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#0437: Building a stronger innovation ecosystem

Exported: Trond Riiber Knudsen



Med Lørner Silvija Seres

In this episode of #LØRN, Silvija talks to investor in TRK GROUP, Trond Riiber Knudsen, about investments, startups and Norway's unique positions. He also talks about how to get started as an investor and the waste that the world today needs to reduce by the help and use of technology. Trond was a Senior Partner and member of the Leadership group in McKinsey & Company, with responsibility for McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales practice. In addition, Trond has led the development of McKinsey’s training and leadership programs, and led McKinsey’s committee for evaluation of external partner candidates. He has focused his client work around long-term partnerships with a number of globally leading companies within consumer goods, retail, media, telecom and technology, most with headquarters in the Nordics.

What is the most important thing you do at work?
Help utilise resources and support talented entrepreneurial teams in the early and fragile start-up phase. Where we are most active in the first three years.

What do you focus on in technology?
My CTO, Tore Sagstuen and I, always perform deep tech and have a very clear requirement for the technology, it should be as relevant as possible. It should be cloud-based and use computer strategy and know how to gain unique insight into data using machine learning.

Why is it exciting?
The world today needs to reduce waste in as many areas and technology can help. In areas from food waste to utilisation of hospitals, old educational methods at school, unnecessary isolation of sick and elderly. Solving this is good for society and creates great business opportunities.

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?
Computer insight, privacy and access, future jobs with AI and robotics, retain our democracy and freedom in a time where the state can map and observe 24/7.

What is your own favourite project?
Spacemaker. I am a civil engineer, love technology and would like new pioneering companies to grow out of Norway, and Spacemaker is one of them.

Your other favourite examples, nationally and internationally?
Your.MD. They have developed a world-leading AI-driven check for symptoms. We are in the process of bringing in the most amazing investor and partner to roll it out globally. Mentis Cura, where we are the world leader in diagnosing brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, ADHD and dementia through history, data and insights to get predictable algorithms.

What do we do especially well in Norway?
B2B and deep tech much more than B2C. Health technologies such as ultrasound diagnostics, enterprise communication tech, retail tech and B2B marketplaces.

A favourite quote or life motto?
If 1/3 of your investments are not failing, you have not been crazy enough to hit the real out-performers.

What is the most important thought in our conversation?
The world is in the hands of the entrepreneurs. Without a healthy start-up ecosystem, we will not solve our major challenges and create enough welfare to make the world an even better place for all.

Anbefalt litteratur:

Investeringer Entreprenørskap Social impact Risiko
Verden er i hendene på entreprenørene. Uten et sunt oppstartsøkosystem, vil vi ikke løse våre store utfordringer og skape nok velferd for å gjøre verden til et enda bedre sted for alle.

Trond Riiber Knudsen

Dette er TRK GROUP

TRK Group is an Oslo-based Advisory and Active Ownership Firm, founded by long-term McKinsey Senior Partner Trond Riiber Knudsen. TRK Group is aiming to catalyze growth for promising entrepreneurial ventures across three particularly exciting domains: Disruptive Technologies, Digital service transformation, and Emerging Africa. TRK Group is primarily focused on helping talented people and organizations reach their full potential and is therefore as focused on societal value creation as financial value creation.


TRK Group regnes som Norges mest aktive engleinvestor. Hvor hadde Norge stått i dag både internasjonalt og globalt om ikke engleinvestorer fantes?