• The main objective is simply to give startups access to the resources necessary to develop faster.


  • Give insight and acceleration in business development and Lean management


  • Urge startups to work to verify one or more MVPs to find a market fit as fast as possible


  • Development of one or more business models


  • Development of a Investor presentation


  • Give valuable Pitch training & feedback


  • Development of network to external partners, customers, co-participants and investors


  • ITSA is a general business accelerator program and we expect participating companies to transform insights and learnings to develop and accelerate the companies specific concept, MVP, marked and business model.




ITSA is a 12 weeks Business Accelerator Program for Tech Startups. We gather once a week for a full day meeting with pitch training, feedback, workshops, lectures, food and mingling with business partners. The last day of the program is the Open Demo & Pitch Day Competition.


On the Open Demo & Pitch Day Competition, a jury selects the best company, and the company will get a 500 000 NOK offer of investment from Validé and will also be a candidate for a 2 mill NOK minimum investment from Validé Invest AS.


We are located in the Innovation Park in Stavanger.




Open for all Startups that work with new and innovative tech products, services and solutions within ICT, Energy, Health, Welfare technology, Food, Agriculture, Gaming and Creative Businesses.





Thomas Berglund

Chairman Startup Norway

Former serial entrepreneur with 3 exits turned into Business Angel with a portfolio of twenty investments, trying to help Startup succeed.

Chairman and part owner of Startup Norway, with initiatives like Angel Challenge , Startup Extreme and OHOI(Oslo House of Innovation)


Christoffer Riseng

Founder and CEO at Requestify

Requestify was the winner of ITSA Batch 2, and is the company that aims to make an impact on the global Music streaming industry.

Be inspired!


Daniel Chaibi

CTO at Foodback

Daniel’s main responsibility is to lead the development team in Poland, and make sure our internal tools are friction free, so we can concentrate on creating great value for our customers. In a small start-up, he’s really just a potato, helping out where it needs, and that’s basically everywhere :-)


Sindre Haaland

Founder & Owner at Dogu

Dogu AS is a Norwegian company founded in 2011 by Sindre Haaland from Stavanger. Today, the company has a total of 27 employees, with offices in Norway, the United States, the Netherlands and France. The company is behind SalesScreen's motivation software, with over 400 customers in 15 different countries.


Sean Paul Shanor

Sean Paul Shanor is a Norwegian American globetrotter having spent most of his life in Dubai and the Far East, with the majority of the last decade running operations for professional golf events worldwide. At 30 he came home to Norway, got sparked by his first ever Startup Weekend, and has been engaged in entrepreneurship ever since. He’s cofounded a number of startups, pushes lean business methodology through Lean Startup Circle Stavanger, and loves to ask “Why?” - over and over and over again.


In 2016, he lead and energized over 150 participants through 4 week accelerator programs that built 16 companies. Now he’s focused on facilitating Startup Weekend’s worldwide, giving inspirational talks for universities and companies, life coaching and positively affecting a billion people through his company SynergySpace. SynergySpace is the umbrella for many different projects - all focused on synergizing entrepreneurs by building likely (and unlikely) connections, workshops to stretch the mind in possibility, local meetups, and a (under development) grassroots, global facilitation system.

He holds two Bachelor degrees in Finance and Hospitality Management, a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, and is an engaged Course Assistant for the Pennsylvania State University Data Analytics Masters program.


Martin Heiberg

Manager Private Transactions | Private Banking at DNB

Martin holds a MSc in Finance from BI Sandvika.

Martin has worked on transactions in the SMB segment since 2006.


Bjørn Christensen

Partner at Alliance Venture

Alliance Venture is a Norwegian venture capital firm investing in early stage technology companies. Total capital under management is 850 MNOK (about € 100 million).


Krister Mangersnes

Patent attorney at Homsø

Ph.D. in physics, specializing in solar cell technology, University of Oslo 2011. M.Sc. in Materials Science University of Oslo 2006. Researcher Department of Solar Energy, Institute for Energy Technology 2009-2010. Ph.D. studies Department of Solar Energy, Institute for Energy Technology 2006-2010. Design, trademark and patent law, University of Oslo 2012. Patent attorney at Håmsø since 2010. European Patent Attorney. Head of Patent Department from 2015.


Kyrre Tangen Andersen

Attorney & Assosiate Partner at Kluge

Kyrre works both in Kluges energy department and in Kluges ICT / intellectual property law department. He has also been involved in Kluges department for procedure and public procurement, and has a broad practice that includes ongoing assistance, project implementation related to oilfield development and dispute assignments.

Kyrre is also responsible for Kluges Gründerhjelp in Stavanger.


Sashko Despotovski

Sashko Despotovski, an investment banker, fund manager, and investor, is a Canadian national living in the Nordics, and has over a decade of exposure to USA and Canadian capital markets. His specialties are fundraising and fund dissemination. He serves as an advisor to a number of public and private firms.

Sashko is a University of British Columbia (Jack Bell Research Centre) and University of the Fraser Valley science graduate.



Mirjam Engelsvold

Founder & owner at MindUp

Early in her career, Mirjam received top management experience from an international company with over a thousand employees. Today, she transforms learning into practice at a high pace, with a clear and contagious willingness to develop and believe in opportunities. She never places people in the booth and brings along a lightness that creates a great atmosphere and security in the process of working with people .

Hervé Suzan

Mr Suzan is a multilingual Canadian national, operating out of France, Canada and the Caribbean. He is a sought after speaker, a CEO of a W5 management consulting agency, and is an expert in IT, marketing and system implementations. His clients include conglomerates VIA Rail (transport), TEK Systems (staffing), Orange (communications) and SITA (airports), and has done work with Mazda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Chrysler and TADA, in addition to various startups.


Hervé began his career in Montreal (Vidéotron and Positron) and then Paris, with posts at Société Générale, BNP Paribas, and Credit du Nord. Subsequent projects in Africa and Latin America followed, expanding his global imprint.

He holds an MBA, and degrees from various North American institutions, including University of Calinfornia, Irvine. As a hobby, he founded and operated a prestigious Parisian performance dance company that toured in over 50 cities annually during its decade long tenure.


Espen Devold

Head of agency at Skarpsinn

Master in International Trade with Specialization in Brand Strategy from France; Bachelor of Business Administration from the United States and Spain; Cand mag. In Merkantil French and International Trade from Østfold University College. Previously worked as Adviser in DDB, Head of Marketing in Adidas, Global Retail Marketing Manager at Helly Hansen and Sales and Marketing Coordinator in the Kavli Group


Benjamin Sommer

Agile coach & trainer I Innovation mentor

Benjamin works with entrepreneurs and organizations to help them succeed with continuous improvement and innovation. He focuses on lean, business model innovation and making product development teams go fast.

Benjamin holds a Certificate of Business Excellence from University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business and a Master of Business Administration from University of Agder.

He has written and translated several book son agile/Scum and Business Model Innovation. For a list of investments and board positions see Benjamin’s Linkedin-profil.

Karen Elisabeth Ohm Heskja

Strategic advisor for Partners, Digitalization and Business development at DNB

Karen-Elisabeth is driven by her passions, and her passions lies in innovation processes, stimulating the startup ecosystem and connecting people to create energy and impact.

Previous positions: Manager Corporate Innovation, Statoil, Labout Relations Manager, CHC, Country Manager Mexico and Cuba, Gateway Collegue as well as various roles in the UN and the Norwegian Refugee Council. She is initiator and partner in several innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives in the Stavanger area, like Stavanger Startup Weekend and TEDxStavanger.

Bjarte Magnussen

Commersial Director at Validé, Manager at Validé Invest

Executive MBA from Rice University, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, USA, and MSc in Business and Administration, Bodø Business School.

Bjarte has 20 years of experience from different technology companies in all phases, start-up, growth and maturing, including 8 years in the management team of the telecom company Altibox, responsible for business management and finance, central to business acquisitions and development of new business models.


Kikk off, Pitch & Selection day for new ITSA Companies:


Thursday Aug 31th 09.00 - 14.00


ITSA day gatherings & workshops:


Thursday Sept 7th 09.00 - 15.00

Thursday Sept 14th 09.00 - 15.00

Thursday Sept 21th 09.00 - 15.00

Thursday Sept 28th 09.00 - 15.00

Thursday Oct 5th 09.00 - 15.00

Thursday Oct 19th 09.00 - 15.00

Thursday Oct 26th 09.00 - 15.00

Thursday Nov 2nd 09.00 - 15.00

Wednesday Nov 8th 10.00 - 13.00

Thursday Nov 9th 09.00 - 15.00

Wednesday Nov 15th 10.00 - 13.00


Open Demo Day & Competition:


Thursday Nov 16th 12.00 - 16.00


Angel Challenge Finale at Nordic Edge Expo:

Tuesday Sept 27th 18.00 - 23.00

ITSA participants are invited to join the Angel

Challenge finale at Nordic Edge




Changes to the program may occur.




The program will have 12 full day gatherings for startups and partners. The full day gatherings will consist of company pitch with feedback, lectures on Business development, Lean Startup, MVP, marketing, legal matters, racing capital, sharings from entrepeneurs, mingling with partners and breakfast & lunch.



The Pitch sessions for the participating companies will be based on weekly tasks, and the goal of the pitch sessions is to accelerate business development for each participating company and develop a Investor presentation during the program.



The last full day Gathering is the Open Demo Day & Pitch day Competition. The best ITSA company wil get an invitation to the Validé Incubator program and a offer of a 500 000 NOK investment from Validé.




  • The best company will be offered a place in the Validé Incubator and a 500 000 NOK investment from Validé. The company and will also be a candidate for the Validé Investment Fund and a 2 mill NOK minimum investment


  • The best ITSA company will be picked out on the Open Pitch Day & Competition, by a jury


  • The ITSA program will consist of 12 full day gatherings (09:00-15:00) including two company pitch and selection days and one open pitch and competition day. This also includes 22 lectures & workshops on business development & sharings from experienced founders


  • Each ITSA company will get a business advisor from Validé and will get a one-to-one meeting each week during the program


  • The ITSA program has a fee of 20 000 NOK pr. company


  • Free Workspace for participants in the Innovation Park during the program


  • We offer breakfast, lunch and the possibility to mingle & meet with our network including investors

  • The ITSA Companies that are not present incubator companies, will be possible candidates for the Validé Incubator at the end of the ITSA program


  • Student companies can apply to the Plogen program for additional support. For more information and qualification criteria please visit: Before applying pleace take contact with the program manager.


ABOUT ITSA: ITSA aims to make an impact on the startup community in Norway. The accelerator is powered by Validé; Technology Transfer Office, Business Incubator, Accelerator & early stage investments. The Accelerator program builds on many years of experience with developing startups on the West coast of Norway. We aim to be a vibrant hub for startups, entrepreneurs, founders, mentors, investors and students. ITSA runs two accelerator programs a year bringing together new companies, mentors, investors, industrial partners and founders for weekly gatherings and sharings of knowledge, feedback, pitch sessions, network, pains and relieves. We collaborate with other startup hubs and communities in Stavanger and in Norway because we think sharing is caring and we want to strengthen the important community of creating new possibilities and new growth.


Contact the accelerator if you want to contribute with annything:


- you can also check out the ITSA team.

Business adress:

Validé AS

Måltidets Hus


Richard Johnsensgate 4

4021 Stavanger



T: +47 51 87 59 00

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