The exclusive event brought together venture capitalists, industrial investors, dealmakers and entrepreneurs. It is also a catalyst for the newly launched alignment between the Ocean Industries of maritime, offshore energy and seafood that aims to exploit synergies and unlock opportunities.
“The Ocean Industries buzzword has become more and more common,” said Erik W. Jakobsen, Partner and CEO of Menon Business Economics.
Many Norwegian companies in Ocean Industries have had very high growth, Jakobsen said. Of the high-growth companies in Norway that doubled their revenues from 2009 to 2011, about a quarter of them were related to Ocean Industries, he said. Over that two-year period, those 258 companies had total revenues of NOK 50 billion.
Some of Norway’s most successful investors – Grieg, Kjell Inge Røkke’s Aker, and John Fredriksen’s companies – already have ownership stakes in all three Ocean Industry segments.
Start-ups, spin-offs and gazelles were all welcome at Venture Forum, with the initial focus on technology companies within shipping and offshore shipping.
The event was divided into three sessions covering operational efficiency technology, oil and gas technology, and green technology. The heads of a select group of capital-hungry maritime companies gave sales pitches to sell their stories and lure potential investors. Following the presentations, a panel of experts, including financial and industrial heavyweights, gave their critique and advice based on factors such as market relevance, business models, drivers for success, and partnering opportunities. They may even set up a behind-the-scenes meeting after the event.
The Nor-Shipping Agenda Offshore conference dedicated an entire session to the Ocean Space, signifying its importance. Gunvor Ulstein, CEO of Ulstein Group, said the opportunities will be enormous as the Ocean Space develops – from offshore wind and deepsea mining to aquaculture and ocean mapping and monitoring. “There are a lot of new places we can take our technology and expand,” she said.
For the full press release, please visit the Nor-Shipping website.