MESH and DirtyBit were the toast of Norway at the Nordic Startup Awards tonight, winning the Best Office Space and Best Bootstrapped Startup awards respectively.
MESH has gone from simple coworking space to an entire support system for entrepeneurs in the few short years it has been open, while the founders of DirtyBit capitalised on the success of their FunRun game to build a successful company of nine.
As happy as all the award winners are, I’m sure noone will argue with me when I say the highlight of the evening was the inspiring talk from Pekka Hysalo.
Skiing was his life, but a free-skiing accident in 2010 nearly took that life away from him. Defying the predictions of doctors, he was not only back on his feet, but back on skis within a year through sheer determination. He now heads up Team FightBack to support other athletes who suffer head trauma.
Please watch this video and head on over to support their crowdfunding campaign for a documentary film:
The headline Best Startup award went to Falcon Social, the Danish social media managment tool for enterprises, while Facebook advertising management platform Smartly.io delighted the home crowd by taking home the Best Newcomer and Best Founder awards.
As always it wasn't so much about celebrating individual winners, but celebrating the progress of the Nordic region. “The Nordic Startup Awards is about many things, but one thing in particular. I know how hard it is to keep the fire burning every day. We want to make sure the fire burns really bright so we want to recognise those who work the hardest," said Kim Balle, founder of the Nordic Startup Awards.
But there were of course winners to announce! And here is the full list:
Best Accelerator Program - Startup Reykjavik (Ice)
Best Office Space - MESH (Nor)
Best Professional Investor - Creandum (Swe)
Developer Hero - Martina Elm (Swe)
Founder of the Year - Kristo Ovaska, Smartly.io (Fin)
Startup Journalist - Neil Murray, The Nordic Web (Den)
Social Entreneurship Startup: Be My Eyes (Den)
Best Bootstrapped: DirtyBit (Nor)
Newcomer: Smarty.io (Fin)
Best Startup: Falcon Social (Den)
People's Choice: Unipegma (Den)
Congratulations to all winners and national finalists. The grand final of the Nordic Startup Awards was held in conjunction with Arctic15. More on that coming soon :-)