The History of Seed Forum

Seed Forum originates from the first 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. A continuous evolvement of Seed Forum as a best practice since 2001 is emphasizing the need of a strong cross-border 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 annually bringing a great amount of investor ready born global companies to pitch to investors locally, nationally, and overseas. Seed Forum 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 their strategy to access new markets. When investors are investing in overseas companies they also often open their own network to bring the company into their market. This also confirms that private equity investment is an important tool for many companies to access new markets.

Seed Forum has created spin-off concepts such as iHUB accelerators, establishment of Business Angel Networks, tools for commercialisation of technologies and young entrepreneurship training. Seed Forum is currently growing into a complete innovation system in an increasing amount of countries with activities beyond the Seed Forum process. Seed Forum is currently an operator for bilateral projects and 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 founded
  • Seed Forum Norway Foundation is founded
  • 1st Seed Forum Oslo in cooperation with Venturelab

Spring 2004

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

Autumn 2004

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

Spring 2005

  • 1st Seed Forum Reykjavik
  • 1st Seed Forum Bodo
  • 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 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. Former Lord Mayor of the City of London Sir Robert Finch gives the opening remarks.
  • 1st Seed Forum 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 at the official dinner in Guildhall

Spring 2006

  • 1st Seed Forum Trondheim
  • Conclusion of collaboration between Seed Forum Norway Foundation and Innovation Norway regarding local Seed Forum processes in Norway
  • Seed Forum London is hosted at 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 Federation of Industries of Japan

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, Silicon Valley)

Spring 2007

  • Former Sheriff 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 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

  • Former Lord Mayor of the City of London: Mr. Nick Anstee, gives the opening remarks at Seed Forum London
  • 1st local Seed Forum Tromso, Norway

Spring 2008

  • Seed Forum Estonia Foundation is founded
  • Seed Forum Poland Foundation is founded
  • Seed Forum Latvia Foundation is founded
  • Innovation Norway conducts 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. Former 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 Alesund
  • 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 founded
  • The Ukrainian Deputy 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 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 Seed Forum Norway Foundation and DNB bank
  • 1st Seed forum global partner meeting in London
  • Seed Forum Eastern Europe Foundation is founded 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 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 iDubai
  • 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 Malmo
  • 1st Seed Forum iMalmo hosted by Swedbank

Autumn 2011

  • Seed Forum Ukraine Foundation is founded
  • 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 Parnu. Estonia
  • 1st pitch training in Klaipeda, Lithuania
  • 1st Seed Forum Abu Dhabi hosted at the Emirate Palace Hotel
  • Seed Forum London conducted in the Butcher`s Livery Hall in the City of London. Former 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 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 1st time in the Nordea Old Banking Hall
  • Seed Forum Vilnius is hosted 1st 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 Hoegh-Krohn gives the main key-note in Seed Forum Reykjavik.
  • Former Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Nick Anstee, gave the opening remarks at Seed Forum London
  • 1st pitch training in Dubai hosted at the Dubai Silocon Oasis
  • 1st pitch training in Singapore
  • 1st pitch training in Shanghai
  • 1st Seed Forum Manila

Autumn 2012

  • Seed Forum London hosted in the Wax Chandlers Hall, and the opening remarks was given by Former Lord mayor of the City of London Alderman Dame Fiona Wulff
  • The opening remarks of Seed Forum Riga was given by the Minister of Economy of Latvia, Mr. Daniels Pavljuts
  • Opening of the 1st 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 Skolkovo Hypercube as an internal part of the 5th Russian Innovation Convention with opening greeting by President Vladimir Putin

Spring 2013

  • Seed Forum Academy founded 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
  • Seed Forum Singapore Foundation is founded
  • 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, 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 Government 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 Deputy 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 Norwegian Venture Capital, 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 Tel Aviv

Spring 2014

  • Seed Forum North-America Foundation is founded
  • 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 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
  • Seed Forum Serbia Foundation is founded
  • Signing of cooperation protocol with the Ukrainian Parliament, Verhovna Rada, co-signed by the Ambassador of Norway and overlooked by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Borge Brende
  • Signing of cooperation protocol with the Governor of Odessa, Mr. Igor Palytsia
  • Seed Forum Minneapolis is an integrated part of the official program in the US MId-West for the 200 anniversary of celebration of the Norwegian Constitution
  • Seed Forum London in EBRD is opened by former Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Jeffrey Evans
  • Seed Forum New York hosted first time by Anchin, Block & Anchin at Broadway

Autumn 2014

  • 1st pitch training in Tirana
  • 1st Seed Forum Tirana opened by the Albanian Deputy Minister of Economy Ms Brunilda Paskali
  • 1st pitch training in Pristina
  • 1st Seed Forum Pristina
  • Launching the Seed Forum Start program in Ukraine in Lviv and Odessa
  • The Norwegian Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Vidar Helgesen, opens seed Forum Tallinn
  • Seed Forum Kyiv is an integrated part of the program of the official visits of the Norwegian Prime Minister, Mrs Erna Solberg, to Ukraine
  • Re-opening of Seed Forum IHUB Kyiv in new bigger premises
  • Signing cooperation protocol on the initiative of Seed Forum between leading partners in Norway and Ukraine regarding export of eGovernment and cyber security competence from Norway to Ukraine
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperation and Public-Private Partnership Agreement with the Major of Lviv, M. Andrij Sadovij
  • Seed Forum London hosted at Digital Greenwich
  • Seed Forum Moscow hosted for the 1st 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 Adelaide hosted at the New Venture Institute of the Flinders University
  • Launching the Seed Forum revenue split model and the vision for the Seed Forum Global Innovation System
  • 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 Chisinau opened by Deputy Prime Minister, Stephan Bride
  • Grand opening of Seed Forum iHUB Chernihiv
  • 1st pitch training in Yangon. Myanmar

Autumn 2015

  • Seed Forum Sweden Foundation is founded
  • Seed Forum Finland Foundation is founded
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperation and Private-Public Partnership agreement with the Mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperation with the Deputy President of the Ukrainian Academy of Science, Mr. Serhii Pyrozhkov
  • Signing cooperation protocol with the President of the Academy of Science of Moldova, Mr. Georghe Duca
  • Seed Forum Kyiv 1st time hosted at the International Institute of the Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv (KIMO), and a cooperation agreement is signed with the General Director of KIMO, Mr. Valerii Kopika
  • Signing cooperation protocol with the President of the Student Society of Kyiv
  • Grand Opening of Seed Forum iHUB Lviv by Major Andrii Sadovy
  • Grand Opening of Seed Forum iHUB Vinnitsa by Major Sergey Morgunov
  • Seed Forum Tallinn for the 1st time hosted by Swedbank and opened by the former Deputy 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 1st time hosted by Swedbank
  • Signing cooperation protocol with the Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitchko
  • Signing cooperation protocol with the Deputy 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 official 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 at Geolab
  • 1st Seed Forum Tbilisi in the National Library
  • Signing cooperation protocol with Georgia`s Innovation and Technology Agency
  • 1st Seed Forum pitch training in Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Seed Forum Stockholm hosted at the Carnegie Investment Bank for the 1st time

Spring 2016

  • Seed Forum Moldova Foundation is founded
  • Seed Forum Georgia Foundation is founded
  • Signing Memorandum of Cooperation and Public-Private-Partnership agreement with the University 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
  • 1st Seed Forum Chernihiv, Ukraine
  • 1st Seed Forum iHUB Ring in Lviv
  • 1st Seed Forum pitch training in Lviv
  • Seed Forum Chisinau is opened by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Moldova, Mr. Octavian Calmiac
  • 1st pitch training in Milan, Italy
  • 1st Seed Forum 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 Advisor 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 training in Minsk, Belarus
  • 1st Seed Forum Minsk, Belarus
  • Grand opening of iHUB Chisinau by the Deputy Minister of Economy of Moldova Mr. VItalie Iurcu
  • Seed Forum Lviv opened by Mayor Andrij Sadoviy and Member of the Norwegian Parliament Jorun Rytman
  • Biggest Seed Forum 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
  • Opening of the Seed Forum Global back-office in Riga, Latvia
  • Seed Forum Beijing & Shanghai as a part of the program for the Official Visit of the Norwegian Prime 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-Norwegian Innovation & Business Association (UNIBA) as an initiative by Seed Forum

Autumn 2017

  • 1st Seed Forum pitch training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Signing MoU with XHUBADDIS to represent Seed Forum in Ethiopia
  • Launch of the new Seed Forum IT-platform including Landing Pages for all Cities worldwide
  • Launch of the Seed Forum Global Partner Programme
  • Agreement with the Oslo Opera House to Launch www.seedforumglobal.com

Spring 2018

  • 1st Seed Forum pitch training in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Signing MoU with the PROEM Foundation in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Signing MoU with the World Youth Business Club in Dubai
  • Launch of Seed Forum Global Business Angels Club
  • Launch of Seed Forum Dealmaker App www.matchmaking.cloud
  • 1st Seed Forum Global at the Oslo Opera House