President Obama Invites World’s Best Entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley

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Entrepreneurs and investors recently met at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 (GES 2016, June 22-24). President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and prominent representatives of the US administration hailed some of the world’s foremost entrepreneurs.

President Obama invited two entrepreneurs from Norway that was selected by the administration among 5000 applicant as their guests at GES 2016 summit: Pål Kristian Levang and Lars Theodor Kintel. The United States lined up with 400 investors and dished up leading entrepreneurial stars like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sergey Brin to join in on the event.

The United States invests heavily in entrepreneurship. The goal of inviting the most promising entrepreneurs from 170 countries around the world was to give entrepreneurs an equal opportunity to succeed with their ideas, regardless of culture, geography, gender, race, religion and age. – The next big entrepreneur does not come from Silicon Valley, stated Mary Grove, Director of Google for Entrepreneurs, in her lecture at GES 2016.

"The next big entrepreneur does not come from Silicon Valley"

Mary Grove, Director of Google for Entrepreneurs Tweet

Sergey Brin, one of the founders behind Google, shared Grove’s views. He told the participants about his experiences and thought that conditions for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley have become more difficult than when he himself broke through: – It has become more expensive to survive the early phase, and more expensive food and livelihoods contribute to not many ideas come out of Silicon Valley anymore. I notice that more mature companies are able to raise venture capital, but entrepreneurs in the early stages are having a hard time, said Sergey Brin and added: – The next good idea will most likely come from Asia or Europe.

Pål Kristian Levang is the founder of Nornir, a deep tech company with specialized networking technology for Internet of Things. Lars Theodor Kintel has, among other things, established a translation company and a diving company. The US government covered the stay of the Norwegian entrepreneurs during the event. – Meeting the entrepreneurial stars gives enormous respect and is a real vitamin injection, says Pål Kristian Levang. – I just wish more Norwegian entrepreneurs could experience this.

"Meeting the entrepreneurial stars gives enormous respect and is a real vitamin injection. I just wish more Norwegian entrepreneurs could experience this"

Pål Kristian Levang, CEO of Nornir Tweet

Nornir’s technology has attracted attention as so-called “disruptive technology”. Nornir brings to market a technological breakthrough that simplifies networking communication and eliminates middleware and complex interfaces, enabling developers to produce their own products easily and more cost-effectively. Nornir offers real, horizontal end-to-end communication between all objects and online services.

Entrepreneurs are superheroes

What has it been like to be elected by the US President to attend this gathering?

“I feel very privileged, it is certainly a great honor, and I did not want the days in Silicon Valley to end!” says Pål Kristian Levang. Kintel nods and adds that the invitation is a confirmation that what you are doing is going in the right direction.

The two founders believe that Norway can learn a lot from the United States: – In Silicon Valley there is no such thing as a mistake, says Kintel and quotes Thomas A. Edison: “I have not failed, I have only found 10,000 ways that do not work.” – The founders here are superheroes, they are the coolest and most important people in the whole society.

"In Silicon Valley there is no such thing as a mistake. The founders here are superheroes, they are the coolest and most important people in the whole society."

Obama's speech at GES 2016

President Obama wants to create an entrepreneurial culture in which everyone, regardless of background, can participate, a culture in which innovation and creativity are valued. – Instead of looking at how something works today, we should look at how we want it to work, encourages the president who looked forward to replacing his formal shirt with an entrepreneur’s T-shirt.

Watch Obama's speak

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