Proventia – a business incubator for start-ups and growth established
The company Proventia AS, which is to assist in setting up and growing businesses in Telemark, was founded on Herøya this morning. Behind the newly-established company stand nine strong partners who represent industry, government, research and education.
Representatives of the owners, in light snow: From the left, Gunnar Bråthen from Bilfinger, Ståle Tveit and Jørn Roar Bamle from Vekst i Grenland (Growth in Grenland), Rolf Olaf Larsen from Herøya Industrial Park, Pål Augestad from Telemark University College, Lise Wiik from Telemark County Authority, Thor Oscar Bolstad from Herøya Industrial Park, Per-Anders Folladal from SIVA, Håvard Skare from Klosterøya Utvikling, Ann-Iren Haugen from ØPD Group and Didrik Bakken from Telemark County Authority.
An incubator can be compared to fertile soil where you plant whatever it takes to make the seeds germinate and grow.
– An entrepreneur comes to the incubator with an idea, and with support, advice, capital, networks and physical organisation, the idea can be developed into a business that can eventually grow, explains Rolf Olaf Larsen from Herøya Industrial Park. He has been in charge of developing the project in conjunction with Vekst i Grenland and SIVA.
Larsen emphasises that the new company might not necessarily be located on Herøya — Bamble, Klosterøya, Notodden or other locations may be just as appropriate.
A little early It is still too early to forecast how many new companies and jobs might grow out of the incubator, but the founders have clear ambitions.
– Through close collaboration in the region, we are hoping to gain a broad range of ideas and projects, including from established firms, which will provide growth and new jobs in the long term, highlights Thor Oscar Bolstad, the newly elected chairman fromHerøyaIndustrial Park.
Verdal, a role model Some 40 incubators have been established nationwide and among them Verdal is a role model. Per-Anders Folladal from SIVA says that the number of companies and employees has doubled in Verdal over the past 12 years, very much thanks to the business incubator scheme.
– Verdal had a unilateral business composition that was vulnerable to trade cycles. In recent years, the town has undergone tremendous growth which has given it a far more robust business make-up.
General manager hired Proventia has recently appointed Morten Braatø as the company’s general manager, and he comes with broad business experience, including roles at Borealis, Yara and REC. He will be based inHerøyaIndustrial Park and will work closely with the resources that the principal owners make available. – This makes the incubator a bigger resource environment, one that can support new ideas and push the best ideas further, as Jørn Roar
Bamle from ViG emphasises.
At today’s founding meeting, the company’s board was also elected and the opening balance sheet was approved. The company starts out with NOK 4.3 millions of share capital and an annual operating capital of about NOK 4 million. The company is also planning to build up a fund worth NOK 15-20 million.