mayor Andrij Sadoviy and Member of the Norwegain Parliament Jörun Rytman  
  • Biggest pitch training ever in Norway for DNB NXT with more than 100 start-ups
  • 1st Seed Forum pitch training in Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  • Seed Forum has conducted more than 300 international Seed Forums in more than 30 countries

Spring 2017

  • Seed Forum events celebrates 15 years since the 1st Seed Forum London spring 2012
  • Launch of the Seed Forum Global Partner Program
  • Opening of the Seed Forum Global back-office in Riga, Latrvia   
  • Seed Forum Beijing & Shanghai as a part of the program for the Official Visit of the Norwegian Primie Minister, Erna Solberg, to China.
  • Grand opening of iHUB Technopark Kyiv by the Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klichko
  • 1st Ukrainian-Norwegian Innovation Week by Seed Forum
  • Establishment of the Ukrainian-Norwegiain Innovation & Business Associaton (UNIBA) as an initiative by Seed Forum

 

 

 

 

 

Video

Seed Forum Sarajevo autumn 2013 in the Parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina

References

Antanas Jankūnas, Managing director, Sekasoft

Thank you for a great pitch training. It was an excellent opportunity to take a closer look at Sekasoft from investor's perspective. Highly competent Seed Forum team - Aida Balnienė, Gints Vins, Steinar Hoel Korsmo - elevated this training to the level of investment consultancy session. I also liked well planned and highly effective structure of the session - we all were completely involved. I would definitely recommend every business manager to apply for the training - by itself, it is worth much more than a day spent and rather symbolic investment.

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