The Theme Alibi


startup spiritThis year, we’re doing a theme-based SWS. Why? Because we’re very cool like that.

Be that as it may, here’s a quick post to explain why we chose themes:-) And why we chose the themes we did.


We love a free flowing, unstructured, creative process as much as the next person. This time though, when we put our heads together to plan, we figured that we would like to focus on those areas where:

a) there is a need for new innovative products, services and processes and

b) where there is a pre-exisiting environment that focuses on and supports innovation and entrepreneurship.

It was important for us to address local and Norwegian challenges with globally scalable solutions. We also reckoned that putting themes out there would hopefully encourage teams to think along those lines. We also wanted to ensure that between our chosen mentors and judges, we had the requisite competence to assist projects and give them a chance to breathe.

We finally decided upon Energy, Health, Tourism and IT.

Energy, because we can’t stress enough the importance of finding alternative sources to complement a fast-depleting, finite resource.

Health, because our rapidly ageing population makes it critically important for us to find healthcare service solutions and supplemental in-home technologies.

Tourism, because we live in a stunning region that we want more people to know about and because we also want to think of new, fresh ways to connect to the world through travel.

IT, because it is red thread, the umbrella so to speak,  that can unite all the other themes. (And Startup weekend without new apps? Are you kidding me?)

Most importantly, we want to make it super clear that if you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit into these themes, you’re still most welcome to pitch it during Startup Weekend Stavanger!

We are really looking forward to focussing on these topics, and we hope many of you will too, but we’ll still appreciate the outsider surprise.