The World to Media City Bergen

Published 25.10.2019
Last week, cluster member HoloCap pitched their solution to Horizons Ventures, one of the leading global investment funds in the world.

The pitch was part of the first ever Acceler8 Game Changers Investor Summit, where the Hong Kong based venture capital firm Horizons Ventures gathered in Media City Bergen to meet with the most exciting startups in Norway.

Horizons Ventures is one of the world’s leading investment funds, boasting portfolio companies like Facebook, Spotify and Slack and the VC acts as the technology investment arm of Hong Kong-based industrial magnate and philanthropist Sir Li Ka Shing. All the profits from Horizons Ventures go into the Li Ka Shing Foundation, which manages the world’s second largest charitable trust. 

Hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs attended the two-day summit, which included pitch sessions from startup companies, workshops in the MCB Media Lab, a full-day conference with international speakers, a demo floor in the Media City Bergen Atrium and Horizons Ventures annual TechCracker Lab event, which takes place at different locations each year. 

Handpicked companies
Horizons Ventures spent a full day scouting for investment opportunities, with cluster member HoloCap being one of startups selected to pitch for the VC firm.

- The pitch went really well, and we have agreed to meet again, says HoloCap co-founder Peder Børresen after his presentation, which was held behind closed doors at Media City Bergen. 

Pitch: HoloCap co-founder Peder Børresen pitching HoloCap to Horizons Ventures, behind closed doors. 

HoloCap has developed user-friendly yet powerful solutions for capturing live hologram videos. They are making it possible for a person to appear live in front of audiences at multiple locations - all at the same time. 

- We are actually fundraising right now, and Horizons knows our space, says Børresen. 

- It may be a bit early for us to get venture capital, and the amount we are raising now is much smaller than the typical Horizons investment. But for the next round, when we are getting an international team in place, they would be an ideal partner, he says.

- While the hype around virtual technology is now being overtaken by AI, nobody knows what will happen next. But we do see a convergence towards real-time and immersive. In the future, we will not just watch our favorite show, we will most likely be inside it, he explains. 

Peder Børresen runs the company together with his brother Stian, who built the technology. Despite their small size, HoloCap has already managed to secure around 100 pilot projects in 12 different countries. They are collaborating with a wide range of companies, spanning from film to medical technology. They have also made their mark within their own industry. 

- Two years ago, when we were just starting out, we received an Auggie Award at the AWE tradeshow. We had barely registered the company, and showed up with a logo that we had made ourselves. One of Horizons' portfolio companies were also nominated for that award, but we managed to take it home, says Børresen.

Sixty among the selected companies
Sixty were also handpicked to pitch for Horizons Ventures - and the timing could not have been more perfect, as they are currently fundraising for their scale-up. A company "born and raised" in the media cluster, they can look back on many years of solid growth as a graphics and UX services provider to the industry.
Optimistic: Kjetil Horneland, CEO of Sixty, after his pitch to Horizons Ventures. 

- A while back, we made the strategic decision to transition from a services-company to a product-company. We wanted to take all we learned over the years, while creating many of the largest TV streaming services, and build a world class platform for interactive TV in the cloud, says Kjetil Horneland, CEO, Sixty. 

A major sports league is already using Sixty’s interactive graphics product worldwide and direct to their consumers.

- Our technology is distributed on a global scale, and things are working really well, explains Horneland. Adding that the company already has several local investors backing them.

- But scaling up is a complex process, and we would like to have an international VC with us for this coming expansion phase. Horizons’ expertise here would be very valuable to us, he concludes.

Acceler8 Founder Silje Vallestad introducing the Horizons Ventures TechCracker Lab at Media City Bergen.
Networking: Startups and investors from all over Norway attended the Acceler8 event at Media City Bergen.

Networking: Startups and investors from all over Norway attended the Acceler8 event at Media City Bergen.

Networking: Startups and investors from all over Norway attended the Acceler8 event at Media City Bergen.

Article by Hilde Gudvangen