Last year, Smart Innovation Norway launched its brand-new fund – Fortress Fund. The goal is to realize new, rapidly growing technology companies. The fund focuses on entrepreneurs who are developing products and services within energy transition, artificial intelligence, and climate technology.
Smart Innovation Norway already offers a valuable incubation program with business development advice for startups, and through Fortress Fund, the company can also provide financial support.
"The fund is an important piece of our work in building a future-oriented business environment. We invest our capital, expertise, and energy in companies with the potential to succeed internationally,” CEO of Fortress Fund, Lorenzo Ruscelli.
Aims to invest 100 million NOK
Over the next years, Ruscelli hopes to invest 100 million in promising technology companies.
Among the investors behind the fund is the labor union Tekna.
“Fortress Fund is rooted in a strong professional environment, which provides a good starting point for the success of the fund. For us, the return on investment is not the most important thing, but rather the technical development that the investments will contribute to. Our members have higher education in technical fields, and Tekna aims to contribute to technological development in Norway. That's essential for us and the main reason we invest in Fortress Fund,” comments Kent Varmedal, Chairman of Tekna Oslo Division.
Who is Fortress Fund looking for?
Fortress Fund primarily invests in the following areas: Energy transition, artificial intelligence, and climate technology. Four companies have already received funding through the fund, and there will be more.
“We want to invest in 5-7 companies per year and provide 1-2 million NOK in the first round. We also have opportunities for follow-up investments,” says Ruscelli.
To get in touch with Fortress Fund, companies can visit fortressfund.no. There, they submit their pitch deck which is evaluated by Ruscelli. Then the company is reviewed by an investment committee consisting of experienced investors and entrepreneurs, before being invited to a series of meetings with the investment committee.
The most important criteria that need to be met are that the company:
- is Norwegian-owned
- is technology-oriented (software is the core)
- has a skilled and ambitious team with a commercial mindset
- has a scalable and international business model in a large and growing market
- has a differentiated product with a significant competitive advantage
- possesses top technical expertise in relevant domains
- has high ethical standards
- addresses sustainability challenges