Located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bryggen, the wooden walls of the coworking space Impact Hub Bergen date back to the 18th century. Hidden staircases and historic artifacts contrast the colorful furnishings and modern office equipment, providing an inspiring backdrop for social innovation, technology and the realization of ideas.
What is Impact Hub?
Impact Hub Bergen was founded in 2010 by Silje Grastveit, a Kaospilot programme alumni. Silje had a vision for a space that would invite interactions between unlikely allies in the name of creativity and sustainable innovation. In September 2011, Impact Hub Bergen opened its doors and became the first of its kind in Norway. Today, it has grown into a community of more than 50 changemakers that share knowledge through curated community events and programs.
What is happening at Impact Hub?
Impact Hub Bergen also uses social entrepreneurship as a tool to empower and include marginalized groups in Bergen. Some of the programs include STEP, a social entrepreneurship training program for immigrants; Gründermatch, where unemployed individuals are matched with start-ups; Fremtidspiloten and Social Innovation Camp, educational programs for high school and university students about sustainable innovation; the Test Kitchen initiative for food entrepreneurs, which has worked as a springboard for immigrant women starting their own businesses in the catering industry; and Impact Challenge, an innovation program that brings together different actors to generate realizable solutions for pressing social issues.
The Impact Challenge program guides entrepreneurs from idea to incubation, and is supported by Kavlifondet, Bergen Municipality, Hordaland County and Sparebanken Vest. Last year, the program incubated several successful startups around the theme “age-friendly societies”; this year, a selected number of teams will be tackling pressing issues in mental health services.
What is happening during Innovasjonsuken OPP?
This Thursday, Impact Hub will receive a guest visit from VKST accounting services for a lecture on liquidity. The Liquidity Lunch is catered by one of the Testbar’s food entrepreneurs, No Sweet Sour. This presentation will be in Norwegian and will be held in the The Café from 12:30-14:00.
Typically on Fridays, Impact Hub has a weekly “Waffle Pitch” event, where an entrepreneur gives a brief pitch of their business or a specific challenge they are working on. This sparks exciting discussions from the audience around sustainability topics, and – every so often – new collaborations. Join the Waffle Pitch during Innovasjonsuken OPP with Impact Challenge participant Lifekeys, on Friday 20th May from 12:00 – 13:00.
Also on Friday, Silje Grastveit will present Impact Challenge: a program for social entrepreneurs. Those interested in the process of business development for social causes, from idea to launch, can meet in The Café following the Waffle Pitch from 13:30-14:30 for an informal talk.
Following a launch of a tool for pricing graphic design work for start-ups, created by one of Impact Hub’s longest members, Kolbrun Retorikk, Impact Hub is inviting Innovasjonsuken OPP attendees to wind down at theAfter Work Winedown. After an exciting week of inspiration and events, have a drink together with other entrepreneurs in a relaxed environment at Impact Hub Bergen. The first visitors will receive a free aperitivo.
Interested in meeting our community?
Impact Hub Bergen is open during the week of Innovasjonsuken OPP for anyone who would like to try out coworking at Bryggen: Register here for your free day pass.