Founded in 2016, Norrsken aims to help entrepreneurs solve the world’s greatest challenges. Its ecosystem consists of Norrsken House, a co-working space for over 350 impact entrepreneurs in Stockholm, the Norrsken Founders Fund, and Norrsken VC.
In 2019, the foundation launched its entrepreneurship hub, Norrsken House in Kigali, Rwanda with an aim to accelerate investment plans across East and Central Africa. The official opening of the hub in December last year welcomed 250 entrepreneurs and the foundation has plans to bring in 750 more. In the same year, it selected 11 startups from Africa to join the inaugural edition of the Impact Accelerator.
The Impact Accelerator brings together a global collective of entrepreneurs and innovators in Stockholm, Sweden, and this year, the accelerator has selected 20 startups around the world, with 9 being African Startups Clafiya, SunFi, Appload, Emata, Umoja Labs, Fixa, Motito, HealthDart, and Power Financial Wellness.
The startups were selected via an open application process, and have been evaluated against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and ranked based on the magnitude and depth of their potential impact. Only companies that can successfully demonstrate that impact is an integral part of their business model have been admitted for entry into the programme.
Beyond acceptance to the programme itself, including an 8-week growth sprint in Stockholm and mentorship from a roster of over 110 entrepreneurs, investors, and unicorn founders, all startups will receive US$125,000 in upfront pre-seed or seed investment from the Norrsken Foundation.
The preceding cohort of startups selected for the 2021 Impact Accelerator have raised more than US$24 million in seed or pre-seed funding from investors like Brilliant Minds co-founder Ash Pournori, Kry co-founder Fredrik Jung-Abbou, Pär Norberg of Nordic Capital, Capital T, Globivest and Norrsken Foundation.
The foundation has also announced a new US$200 million tech growth fund that will invest in exceptional entrepreneurs building Africa’s new tech giants.