Trondheim is the third largest city of Norway with over 200.000 inhabitants. It is the largest city in the Trøndelag region. This region has almost 500.000 inhabitants. However small in size, this city is of great importance for Norway. Not only because of its strategic position, but most of all because of its innovative and inventive nature.
Hub between North and South
Trondheim is ideally located in the centre of Norway on the main Norwegian highway E6. This makes it easily accessible by car (+/- 500 km from Oslo). As the hub between the north and the south of Norway, Trondheim is an important rail hub as well. The Trondheim Central Station (Trondheim S) connects Trondheim with Oslo in the south and Bodø up north.
Trondheim has a international airport, Værnes, offering direct flights to among others London and Amsterdam and a wide range of domestic destinations. Plus, the airport is accessible within 30 minutes by car, train or bus.
Tech and Innovation Capital of Norway
Oslo is the largest city and is seen as as the main business centre of Norway. Stavanger is the oil capital of Norway and Bergen is a large shipping and tourism hub. So where does that leave Trondheim? Trondheim could be called the science, technology and innovation city of Norway. That is because the city is well-known as a knowledge and business centre for marine and aquaculture business. There are a few key organizations that make Trondheim the tech and innovation hub it is.
It is home to Scandinavia’s largest independent research organization, SINTEF. Its main areas or research are: Health Technology and society, Oil and energy, ICT, Materials and chemistry, Construction and Marine science. This research institute is a large accelerator of innovation and growth, not only in Trondheim but all over Norway. Because of that, many startups have spun out directly or indirectly from SINTEF. In addition to this, the institute has established a seed investment fund to stimulate commercial application of research and development.
NTNU Trondheim University of Technology
NTNU is one the leading technological universities in the Nordics and Europe. A relatively unique aspect NTNU is its high ranking on universities with the most corporate links. This is mainly due to NTNU’s close ties to SINTEF.
Furthermore, the university stimulates entrepreneurship among students through a wide variety of programs, courses and funding and subsidies.
Largest companies in Trondheim
Not only is Trondheim increasing its position as a startup capital. Trondheim is also home to a large amount of mid-sized and large companies. Below a list of Trondheim’s largest companies in terms of revenue and profit (numbers are x1000 NOK).
|1||HENT AS||6 765 278||158 576|
|2||DANSKE BANK||6 751 000||3 709 000|
|3||COOP MIDT-NORGE SA||6 217 296||150 343|
|4||SPAREBANK 1 SMN||5 493 000||2 862 000|
|5||ASKO MIDT-NORGE AS||5 428 523||71 228|
|6||NORWAY ROYAL SALMON ASA||5 080 807||807 739|
|7||VESTAS NORWAY AS||3 507 827||41 231|
|8||STIFTELSEN SINTEF||3 258 160||184 792|
|9||E.A. SMITH AS||3 199 881||52 090|
|10||NORDIC SEMICONDUCTOR ASA||USD 271 134||USD 14 047|
|11||I K LYKKE AS||2 747 258||58 234|
|12||SVEA FINANS NUF||2 127 041||767 238|
|13||SINTEF AS||2 009 151||103 065|
|14||DANICA PENSJONSFORSIKRING AS||1 881 999||62 459|
|15||ORKLA CONFECTIONERY & SNACKS NORGE AS||1 881 926||289 989|
|16||ATB AS||1 775 796||7 572|
|17||TEEKAY KNARR AS||1 758 285||183 565|
|18||GRILSTAD AS||1 464 790||117 770|
|19||MØLLER BIL TRØNDELAG AS||1 432 510||25 311|
|20||REITAN HANDEL AS||1 199 000||1 186 000|
Offices and Co-working in Trondheim
In recent years Trondheim has increasingly put itself on the map as a startup city. This has resulted in an increase in co-working space for entrepreneurs. Besides established office providers like Regus, many others offer co-working in a young and high-tech environment. Probably the most well-known off those is Digg, part of the Mesh coworking concept that originated in Oslo.
Finding an investor in Trondheim
Although traditionally most of the capital is centralized in Oslo, there are several investment funds and wealthy individuals (informal investors) in Trondheim that can help kickstart or grow your company.
There are several private investment firms, among them family owned/backed firms of some of Trondelags wealthiest families and individuals. For example, Wiski Capital is the fund of the heir to the Witzøe family’s salmon business. They invest mostly in tech startups. Wiski Capital is owned for the largely by one of the oldest investment firms, Salvesen & Thams. They invest more in the mature growth stages of companies and focus less on online tech. There are also a few public initiatives to stimulate startups and venture capital. The best example hereof is called Startup Trondheim which is an online platform that tries to connect startups with investors, co-working spaces and event.
Expat life in Trondheim
Trondheim is home to a relatively large number of expats. That is because in its core Trondheim is an internationally oriented and tolerant city. Another important reason: Norwegians are great at English. In fact, Norwegians are in the top 3 of non-native English speaking nations in the world.
If you are not familiar with the city and you do not know any locals, it might be difficult to get started as an expat in Trondheim. Therefore, you should start your search for expat life online. There are several meetups being organized and there is an active Facebook group. Furhermore, the people at LifeinNorway have created a great expat blog on Trondheim.
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