Feb 16, 2017 | News

Three finalists compete to become Female Entrepreneur 2017

A robot that enhances customer communication, software to protect against cyber-attacks, and a powder that may revolutionize global infrastructure. Theentrepreneurs behind these innovations, Marianne Haugland Hindsgaul from Bubbly Group, Siv Hilde Houmb from Secure-NOK, and Nuria Espallargas from Seram Coatings, are the remaining three finalists in the running to win NOK 500.000 at the award ceremony for Female Entrepreneur in Trondheim March 8.

“This year’s finalists have developed technological solutions that meet social or market-driven needs,” says Pål T. Næss, Head of Entrepreneurs and Start-ups at Innovation Norway. “They are entrepreneurs that can create new jobs, compete on the international stage, and help prepare Norway for the technological revolution we are currently facing” Næss explains.

Entrepreneurs who go global

54 entrepreneurs from across Norway have applied for Female Entrepreneur 2017, which this year has been focused on technology. The award is a collaboration between the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and Innovation Norway.

“Female Entrepreneur is awarded on International Women’s Day on March 8, and is meant to honour female entrepreneurs who focus on the tech industry, think globally, and are good role models. All three finalists are good examples of that,” says Næss.

Bubbly Group AS was founded in Oslo by Marianne Haugland Hindsgaul (53), and is an internet-of-things platform that makes it possible for stores to collect real time data and feedback from customers who visit the store. The feedback gives valuable customer information that can be used to help increase sales.

Siv Hilde Houmb (43) has founded Secure-NOK, which produces software that prevents and detects cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure. The tailor-made solution can be used to protect controllers in e.g. the oil and gas or power industry. The company is currently based in Hamar and Houston.

Nuria Espallargas (37) used her background as a chemist to invent a method that transforms one of the world’s hardest materials to a powder. The powder can be used as a durable, lightweight and more environmentally friendly coating on various industrial materials that are subject to wear and tear, such as the turbines used in airplanes. Seram Coatings AS is located in Trondheim.

The award ceremony takes place in Trondheim

For the first time, Female Entrepreneur will be awarded in Trondheim on International Women’s Day March 8. The award ceremony is part of the official program at Technoport Conference, Norway’s largest innovation conference for entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, students and dreamers.

The winner receives NOK 500.000, which is awarde directly to the company to be invested in further development. She will also receive a professional mentoring or accelerator program, depending on what is best suited for the company.

UN Women signs agreement with Innovation Norway

Innovation Norway is hosting another event in Trondheim focused on women and entrepreneurship in a global perspective on March 7. Please contact Innovation Norway for more information and media access to both events.

From left: Siv Hilde Houmb (Secure-NOK), Marianne Haugland Hindsgaul (Bubbly Group AS) and Nuria Espallargas (Seram Coatings AS). Picture: Innovation Norway