Summer intervju with Knut Bårdsen, partner and CEO at Nordic Change and a mentor at TheFactory.

How do you find being a mentor at TheFactory?

Being a mentor at TheFactory is satisfying, beneficial and challenging for a number of reasons.  First, it is very pleasant and satisfying to work with the combination of energetic young entrepreneurs developing new businesses which create significant end user value and contribute to the transformation of the finance and insurance industry.   Secondly, I am very pleased with the open, listening and generous atmosphere that TheFactory has developed in its eco-system of entrepreneurs, mentors, industrial partners and financial investors.  This culture enforces and enables in-depth understanding and learning of the business challenges, roles, role conflicts and dilemmas, and forms a good basis to develop win-win based viable businesses cooperating with financial and industrial partners. Challenges facing the entrepreneurs as well as the industrial and financial partners, are the high speed of development, the complex business cases, the direct impacts on the finance and insurance industry, and the intimate early-stage dialogues between all parties.  This situation requires need for - and also high returns on-  qualified knowledge and advise.

There is a climate in TheFactory to listen to and appreciate specialist knowledge. 

As a 25-year experienced advisor within business development, industrial and financial partnerships, it is highly appreciated to be able to contribute within these areas.

Do you feel the startups are progressing? 

I experience that the startups are progressing significantly, and with a pace and to a level which is hard to imagine without being part of TheFactory eco-system.

In which areas are you mentoring the most TheFactory entrepreneurs?

I am mentoring the entrepreneurs within my direct areas of expertise, which is strategic business development, and financial and industrial partnerships.

Can you tell us a little bit of your background?

I have a 25+ year history within top management consulting from Norwegian and international management consulting firms as advisor, leader and founder of consulting firms.  My operational experience is from the electronics and automation industry (example Siemens) within project management, sales, manufacturing and product development.  I have a master of science in electrical engineering and computer science (sivilingeniør NTH/NTNU), army officer training, and a MBA (honor) with major in strategy, change management and finance.

Why did you choose to be a mentor? 

I do appreciate to work with value adding businesses where my competence have relevance and impact.  To contribute to good win-win based business developments in tight productive cooperations with entrepreneurs, financial and industrial partners, is a challenging area that I have been working with the last 20+ years. 

To me, TheFactory has formed a good environment to contribute for me within my core competence, which I highly appreciate.

Interested in becoming a mentor at TheFactory, please send a mail to Program Director Hans Christian Bjørne.

More information about the mentors here.