True Stories Behind Icelandic Startups

entrepreneur leadership networking startup communities Jun 11, 2011

For the past three weeks I have been working on putting together one of the most interesting conference in Iceland so far (in my opinion). I have tried using all my free time, that really isn’t very much, mainly in the evenings and over the weekends. I have gotten together some of the most interesting entrepreneurs in Iceland and they have all agreed to share with us the stories behind their beginning as entrepreneurs and the beginning of their companies. The conference will take place on the 18th of June, the day after Iceland’s independence day, from 10am to 5pm followed by a networking meetup in the evening.

Here are the people that will be sharing their experiences at the conference:


Haukur Gudjonsson, Búngaló (myself).

Haukur is the founder and CEO of Búngaló, a company that has created a platform to assist Icelandic families create extra income by renting out there vacation houses while they themselves are not using them.

He has also much experience of the Icelandic entrepreneurial environment since he has worked with many of the entrepreneurial centers as well as teaching entrepreneurship both independently and at the Iceland Academy of Arts.



Hjálmar Gíslason, Datamarket.

Hjálmar Gíslason is the founder and CEO of DataMarket, a data portal that provides access to statistics and structured data from various public and private sector organizations.

Hjálmar is an serial entrepreneur and a technology enthusiast. Datamarket is the fourth company he has founded in the technology sector. Before founding Datamarket in the year 2008 he worked on the development of for Iceland’s largest telecommunication companies.



Ingi Gauti Ragnarsson,

Ingi is the founder and CEO of Frontur ehf., the company runs which is one of the largest websites in Iceland. The website is a platform for communication with special emphasis on blogs for parents, pet-owners and more. Frontur also runs 3 websites abroad specialized for parents.

Ingi has worked as a programmer since 1998 and has in that time period started 3 companies.


Torfi G Yngvason, Arctic Adventures.

Torfi is the CEO and one of the Founders of Arctic Adventures, an Icelandic adventure and activity company with an emphasis on eco tourism and environmentally friendly trips in the amazing Icelandic nature. Their trips consist of for example river rafting, snorkeling, super-jeeps, horse rides, ice-climbing, snowmobiles and more.

Torfi has much experience of the Icelandic tourism industry and before becoming CEO of Arctic Adventures he worked as a adventure guide in Iceland.


Colin Wright, Ebookling.

Colin is an American entrepreneur, writer and CEO of Ebookling, a platform for publishers of all flavors to up their product’s game and make a living off their work.

Colin also runs Exile Lifestyle, through which he writes about entrepreneurship, travel and extreme lifestyle experiments. His readers vote on a new country for him to move to every 4 months. For the past few months he has been living in Iceland after his readers voted for it.



Elinóra Inga Sigurðardóttir, Royal Natural.

Elinóra is the founder and CEO of Royal Natural, a company that manufactures organic dog treats made solely out of dried fish skin without any additives or preservatives.

Elinora is also very active in the entrepreneurial environment, she has a television show called entrepreneurs and is one of the founders of KVENN, women in innovation.



Vilborg Einarsdóttir, Mentor.

Vilborg is the Founder of Mentor, a leading Scandinavian company in the field of Information & Learning Management system for schools, with the focus on individualized learning. Its flagship product, InfoMentor has been developed in close co-operation with schools over the last 20 years.

Today there solution is used in 900+ schools in Sweden, Switzerland and Iceland.



Tóti Stefánsson, Mobilitus.

Tóti is the founder of Mobilitus, a company that provides mobile web and alerts services in a hosted environment. Mobilitus is a boot-strapped startup company, proudly self-financed the old fashioned way; through revenues.

Over the years Mobilitus has worked with many of the largest companies in the world, companies like Intel, Ericsson, Vodafone, Sprint, AT&T and more.



It can save you a lot of time and money to learn from the mistakes and successes of others.

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