Norway’s Top 6 Startup Accelerators To Apply To [2023]

Are you looking for capital and/or mentorship for your startup? Norway has some of Europe’s best startup accelerators. Beyond funding, Norway’s startup accelerators also offer entrepreneurs and founders incredible valuable support for product development, sales and marketing.

Whether you are looking to find a co-founder, build your MVP and/or get the seed money you need to scale up, accelerators are the way to go.

In this article we have listed our top 6 accelerator programs in Norway. So, if you haven’t yet started to apply, here is a good place to start learning about them.

This article is part of a series where we present you the top startup incubators and accelerators across Europe. Check out our rankings for the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Spain, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland.
Looking for Norway's top startup venture capital firms instead? Check out our ranking here.

Top 6 Startup Accelerators In Norway

Here’s a summary table of Norway’s top 6 startup accelerators (in alphabetical order):

Name# startups
(to date)
Program lengthInvestment sizeSector focus
(if any)
6 months US$110,000
(for 11% equity)
Energy, Property, and Mobility
DNB NXT (by Startup Lab)30+3 monthsUp to NOK 3 millionFintech, AI, Cyber security, Blockchain
Founder Institute5,000
4 monthsNone *Sector agnostic
Katapult1383 monthsUS$150,000 – US$500,000Impact, Climate
Startup Lab100+3 monthsUp to NOK 3 millionSector agnostic
Techstars40+3 months€100,000Energy

* Founders commit 4% to the Founder Institute Collective (see more on that here)

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Accelerator Vs. Incubator: What’s The Difference?

Using the terms “accelerator” and “incubator” interchangeably is a common mistake. Whilst they are similar and sometimes can be found under the same roof (organisation), they are very different.

Startup Incubators

As the name suggests, startup incubators are tailored more to startups still in their incubation period for their ideas. As such, incubators help startup founders turn their ideas into early working prototype versions of a product or service.

Joining an incubator comes with many perks for early stage businesses. For example, incubators will typically let you use office spaces for twelve months, and in some cases every several years. 

Yet, not all incubators are equal. Some might be specialised on a specific industry, and others on a specific expertise: do you want to work on your Minimal Viable Product (MVP), or are you looking for help to kick-start your sales and marketing efforts?

Therefore, if you’re interested in joining an incubator program, you should first ask for feedback from founders who are currently in the program. You should find out how long they’ve been with the program and what growth they have achieved with its help. 

Incubators are designed to turn business ideas into prototypes
Incubators are designed to turn business ideas into prototypes

Startup Accelerators

In contrast, startup accelerators are ideal for startups that have already gathered some momentum. That’s why startup accelerators are best for startups with a complete cofounding team, a MVP, and that are looking to accelerate their growth (commercialise their product / service). 

Accelerator programs usually take place between a few weeks to a couple of months. In that time, they’ll give you access to their network, connections, knowledge, and a relatively small amount of funding for your startup. 

When looking for an accelerator program, it is crucial to do your research. Identify the program’s list of alumni. Who among their startups experienced success? How many failed? Who are in their list of mentors, and what accomplishments do these people have that you think would help you succeed in your business?

Taking the time to find the best-fit startup accelerator for your business is essential. After all, you’ll be trusting these people to help your business succeed. 

startup accelerator pros and cons
YC’s Demo Day

1. Antler

With multiple locations across the globe, Antler is one of the largest startup accelerator worldwide. Indeed, in Europe alone Antler has programs in London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Oslo and Stockholm.

Their mission is to help founders build successful tech businesses. They do this by incubating startups, then accelerate them to fast track their development in as little as 6 months.

Their accelerator program in Oslo invests up to US€110,000 in return for 11% equity. It also offers a US$2,500 monthly allowance for founders.

In addition to seed funding, Antler provides training and mentoring support to founders.

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2. DNB NXT (by Startup Lab)

DNB NXT is a 3-month accelerator program for startups in Fintech as well as Cyber Security, AI and Blockchain industries.

The accelerator is run by Startup Lab (see below) in partnership with Norway’s largest financial services group DNB ASA.

Therefore, the program terms are similar with those of Startup Lab’s: the program offers startups the opportunity to raise up to NOK 3 million in funding.

In addition to seed funding, founders get unparalleled access to DNB’s experts and infrastructure.

3. Founder Institute

The Founder Institute is one of the largest global pre-seed startup accelerators. Indeed, it has offices in 200+ cities and 65 countries worldwide. Also, it has invested in over 5,000 startups to date.

Also, like any of their other chapters worldwide, their pre-seed accelerator in Norway runs a 4-month program at the end of which graduate founders must commit 4% equity to the Founder Institute Collective (see more on that here).

4. Katapult

Katapult originally was a VC firm which eventually created its own accelerator for startups. Since its inception in 2017, they have accelerated and invested in 138 startups in Impact businesses and other Climate change industries.

Also, they typically run multiple accelerator programs a year, each with its own sector focus.

Although they have separate programs for different industries, all of their programs have the same structure: they run for 3 months and offer startups the opportunity to raise up to US$500,000 from Katapult’s VC arm.

5. Startup Lab

Founded in 2012, Startup Lab is the largest tech incubator and accelerator in Norway.

Its incubator welcomes 100+ startups and its accelerator runs a program twice a year also.

Their accelerator has a 3-month program where all selected companies get at least NOK 1,000,000 with startup funding. Some startups raise as much as NOK 3,000,000.

Startup Lab offers startups mentorship and dedicated support from its network of experts and alumni.

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6. Techstars (+ Equinor)

Founded in 2006, Techstars is one of the world’s largest startup accelerators. Indeed it has accelerated over 2,600 companies to date.

Moreover, Techstars runs industry-specific programs in each of its hubs worldwide. Their chapter in Oslo focuses on Energy companies and is backed by Norway’s oil & energy multinational company Equinor.

In addition to €100,000 seed funding businesses also benefit from a 3-month intense program with mentoring, workshops and access to potential investors at networking events.

Although based in Norway, their accelerator is now fully remote and accepts applications from around the world (44 different countries applied to their 2021 cohort).