While you are getting your car rental from Reykjavik Airport, you might notice many businesses that are surrounding you and may come across several entrepreneurs. Iceland has been making waves in the tech startup scene lately, with investors and entrepreneurs taking notice of its beautiful landscapes and amazing culture. So if you’re looking to start a travel startup, what’s it like to do business in Iceland? What kind of investment opportunities exist there? And who’s investing in travel startups in Iceland? This guide will help you find the answers to these questions and more.
Who’s Investing in Travel Startups in Iceland?
The First Exciting Growth Phase
The main difference between a startup and a company is growth. A successful startup will grow, which means that at some point it won’t be possible to do everything on your own, you’ll need to start hiring people. Iceland is attracting more foreign investments than ever before. Money that might have gone towards Silicon Valley startups are now being poured into Icelandic startups, such as Aggregate (travel), Songkick (music) and Poster (social media). So don’t be afraid to be based in a different country where opportunity is slowly growing. Moreover, there are a lot of students straight out of university looking for jobs in Iceland which will help your company in its growth phase.
The Second Stage
You’ve read everything you can find online, you’ve built a prototype, and you are ready to start approaching investors. This is another crucial step; if done well, it will get you on your way towards funding. If done poorly, it can make or break your company. Here is what we recommend for a potential investor – Do research. Find out who has invested in travel startups before and what they have invested in. There are resources available such as Crunchbase that allow you to search through companies that have received investments by an individual investor. Make sure whoever you are aiming for you can speak with individually. Once you find someone who might be interested, call them up, and ask them questions about their investing history, experience with similar companies, what they think of your product or service, and so on. Approach them proactively but respectfully. Many people do not like getting cold calls from new companies because they usually have so many of them already; however, there are times when this could work out well. Your research will help you understand the best approach to take.
The Third Stage
More investors are setting their sights on Iceland and looking to capitalise on its growing popularity among travellers. One of those interested parties is Olafur Thor Hauksson, a prominent entrepreneur and serial investor who recently launched a travel startup incubator called Arctic Ventures. Now Hauksson has his eyes set on Iceland’s startups, with plans to make investments in select companies as well as to help them find partners around Europe and abroad.
Early-Stage Funding Versus Late-Stage Funding
There are two main types of funding for startups, according to Entrepreneur, which is early-stage funding and late-stage funding. Early-stage investments occur when a company is still developing its product or building a customer base. The next round of investment comes after your business has been up and running for a while, perhaps with positive results or maybe not – but regardless, you have solid evidence that it works. This kind of investment is called late stage because it happens once you have already reached at least a minimum level of success or maturity. Your business can’t be that young anymore by that point – but it can be young enough to still be risky. If you are planning to test the waters in Iceland before going all in, late stage funding might make more sense. However, if you have already decided upon living in Iceland, then it could be very valuable to get early-stage funding.
What Future Looks Like
The travel industry is one of those that you’ll find constantly evolving, and one in which running a business within Iceland could be exciting due to its growing tourism. People are always seeking new destinations to explore, beaches to relax on, and volcano tours to try out. This holds true both for individuals as well as companies who want to promote their products by offering tourists a memorable experience while they’re abroad. It’s not just about where people are going; it’s also about how they’re travelling there: how they get around once they’ve landed at their destination, what kind of accommodations they stay in (and what those accommodations will provide), and more. The future of travel will continue to evolve based on consumer preferences and technology- but it’ll all be aimed at making people feel like they’re enjoying an authentic experience no matter where they go or how they get there.
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