The following list of the Inspiring Fifty: Nordics 2016 finalists is arranged alphabetically. It in no way reflects any ranking or scoring by the judges.
Hanna Aase is the CEO and founder of Wonderloop. She is revolutionising social networking by creating the world’s first video-profile identity platform. Hanna created the technology company Wonderloop after being inspired by Oprah’s mission of connecting and giving and therefore wanted to bring it to the mobile space. Her goal is to give everyone the power to be presented with opportunities and meet life-changing people by creating a global search engine out of people on video-profiles. Hanna believes that “If we can see everyone in the world, we could also give to everyone in the world”. Her technology platform has been recognized in established tech media such as Forbes, Wired, TechCrunch and USA Today.
Hanna is a native Norwegian who has earned multiple Bachelor’s degrees in entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership. Prior to founding Wonderloop, Hanna was one of the early pioneers in social media. She started her own social media advisory company at age 24 that brought steady business from 200 companies and government departments. That experience established her as a global expert in the industry. Hanna is an active participant in the world’s leading technology and philanthropy networks and is recognized as a creative leader within consumer technology and social change. She is known for being one of the few female founders in consumer technology and has been a speaker for the World Economic Forum on entrepreneurship and at SXSW on how video-profiles can have social impact on peoples lives.
Anki is a business executive with more than 40 years of experience from various management positions within business development & technology.
In January 2015 she was appointed Chief Digital Officer and in March the same year she also took on the Chief Technical Officer role at Bonnier AB, a privately owned media group in TV, daily newspapers, business and trade press, magazines, film, books, radio and digital media. Her mission is to help strengthen the digital transition and product development from a Bonnier-wide perspective.
Most recently, she was Head of Digital Development at Swedbank, where she previously also served as Head of Marketing and Online sales. Prior to that, she has held executive positions at Lowe Brindfors, Cambridge Technology Partners and IBM and she has also run a small design business of her own. She spent 17 years at IBM where she started her career and held various executive positions such as Head of Small Business, Head of Marketing, Head of Business Development & Strategies. At IBM she was the first female director and the first woman on the executive team in Sweden. She has also served as board member at Avanza and IF.
Anki has a proven track record of developing businesses and delivering transformation projects with a focus on customers needs and bridging the gap between business and technology. Customer understanding, a holistic perspective, finding the right people and execution are key strengths. She is an external speaker on digital development and how to use technology as a transformation enabler.
She was appointed Intrapreneur Of The Year in Sweden 2013.
Hélène is a change maker with a key role in one of the most interesting and transformative times where Telia Company breaks new ground, innovates and creates services that touch millions and millions. Barnekow brings unique insights and experience from the mobile and IT business, most recently as Head of Group Commercial where she has been crucial in setting the agenda to transform Telia Company to a New Generation Telco.
Before starting at Telia Company in April 2014, Hélène was Head of Worldwide Field & Partner Marketing at EMC in Boston where her hallmark was strong skills in commercial management and marketing, including go-to-market, branding, communications, product management and channel management from the mobile communications and it sector.
Sophia is an Executive in Residence at Atomico. Based in Stockholm, she focuses on helping portfolio companies with strategy and scaling, as well as with the sourcing and evaluation of new investment opportunities. Sophia was the Global Marketing Director at Spotify from 2007-2014, building out a strong consumer brand from scratch, launching and marketing the service globally. Today she is an angel investor and advisor to startups and serves as a Board Director at Avanza, Norstedts and Unibet. She is also a co-founder of non-profit foundation AllBright.se. She studied international marketing and economics at Stockholm University. Sophia spent the last five years living in New York City but has now located back to her hometown Stockholm.
Stina’s career has progressed fast in the Swedish media world. She started out as an advertising salesman for teletext on TV3 in 2000 and continued as a project manager at the media agencies OMD and Carat.
At the age of 33, she took over as CEO of Carat and by 2008 she became manager of Google Sweden. Under her leadership, the number of employees at Google Sweden grew from around 15 to over a hundred. After five years as head of Google Sweden, she left the company to start United Screens, an online television company with Youtube as platform.
In 2010 she was elected to the board of directors for TV4. In 2008, she won first place at the Publisher’s list of 101 Swedish super talents. In 2013 she was ranked number 31 on the Publisher’s list of the industry’s 125 most powerful women and also the most powerful media manager on the list.
Elina is originally a particle physicist who pursued research at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland for six years and was one of the leading researchers that discovered the Higgs boson, which led to a Nobel Prize in physics in 2013. After discovering the Higgs, she left her job in particle physics and switched fields to women’s reproductive health to develop the smart algorithm behind Natural Cycles, a company which she co-founded together with her husband. Together they created Natural Cycles for their own needs – as they were looking for a safe and user-friendly natural birth control, which there was none to find on the market at the time. Through analysing women’s body temperature, the Natural Cycles mobile app identifies women’s fertile days for the purpose of both preventing and planning a pregnancy. Additionally, pregnant women monitor their temperature in the app to early detect sinking hormonal levels to be able to prevent a possible miscarriage.
Elina continues to pursue research through Natural Cycles and has published two clinical studies concerning women’s reproductive health in a peer review journal. She has also won multiple awards for her work, such as Woman in Tech 2015, and was appointed Super talent and Innovation talent in 2015 by the Swedish magazine Veckans Affärer. In February 2016 she was named one of the most powerful businesswomen in Sweden.
Cecilia is the founder and owner of GLOBIT – a company that specializes in CRM and digitalisation of business. Cecilia has over 15 years experience in IT and ERP implementations across national borders. In addition to her role as founder, owner and manager of GLOBIT, Cecilia is also Chairman of the interest group IT Industry Association and sits on several boards, including Danish Enterprise and Nordjyske Media.
Throughout her career Cecilia has built IT service organizations and businesses and internationalised markets and delivery methods. She has previously worked for IBM as Engagement Manager Global Services and as Sales & Business Operation Director Denmark for Oracle. Cecilia has also been CEO & Managing Consultant at MB IT-Consulting and Director of SAP & Applications CapGemini.
Washington D.C.-based Natalia Brzezinski, 31, is an experienced moderator, journalist, and communications strategist focused on building dynamic dialogue across numerous sectors and cultures. She is an expert on U.S.-Scandinavian cultural and business practices, as well as a digital activist passionate about fostering links between tech, sustainable fashion, politics, and music. In November 2015 Brzezinski became the host of Stand Out: an Acast original podcast, featuring authentic discussions with some of the world’s most influential and dynamic female entrepreneurs, politicians, and change-makers. She is an international advisor for the prestigious global strategic communications firm Kreab. She serves as the CEO of Brilliant Minds, Stockholm Symposium— an annual thought leadership symposium on the future of creativity and the cross-section of music, tech, fashion and disruptive business.
Following international relations and journalism studies at the University of Richmond and University of Copenhagen (where she focused on analysing the European Union), Chicago-born Brzezinski’s career has incorporated governmental communications work and speech-writing, as well as high-level conference moderation and public speaking. As a journalist, Brzezinski is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and English-language European news source, The Local. She sits on the advisory board of the Swedish-headquartered, international contemporary and classical music awards, the Polar Music Prize, (founded by ABBA manager, Stig Anderson).
Brzezinski was born in Chicago, Illinois to parents who emigrated from Poland and Ukraine. She is a fluent Polish speaker, with proficiency in French and Russian. She was a competitive ice skater for 13 years. She also ran high school Varsity track as a sprinter and hurdle jumper. Brzezinski has a 6-year-old daughter, Aurora, who speaks fluent Swedish. She is married to Mark F. Brzezinski, former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden and now serving as the Executive Director of the Arctic Executive Steering Committee at The White House.
Robin Carlsson (Robyn) is a Swedish electronic pop music artist as well as the initiator of the Tekla Tech Festival – a festival that promotes inclusion of women in technology. In 2015, the festival hosted partner companies such as Google, Spotify, Valtech, Interactive and Paradox. Tekla is a festival for girls, in which they get to sample different areas of future technology in a fun and imaginative environment. The festival is co-hosted with KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) and is aimed at girls ages 11-18 and was held for the second time in 2016.
In 2015, Robyn was recognised in the publication Foreign Policy listed among Global Thinkers 2015. In 2013, Robyn was honoured with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm’s Great Prize. The electronic pop artist was awarded the prize because of her “artistic contributions and embrace of technology”.
Lisbeth Chawes is a Danish tech leader with over 15 years of experience from various management positions and startup companies within the technology industry.
She currently works for the global social media software company Komfo. Her leadership style can be described as passionate. Above all, she drives changes and develops new markets with a unique passion.
She is active and visible in the Danish business environment with an extended network, where she is also active on a board related to the Danish Marketing Association and the lead for a group of Top influential digital managers from companies like Danfoss, Lego, and Grundfos.
She has a proven track record of developing businesses and delivering transformation projects with an approach and style that instils confidence and builds trust with key internal and external stakeholders. Strategic planning, team involvement, and execution are her key strengths.
Her career began at the Danish e-Business Association in 2003, where she helped companies understanding technology. More recently, she co-founded Social Viper, a European social media software company. From an educational standpoint, she holds a BSc degree from Roskilde University, Scientific Soc – Communications and Economics from 2004.
Within the industry, she is a key figure in the Danish tech community and has coached several young professionals, and is a speaker on several topics within Social Media and Digital leadership. In 2011, she won Best Pitch from an entrepreneurial, money-making, viewpoint presented by The Next Women.
On a more personal note, she has 2 kids and is married to an entrepreneur. She also loves to travel around the world, great food, running and visits OB football stadium whenever it’s possible.
Marianne Dahl Steensen is the CEO for the regions Denmark & Iceland at Microsoft. As country director she leads a management team of 9 persons covering the wing-to-wing business and an organisation of 550 people. She is also a member of the Western Europe management team at Microsoft.
Prior to her current role, Marianne was with TDC – the leading provider of communications solutions and TV in Denmark, from 2004 through 2011. There she climbed the ranks, starting as Business Development Manager to later become Vice President for Mobility & Convergence. From 2008 to 2010 Marianne was Senior Vice President for Market at TDC, leading 150 employees and managing the Danish B2B business.
In 2010, Marianne was recognised as a Rising Talent by Deauville Women’s Forum.
Mengmeng is one of Sweden’s leading digital profiles. She has held leading positions at several of the most successful online companies originating from Sweden, is on the board of some of the country’s largest consumer companies, and is a trusted advisor to the Prime Minister.
Currently, she is an investor and active advisor to online startups through her own company Mimion. Her previous role was COO at podcasting startup Acast. Prior to that, she was in several leading positions at Spotify — first as Director of International Growth, later Marketing Director in Nordic/Benelux/APAC, and lastly Director Global Marketing Operations. Before joining Spotify, she was VP Product at Stardoll.
When Mengmeng started her board career at 29, she was among the youngest ever to be voted into a listed company board in Sweden. Mengmeng is now working with Skandia, Filippa K and NetOnNet Group. She has recently also been on the boards of Qliro Group (incl. brands like Nelly, CDON, Gymgrossisten) and Skånska Byggvaror.
Mengmeng is also one of ten select advisors from business and academia in the National Innovation Council. The council is led by the Prime Minister, with aims to further strengthen Sweden’s innovation capabilities and competitiveness. Other members are the Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministers for Finance, Enterprise/Innovation and Higher Education/Research.
Mengmeng has a M.Sc. in Computer Science from KTH and a M.Sc. in Business from Stockholm School of Economics.
Jeanette Dyhre Kvisvik is the founder of Villoid, the next generation shopping service, which she co-founded in 2014 with style icon Alexa Chung, e-commerce expert Karin Källman, and social gaming expert Jarle Snertingdalen. Villoid is active in 180 countries, has 10 employees and is based out of offices in Oslo and NY.
Jeanette holds a Master in Law from the University of Bergen, Norway and got her Admission to the Bar as a lawyer in the Norwegian law firm BA-HR in 2004. She went from law to 2 years as a management consultant in McKinsey & Company and continued as an advisor for CEOs of Scandinavian & US companies in the PR firm Burson-Marsteller in New York until 2008. From 2008 she founded and headed the mobile marketing company Liquid Barcodes which was acquired by Telenor in 2013. In 2012, she co-founded eCommerce company sixbondstreet.com. As a lawyer-turned entrepreneur, Jeanette is an evangelist for innovation & entrepreneurial spirit.
Stina is the CEO and Founder of Yubico, and co-inventor of the YubiKey – a small device that makes strong two-factor authentication easy and affordable for everyone.
The company was founded in 2007, funded by the management team and Swedish angel investors. In 2014, Ram Shriram, Google founding board member and former executive at Amazon.com joined as investor and board member, and Marc Benioff, CEO & Founder of Salesforce and Ori Eisen, renowned entrepreneur in fraud prevention, joined as investors.
The YubiKey offers the first one touch user experience for strong authentication, uniquely combining driver-less USB and wireless hardware with open source software. Millions of users and 50,000 customers in 140 countries rely on YubiKey authentication for securing access to computers, mobile devices, networks and online services. Customers include 7 of the 10 top Internet brands, e-governments, Fortune 100 companies and individual users.
Stina’s goal is to secure the identities of 1 billion internet users and change the way we do secure online transactions.
Previous to Yubico, Stina worked with several innovation projects, focusing on product design and communication.
She is an accomplished speaker on internet identity, security and entrepreneurship, and she is regularly featured in leading international tech media. Stina was recently named in Inc Magazine’s 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013.
Stina was born in Seattle, USA, but grew up in Sweden, living there until 2011.
Stina was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015 and 2016.
Louise Ferslev is the founder and CEO of Fintech startup MyMonii – a Copenhagen based app-company. The big vision for MyMonii is to become the future banking and payment solution for kids and young adults, believing that the banks offerings for this target group at the moment is outdated and has stagnated over the psat 15 years ago.
Louise started building the company when investing some of her own money together with receiving external funding from an angel investor. Today the company has 2 full time employees since they currently get between 300 and 700 kids profiles created in the app. At the moment they are raising $450.000 to grow the company further. Louise’s ambition for the company is big – within one year from now they aim to expand into the Swedish and Norwegian markets as well.
Louise is also co-founder of Women In Tech DK together with 5 other female entrepreneurs with the overall focus to inspire more women to start or join a tech startup company. Women in tech DK believes that there is a need for more women to join startups and for more female entrepreneurs as well as more female investors.
In her everyday role, Louise’s role is a mix between IT project management, Brand management, Partner- and investor contact as well as anything unforeseen. Besides her work with MyMonii and Women In Tech, she has also been a speaker at many events, especially for students, to inspire them to start businesses while they are still undertaking education. Louise started MyMonii during her studies at Copenhagen Business Academy where she specialized in Brand design.
After two decades at Microsoft as a senior leader within international sales and marketing, Eva recently left the corporate world to become CEO at startup company Yanzi Networks – a VC backed company which has developed an Internet of Things platform for smart buildings.
During her 20 years at Microsoft, Eva held over ten different positions spanning from sales to marketing to products. Her last role at Microsoft was as the COO for Microsoft Sweden and prior to that Eva worked as European Sales Manager for Emerging Technologies.
Eva is passionate about startups and entrepreneurs with multiple engagements. She has been a member of the board for the connected cars startup Greater Than, and member of the board of non-profit organisation Connect Öst, which brings entrepreneurs and venture capitalists together. She has also been a regular member of the jury for Venture Cup, a competition for those looking to develop their business idea and start a business.
Eva is a key figure in the Stockholm tech start up community and has coached several young female professionals, and is a speaker on diversity and female leadership. In 2015 she won Women in Tech Sweden’s Leadership Award which recognises a leading woman who has led an important technology development or innovation, made a significant contribution to the media and technology industries, and inspires others.
Natasha Friis Saxberg is an author, entrepreneur and digital strategist. She has worked with large organizations and technology for more than two decades, helping brands and enterprises build their digital strategy. Natasha has been a key figure in cultivating the Copenhagen startup scene from 2009, and as an entrepreneur she has founded numerous SaaS startups on a global market. Natasha has written several books about technology, here under Homo Digitalis that maps humans basic needs with our digital behaviour.
She lived in New York City helping startups scale into the US market, and hosted the TV show Tech and The City from Nasdaq in New York. Natasha has several times been nominated as one of the most influential women in Tech in Europe. Natasha is today the Director of Future Growth at Atea, where she incubates growth areas within retail, healthcare, education and smart cities, together with innovators and international brands, to accelerate the evolution of digitization for end users, corporations and society.
Louise Fritjofsson is an entrepreneur and adventurer from Sweden. The last few years she has been located in San Francisco to disrupt the fitness industry on a global level.
Louise is a serial entrepreneur who started her first company at the age of 19, has had one business acquired, started and still owns the biggest b2b ad-network in Scandinavia, and is now the founder and CEO of SAAS company Vint.
Louise is an avid adventurer. She has climbed some of the highest peaks in the world, visited some of the most amazing dive sites and is a fearless athelete with marathons and horse polo as her main focus.
Vint aims to create a healthier world by creating the best software for the fitness industry. Through creating community and lowering barriers to get started and stay active through digital software this management and booking system will change the world. Vint closed a $2m seed round pre-launch in January 2014 from some of Europe’s most prominent VCs and is currently working with some of the biggest gyms and studios in Europe and the US.
Soulaima is the CEO of tradeconductor.com and CapitalAid – a company that aims for world peace through trade and “good money”.
She is a motivational speaker and philanthropist with approximately 200 public talks a year all around the world including countrie such as Russia, Morocco, UK, the U.S and Israel. She is also an advisor to major companies on customer loyalty, strategic networking, change management, employee motivation, and future of business. She has worked as an advisor and/or speaker for large global clients such as Samsung, DELL, McKinsey, BMW, IBM, Microsoft and Stanford University.
Soulaima is the author of 3 books and she is board member of a wide range of private and public companies, as well as Chair of GlobalDignity.dk (part of globaldignity.org). In media she is a very active debater on TV, radio, and through blogs. She holds an E-MBA from Copenhagen Business School and multiple Executive leadership courses from Indian School of Business, Harvard Kennedy University and Stanford University.
Soulaima has received extensive recognition for her work; most recently she received Womenomics Influencer Award 2015 and was among 40 Under 40 in Europe 2014.
Jutta Haaramo is Founder and CEO of Stylewhile, a Finland based fashion-tech company providing women online try-on experience. The company was started on the idea that shoppers should have a more creative role when shopping online so that they could purchase the right outfits instead of mere products. Stylewhile first launched an iPad app with Saks 5th Avenue and has since then become the Styling Room provider for online fashion stores. The Stylewhile method is US patented.
Jutta studied international business and after receiving her BBA degree, worked as Business Development Director at games publisher Digital Chocolate, where she built and led global sales channels for digital content. The gaming background has inspired her to make online fashion shopping as fun, engaging and creative as online gaming can be at its best.
Kati is a digitalisation executive, board professional and advisor in digitalisation, ICT and global business process development. Currently she is a Board Member at Tokmanni Oyj, Siili Solutions Oyj, Nixu Oyj and a talent recruiter as well as supporting her family business Hagros & Hagros Corp portfolio companies. Kati has 20 years of leadership experience in the international high technology business with management positions in logistics, e-business, strategy, quality and IT. Most recently, she was the CIO of Kone Corporation 2010-2015 and thereafter responsible for Kone’s digitalisation strategy. Prior to Kone, she served over 12 years in various leadership positions at Nokia, including VP CIO Office and VP Quality. Global diversity is the way of life for Kati as she has lived and worked in Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, UK and Singapore. Kati has received extensive industry recognition both as CIO of the Year 2014 and being featured among Top 100 people in Finnish ICT through the years 2012-2015.
Brigitte has been working in tech companies for more than 30 years and has many years of experience representing the industry in public boards.
As CEO for the Danish ICT Industry Association, the business interests of their ICT-companies are her foremost priority. Birgitte has been serving on the board of The Danish IT Association since 2006 and became Director in 2014.
During Birgitte’s extensive carrier within ICT she has been CEO for FDC – a company that provides IT solutions to enable customers to handle general insurance programmes, health insurances, life insurance and pension schemes – between the years 1996 to 2014. FDC specialises in IT services for the Scandinavian insurance market, and their IT solutions lead the market in Scandinavia for insurance and pension activities.
She has also served on the boards of several IT companies and industry organisations such as IT-Vest and Center for IT Research (CIT) between 2000 and 2008.
Birgitte holds a BSc in Physics, Maths & Computer science from the University of Copenhagen.
Jenny is heading up the Nordic business at Spotify. She has been with the company for almost seven years; during this time she has been working in various business areas such as ad sales, marketing, business operations and now as Managing Director for the Nordic region. Prior to joining Spotify, Jenny spent five years at Microsoft, working with their advertising solutions. Before that she spent several years in the Swedish IT industry.
Spotify has rapidly grown from not only being an innovative way of listening to music, but also to becoming a natural part of people’s lives. The company has gone from being a start-up to a successful mainstream medium with millions of customers listening to Spotify every day. The Nordics is the most mature region and is of great importance for the company.
In the role of Managing Director, Jenny is responsible for the Nordic business, including everything from user growth, business development to brand positioning. Jenny is a strong and visionary leader with a true passion for business. She holds her team and colleagues close to her heart. Jenny is driven by how to evolve businesses through the best combination of long term strategy, operations, the human touch and creativeness. She is constantly challenging the world around her and is always striving for new successes for the business. She has built a team with true dedication and passion – passion for music, passion for business and passion for evolving a new tomorrow.
Jenny has been nominated as one (out of 16) future leaders of Spotify globally, and top 29 in the Future Female Leaders in Sweden. She is a Change Leader (advisor) at Reach for Change, an organisation focusing on innovations to support a better future for children as well as one of the initiators of REC Collective, a female music production camp.
Louise is the Director of Strategy & Business Development and co-founder of Clio Online. At the age of 26, she founded a digital publishing company, Clio Online, along with two friends in her final year of studies.
Clio Online was established on the idea that the world of teaching and learning was in need of new IT-based, innovative, creative and compelling digital learning materials for teachers to integrate into teaching, and for pupils to enjoy during class. Since then the company has developed digital learning materials for nearly all subjects and all grades in primary and lower secondary schools in Denmark and is by far the digital market leader.
Clio Online has won several international awards for their digital learning materials, for their innovative way of doing business and their high growth rates.
In 2015, Louise and her two partners sold their majority shares to Bonnier in Sweden. Bonnier is a multi-channel media conglomerate with experience and knowledge in a full range of media and working in 14 countries. In connection to this, Louise co-founded Bonnier Education where she, as CEO, is responsible for taking the Clio concept to the Swedish market.
Louise loves everything new that is happening on the Internet and is a major consumer of all social medias. She hopes that digital literacy or programming becomes mandatory in Danish and Swedish schools some day because she can see a big shortage of skilled programmers in these countries, but also because she hopes more women will become interested in the tech-industry.
Michelle grew up in Stockholm Sweden with young parents (who came to Sweden as refugees) and who always played music at home – probably the reason why it became her biggest interest. In parallell to her music interest, her big passion for problem solving and technology led her to KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology) where she graduated with a Masters in Computer Science. She managed to combine these two big interests in her first job and after 4 years at Universal Music, Michelle joined Spotify as the first female within the product and tech organisation. She was part of making Spotify grow from a start-up to a large successful company. Currently, Michelle is VP over Digital at Sony Music focusing on the next era of the music industry while enjoying building strong teams and leading them to great results.
Gulnaz Khusainova is the Founder and CEO of EasySize, a data-driven company, disrupting fashion e-commerce.
With more than 7 years of experience in marketing and IT, she is a passionate and skilled entrepreneur. She founded her first company at the age of 19 (with 2 previous startups under her belt). Gulnaz holds an MSc in Strategic marketing.
Anita Krohn Traaseth is the CEO of Innovation Norway. Prior she was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard Norway. She started her career as a trainee at IBM and has held several executive positions including CEO of Simula Innovation AS (leading ICT research laboratory) and strategy director at DNV Software.
Krohn Traaseth studied communication and management at BI Norwegian Business School. At Harvard University she completed an executive leadership program and earned certification in strategy and innovation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Krohn Traaseth has received several awards, including Best Female Leader in the IT Industry by Od@-nettverket in 2012 (a talent development forum) and Social Media Personality of the Year in 2013 by Kampanje (media website and media magazine). Anita was also titled as “Top 20 Women in Business in Northern Europe” and “Top 50 Most Inspiring Women in European Tech” 2015 and 2016.
She is an open and socially engaged business leader, mother of three, blogger and author of the book “Good Enough For The Bastards” – A Manager’s Thoughts About Courage, Vulnerability and Credibility”.
Heidi Kuusniemi is a director and professor at the Department of Navigation and Positioning at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI). She is also an adjunct professor and lecturer in GNSS technologies at Aalto University, Finland and a docent in positioning technologies and systems at Tampere University of Technology.
She is the President of the Nordic Institute of Navigation, and was the head of the Organising Committee for the 2016 European Navigation Conference (ENC 2016) arranged in Helsinki, Finland May-June this year.
Kuusniemi previously worked in research and development as Fastrax Ltd, Vantaa, Finland, where her interests included high-sensitivity GNSS and reliability enhancement techniques.
She received her M.Sc. and doctor of technology degrees from Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland. Her doctoral studies on reliability and quality monitoring in personal satellite navigation were partly conducted at the Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary, Canada.
Kuusniemi’s research interests cover various aspects of GNSS and sensor fusion for seamless outdoor/indoor positioning.
Camilla is Co-founder and CCO of Queue-it, a start-up who develops and markets an online queueing system for managing website overload during extreme user peaks in relation to popular events and activities online. The solution maintains website performance by protecting against potential slowdowns and failures. Camilla co -founded the company together with Niels Henrik Sodemann, CEO and Martin Pronk, CTO.
At Queue-it Camilla is responsible for marketing, communications, business development and HR. She has held various positions within executive management of Ementor Danmark A/S, including areas of software architecture and business development. Camilla has also held key positions within Nykredit, A.P. Møller-Mærsk, EDS (now HP) and Accenture. She is an MBA graduate from Edinburgh Business School.
Camilla is member of the board at Signatours Travel, EasyTrial, fourKant, Domanica and Queue-it. She is also one of the founders of the Copenhagen community “Women in Tech” who aim to inspire diversity in tech startups, with the purpose of driving even more innovation and a balanced tech startup scene.
Camilla was awarded “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2012, and is a regular blogger, event speaker, and advocate for women and girls and tech. “It is my belief that the way forward must be even more technology into schools as a natural part of learning, combined with the increased visibility of role models from the industry facing young women and schoolgirls.” Camilla says.
Linda Liukas is a programmer, storyteller and illustrator from Helsinki. Her children’s book, Hello Ruby, was funded on Kickstarter and smashed its $10,000 funding goal in just three and a half hours, going on to reach $380,000 in total. It is the most funded book on Kickstarter’s children’s book category. Hello Ruby is ‘the worlds most whimsical way’ to learn about computers, technology and programming, and is aimed at 4-7 year-olds. Linda is also the founder of Rails Girls, an organization launched in 2010 that empowers women with technology tools and a supportive community to build their ideas.
Linda founded Rails Girls in Finland but the organisation experienced rapid international growth, with chapters popping up all over the world. The workshop, which teaches the basics of programming to young women, are now organised by volunteers in over 160 cities. Linda began coding at 13 years old when she fell madly in love with Al Gore, who was the vice president of US at the time. All her teenage girl passion and energy only had one outlet: building the first (and probably the last) Finnish website for Al Gore. At the time there was no Tumblr or Facebook, so she taught herself HTML and CSS.s
Before co-founding Endomondo, Mette worked at McKinsey & Company, where she met the two other founding members. Although she enjoyed working there, she was missing a greater purpose. She felt a desire to make an impact on the way people live, so in 2007, the three consultants left to pursue their entrepreneurial dream.
One of Mette’s passions is building and creating. She’s always had this desire to build something tangible. You could say it’s in her genes. Her grandfather started a retail chain in 1947, which sells DIY and timber trades. Her dad took over for her grandfather, and runs it with her brother, who is now third generation, so she grew up witnessing this entrepreneurial lifestyle. While leaving her job behind was a bit daunting, it also felt like the right move.
When the two co-founders and Mette set out to create Endomondo, they read this stat which said that 80% of people wanted to exercise more but lacked the motivation to do so. That’s when they knew they wanted to make something to help people lead more active lives. The mission was and still is to make fitness fun. It wasn’t always easy to get others to share their enthusiasm. But Mette is a competitive person, and she gets energized when someone says it can’t be done.
Since then, more than 25 million people have joined the platform and 20,000 new users join on a daily basis. After Under Armour acquired Endomondo in January 2015, Mette has taken on the role of leading Under Armour’s digital efforts within Run and Fitness, and the primary goal is to grow the user base and increase awareness of the Under Armour brand outside of the US.
Inka Mero is a seed investor, C-executive and innovator. As a founder and chairwoman of KoppiCatch, a seed investor and accelerator company, Inka is deeply passionate about building growth companies, which have their roots in disruptive technology and business innovation.
During her career Inka, as a pioneering female entrepreneur and investor, has founded and/or invested in over 30 growth companies in industries as diverse as telecom, internet, e-commerce, media, tech media and mobile. She is an active member of the Nordic and Baltic startup scene, the former Head Coach of Startup Sauna accelerator, a board member of Nokian Tyres Plc, Fiskars Plc and a board member of the non-profit organisation Startup Sauna Foundation. Also Inka is Chairwoman and was one of the first investors in IndoorAtlas, the Oulu and Silicon Valley based company providing a revolutionary and infrastructure free magnetic indoor positioning service. In her past, Inka has worked in various C-level and management team positions heading sales, marketing, venturing and business development at companies like Sonera, Digia, Nokia and Apaja Gaming Company.
Marjo Miettinen is one of the owners and board members of EM Group family business and currently Chairman of the group company Ensto. In addition, she has been active in several Finnish-based companies, was Chairman in Teleste Oyj for the last six years and at current she is a member of the Board of Efore Oyj and Avarte Group Oy. She is also Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Foundation for Technology Promotion TES and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA.
Marjo is very keen on the Finnish education system, being one of the founders of the Women in Tech network. Women in Tech activities aim to discuss how women could have a larger role in creating success stories in business and technology. The activities are organized by The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries together with tech companies and partners.
Currently Miettinen is writing her PhD dissertation on the position of the union shop stewards in Finnish industrial enterprises.
The companies owned by the Miettinen family are also remarkably involved in societal activities by supporting undertakings related to young people, physical exercise, environment and culture.
Anja Monrad is the Executive Director & General Manager of Dell Central & Eastern Europe (CEE).
Anja joined Dell as Marketing Director for the Nordic countries in 2000 and has since had a comprehensive international career within Dell. Since 2013 she has been leading the Dell business in CEE, a region covering 25 countries, including Poland, Israel, Hungary, Greece, Romania and many more. Prior to this Anja led Dell’s European Demand Generation’s activities and was responsible for the building of Dell’s CRM activities in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She also managed the EMEA Services marketing organisation, ran the European Online Marketing organisation and last but not least directed execution of Dell’s global marcom activities within Dell’s international Marketing organisation.
Prior to joining Dell, Anja worked in Sales and Marketing at Unisys, Compaq and Digital in senior leadership positions.
She holds several board positions; member of the Danish IT association board, Chairman at the IT association’s Steering committee for Female IT Executives as well as board member in Alectia A/S.
Anja holds a M.Sc. degree in Business Administration & International Marketing from Copenhagen Business School.
Susanne Najafi is a serial entrepreneur and founder of one of Nordic’s largest beauty online retailers Eleven (previously Unity Beauty Group), where she was the CEO. She has a background with Oriflame and Procter&Gamble, where she worked both in the Nordics and in the Middle East. In 2009 she broke her neck in a skiing accident and it was a defining moment for her. She had to stay in bed for months and decided to realize her dream and become an entrepreneur. Since then she has founded more than 5 companies mainly within e-commerce and tech and is the board member of listed Stockmann and Lindex.
Today she is the Founding Partner of BackingMinds, an investment fund that aims at changing venture capital with a new concept. BackingMinds is investing in underinvested entrepreneurs and is using new methods to tap into the full potential of Sweden.
Susanne has origins from Iran and grew up in Stockholm and believes that one of the main big questions for Europe is how to handle and integrate people due to migration. She believes that the entrepreneurial world need to help where politicians don’t come through. She is the founder of RefugeeAir and the campaign #letthemfly, to save refugees from risking their lives at the Mediterranean by letting them fly, a campaign that reached 830 million people. She is also an advisor to RefugeeTech that is collecting the tech community in Sweden to make tech solutions for integration.
She has been awarded with several awards including Young Leader of the year 2015.
Jessica Nilsson is an investor at venture capital firm Northzone. To date Northzone has raised seven funds and invested in more than 100 technology companies. Jessica focuses on the digital and consumer sectors, with her special passion for ecommerce and marketing. Her portfolio companies at Northzone include Klarna, Outfittery, Lesara, Fyndiq and Matsmart.
Before joining Northzone, Jessica co-founded HelloFresh, the global meal kit delivery service with market-leading operations in seven markets. At HelloFresh, Jessica was Global CMO and spearheaded the global marketing operation, growing the business from zero to $ 50 million in 24 months. Today HelloFresh is serving over 7.2 million meals per month to its subscribers.
Jessica comes from a strategy-consulting career and has worked at L.E.K. Consulting in London and Los Angeles.
Jessica is a board member of Swedish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association. She is also on the board of Outfittery, Lesara, Fyndiq and Matsmart. Furthermore, Jessica is on the Advisory Board of Stockholm Innovation & Growth (STING).
Jessica has lived and worked in the UK, USA, Germany and Sweden. She has previously played for the Junior National Team in Handball. She graduated with a M.Sc. degree in Economics and Business from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Isabelle’s strongest passion is technology. Her love for technology is rooted in its vast opportunities and unique ability to empower each and every connected human being to make a positive difference in the world.
Working as a young woman in a male dominated field has driven her to become actively engaged in attracting more women to the industry. Isabelle has co-founded and built TENK, the Technology Network for Women, (www.tenk-norge.com) on a mission to encourage women all of all ages to become passionate about technology. She is a distinct voice and public speaker at various conferences advocating the importance of women in technology, including holding a keynote speech at the official opening of Oslo Innovation Week in 2015.
Last year she helped co-found the Norwegian equivalent of Girls Who Code (Jenter Koder) in Norway on a long-term mission to encourage young girls to become interested in technology.
Isabelle is also an activist for gender equality and female leadership. In 2015 she co-founded the Scandinavian division of Young Men 4 Gender Equality in co-operation with four other people. In fall of 2015 they launched a national campaign addressing the issue of subtle gender inequality and gender stereotypes inspired by the UN Women #heforshe campaign.
Isabelle is known for her curiosity, ambition to never stop learning and outspoken advocacy for female leadership.
This spring, Isabelle won a scholarship to attend the prestigious Singularity University located at NASA Research Center in Silicon Valley. This summer she will be spending ten weeks at SU exploring how to leverage exponential technologies on a quest to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges and positively impact one billion people.
Anne-Sofie is CEO at Capgemini Norway. Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, which enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM.
Anne-Sofie studied computer science at UCSB in California as well as at the Norwegian School of Information Technology. In 1993, she began working as a consultant. In 1998, she joined Capgemini and during her career with them she has held various leadership roles such as Sales Director, Head of Consulting Department in Oslo and most recently as Head of Business Information Management. She also has international experience in the role of Sales Director for Northern Europe. During the years 2010-2013 she was out of Capgemini for a period in favor of top positions at both Microsoft and Evry.
Anne-Sofie serves on the boards of Naandi Foundation and IKT-Norge.
Bonnie Roupé, best known as the founder of Bonzun, is listed as one of Sweden’s top entrepreneurs. Having worked in digital and mobile since 1999, she has developed over 250 mobile solutions for consumers. The idea for Bonzun was born after she struggled to find helpful information about medical complications during her own pregnancy. Bonzun is a digital health company with an innovative pregnancy app with almost 1 million users globally. Bonzun was said to be the next potential unicorn from Stockholm by Business Weekly in 2014 and was also nominated as Chinas top Internet & Mobile startup at GMIC in Beijing 2015. The goal of the company is to end maternal mortality in the world. In 2005 she was named the most promising entrepreneur of the Year in Sweden and in 2012 she was listed as one of Sweden’s super talents.
She was rewarded Innovation Against Poverty by SIDA 2012 for Bonzun’s work spreading medical information in the countryside in China.
Anita is co-founder & CEO of Iris AI – an Artificial Intelligence that will read all of the world’s science and help us connect the dots.
During thepast 10 years Anita’s career has spanned 9 industries including developing an e-learning tool in Silicon Valley, performing theatre for babies, reducing energy consumption in the process industry through heat exchanger network optimization, getting 30 (mainly middle-age male) engineers to dance to ABBA in front of their co-workers, facilitating solar light business creation in Kenya, being in the centre of several start-ups crashing and burning, organizing entrepreneurial conferences and trying to disrupt the recruitment industry. She also dropped by 6 universities on the way – and built a race car.
In summer 2015, she was admitted to the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University, and her outlook on life, innovation, technology, the world and our future has not been the same since. When she can talk about AI, self-driving cars, genomics, robots, colonization of mars, personalized medicine and the general craziness of the future – and how we can use this craziness to make the world better – nothing makes her happier!
She has a passion for entrepreneurship and creating ventures, and the process in itself – starting from a vague idea and moving towards building something real that makes a difference in people’s lives – inspires her the most. Another passion of hers is presenting and public speaking. If she gets the chance to speak in front of a crowd, she’ll take it.
She is decently nomadic, though Norway is where most of her physical belongings are, and where she oddly feel somewhat at home.
Kristin Skogen Lund is a former Executive Vice President and Head of Nordic Region, Digital Services Division and Broadcast at Telenor, the Norwegian telecoms company. Previous positions include CEO and Commercial Director at the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, CEO at Scanpix, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at Scandinavia Online, and several positions at the Coca-Cola Company, Unilever and the Norwegian Embassy in Madrid. Kristin is a current board member of Ericsson, and has previously served as president of The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, and as member of the board of Orkla ASA among others. She holds an MBA from INSEAD and has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Business Administration from the University of Oregon. Fortune in 2011 cited Skogen Lund among the “Fortune 50 Most Powerful Women in Business” — Skogen Lund being number 38 in the ranking. She was similarly featured on the “10 Global women on the rise” list. The Norwegian business magazine Kapital has two years in a row put her on the top of the list of Norway’s most powerful women. NHO is the main representative organisation for Norwegian employers with companies ranging from small family-owned businesses to multi-national companies. The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (in Norwegian Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon; NHO) is Norway’s major organisation for employers and the leading business lobby. The current membership of 22 000 + companies range from small family-owned businesses to multinational companies in most sectors.
Berit Svendsen is a Norwegian engineer and business executive. As of September 2015, she is vice president of the Telenor Group and head of Telenor Norway.
In 1988, she joined Telenor as a research scientist, attracted by the potential of telecommunications and the internet. She was promoted first to head of department and later to head of division for data services at Telenor Nett. In 1999, she was given special responsibility for Telenor’s Fixed-Mobile Convergence project which quickly led to her appointment in 2000 as technology director for all of Telenor’s departments, a post she held for the next five years.In 2005, she became vice president and head of Telenor Nordic Fixed.
From 2002 to 2007, Svendsen was a member of the European Commission’s ISTAG, an advisory group on information society technologies. In 2008, she spent a short period as CEO of Conax, which at the time was owned by Telenor. She returned to Telenor in September 2011 as executive vice president Telenor Group and CEO of Telenor Norway, a position she continues to hold.
Svendsen also serves on the boards of the banking and financial services group DNB, as well as EMGS, which provides technical support to oil and gas companies.
Berit Svendsen holds an MSc in Electronics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and a Master of Technology Management from NTNU and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.
Charlotte is what you might call an Intrapreneur. Her expertise is to drive organizations’ technological development and structure, in order to respond to future needs. She is driven by the desire to constantly improve her greatest ability is to get things done.
In her current role she is responsible for Digital Business Development and IT and is also a member of Bonnier News’ senior management team, reporting to the Business Unit Director/CEO. Her remit includes spearheading and implementing digital progress, both strategically and operationally.
Prior, Charlotte was responsible for IT and development of Dagens industri, Dagens Nyheter and Sydsvenskan. She was a member of the management team, reporting to the Business Unit Director/CEO. Her role incorporated development, operations and support. In addition, she had responsibility for the governance of outsourcing suppliers.
Her remit included the management and development of DN’s IT department. It was all about the transformation of a small, fragmented department into a proactive business-related IT unit. Achievements included: the development of a new IT strategy, an increase in the quality of user response, a significant reduction in costs as well as improvements in operational stability. Charlotte was appointed CIO of the year in 2012 Sweden as a result of this transformation.
Christiane Vejlø is a digital trend expert and analyst, futurist, strategic adviser, board member, investor, national radio host and keynote speaker. She specialises in digital media strategy and digital user behaviour. Her work is anchored in digital lifestyle, online trends, digital content, digital platforms, new media, social media and the future of TV. Vejlø also moves in the intersection between fashion and technology/wearables and she is behind the world first truly functional truly stylish handbag- the Knomo Elektronista wearable digital-bag.
Vejlø has over 10 years working in management positions in the telecom and media industry with special focus on digital behaviour, communication and content on digital platforms. Since its inception in 2009, Christiane worked as head of Elektronista Media. The company provides strategic advice at home and abroad, offering trend sessions in technology and new media, and produces digital content in form of audio, video and text about technology and digital trends.
In September 2015, Christiane became a member of TECH NORDIC ADVOCATES – an unrivalled collection of tech leaders, experts and investors uniting to form the most influential independent, private sector group in the Nordics and Baltics.
Caroline Walerud is a passionate entrepreneur devoted to building Volumental, which she co-founded in late 2012 with three computer vision experts in Stockholm. Volumental is building the platform for the future of product customisation. The platform makes it easy to accurately scan and store clients’ body data and get products with a perfect fit.
Caroline also works to shape politics and promote entrepreneurship through three great initiatives: the Swedish government’s reference group for strengthening entrepreneurship, STING Incubator’s advisory board, and Prince Daniel’s Fellowship. She has been an entrepreneur since the age of 14 when there wasn’t any good bread in the neighbourhood, so she started baking sourdough bread and sold it door to door.
The rest of her time, she tries to stay active when possible: yoga, basketball, dog walks and surfing. She likes cooking and art, both others’ and her own. Academically, she enjoy learning how the world works; whether that is through neuroscience and zoology (which she studied at Cambridge University) or through many other perspectives.
In 2016, Caroline was featured on the 2016 list Forbes 30 Under 30.
Jane Walerud is a serial entrepreneur and private investor. During the past 15 years, she has been involved (founded/invested in/been in the management team) in 11 start-ups. That’s not counting her first three start-ups from her youth.
Jane invests and advises in very early stages, specialising in how to start a high tech company, commercialisation of research, computer software, telecommunications and even a bit of biotechnology and medical technology. Jane has also led a start-up course for an incubator for three of those years.
Currently, Jane serves on the board of serveral companies including Creades and SatCube, for which she is the Chairman. She is also a member of the Swedish Government Innovation Council and is a Startup Fintech Course Leader at STING (Stockholm Innovation & Growth).
Jane has been widely recognised in the industry by being chosen into Swedish Startup Hall of Fame in November 2015 and was awarded a Goldmedel in 2014 by Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. She is also an Honorary Doctorate at the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.
Marie Wall is the start-up director at the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. Marie has an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. With a wide range of positions in the world of start-ups and the innovation system, she is the bridge between the ministry and the start-up community.
She started her carrier in IT research, but soon joined the 90’s start-up scene. She participated in a number of start-ups such as Everyday.com (one of the first portals in Sweden), Sendit (mobile internet company, bought by Microsoft), Cypak (printed electronics) and Bosieboo (business to consumer). She has also invested in start-ups through the venture capital company Speedventure and as a business angel. Marie has also spent time in Silicon Valley as technical attaché and as visiting scholar at Stanford University.
Before joining the Ministry she was at the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation System (Vinnova), where she was responsible for the national incubation program providing financing to incubators and young start-ups. At Vinnova she has also been responsible for setting up the “Strategic Innovation Programme” an initiative to create co-operation between the industry and the academia.
Henriette Weber is one of Denmark’s most experienced and charismatic digital brand strategists.
From 2005 to 2015 she was running her own successful brand studio Toothless Tiger, where she advised businesses on digital disruption, new business models, online branding, communication, marketing and PR. She also ran the start-up ‘Geek Girl Magazine’ during her time as an entrepreneur. Since 2015, she has taken on the task of bringing sustainability further out into the world as Senior Global Digital Lead at Sustainia – a sustainable innovation house and consultancy under Monday Morning.
Henriette Weber is known and respected for her ability to spot trends and ideas and implement them into action and substance. She’s has been touring the European tech conference scene for years as well as conducting workshops and arranging events and conferences, especially for women in tech, as well as BarCamps and Social Media Clubs.
In 2009 she also became an author, when she published the book ‘Return on involvement – how to use the social web to create business unusual’. She’s also the author of the English e-book called ‘Rockbandism – why every company should be a rockband’, and she is known for her concept ‘story living’.
Henriette has through the times always been present where the creative /digital waves were rolling. She has worked for companies such as Apple and KapowTech as well as consulting and advising some of the biggest companies in Europe.
Beata has more than 20 years of experience as advisor to corporations and organisations on digital strategy and innovation. Her background in business development paired with deep knowledge of trends in the technology landscape is perfect for non-IT audiences that want a better understanding of the opportunities with digital media. She is always interested in sharing her ideas and experience with creative teams and brave clients.
Beata is also an experienced moderator or lecturer for internal and external events. She covers almost every subject relating to digital development, communication, business development, HR and innovation.
Her clients include companies like Choice Hotels, The Modern Museum in Stockholm, Länsförsäkringar, SEB, IFL, Hyper Island as well as most of the event agencies in Sweden. Over the years she has also done many projects in Europe and US concerning young people’s online life and behaviour.
Sara Öhrvall is the co-founder of Mindmill Networks, where she works as a senior advisor on digital strategy and innovation. Sara is a board director of SEB, Investor, Bisnode, Umeå University, Nobel Museum, Bonnier Books, Bonnier News and Bonnier Publications. She is also the chair of Pontus Schultz foundation and a columnist in Dagens Industri, writing about technology trends.
Sara’s previous experience includes Bonnier, where she was SVP of Research & Development during 6 years. From 2009 to 2011, Sara was based in San Francisco while establishing Bonnier’s American R&D initiative. Sara was the founder of Ninety, an innovation design studio and she was CEO/Partner of Differ (acquired by the A-com group in 2002). Her background also includes a position as product development manager at Volvo Cars, responsible for product development of niche cars, as Volvo XC (Cross-Country), R- and environmental concepts. She has worked for Toyota in Tokyo and Volvo in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Brussels. Sara has a M.Sc. degree in International Business from Umeå University and has studied Design and Architecture at Parson School of Design, Philosophy at New York University and Management at Duke University.