X2 Labs Reaching for the Sky
Stavanger-based X2 is a family of companies focused on developing, launching and scaling new business ventures in a wide array of industries across the globe.
The group’s overarching values are tied around having a unique combination of people, programs and partners that capable of driving fast-based growth, with the end goal of taking Norway to a post-oil & gas future and pinning it as a global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
“X2 Labs is a Norwegian startup accelerator and venture builder. Our mission is to reinvent entrepreneurship in order to build better, more agile and successful startups. We launched our own minimum viable product (MVP) in late 2016, and have since then ran four programs with nearly 50 teams. Our programs cover smart cities, digital tourism, aquaculture and ocean space - all of which have been marked by our research as industries of the future,” says CEO & Co-Founder, Christian Rangen.
The accelerator itself comprises four weeks of intense onsite work in teams, with up to 19 hours a day of endlessly revising and pitching their ideas to investors and partners. At the end of the validation process, a handful of teams are selected to become actual startups.
X2 Labs works on a statistical model where they expect to accelerate 1-2 startups per batch in any given program. To date, X2 Labs has accelerated 15 startups, but their current goal is to launch at minimum 50 new companies, thereby making them one of the largest and most ambitious entrepreneurship programs in the Nordics.
“Norway’s future lies in the ocean space. Renewable energy, autonomous shipping, drones, aquaculture, advanced technologies and new business models; all of it is built on generations of maritime knowledge and culture. For us, the ‘Ocean Space’ program, in its broadest sense, was a natural fit. We were able to attract government bodies and corporate partners from across the landscape, including Statoil, Atea and Cisco among others.”
Out of all the teams that participated in the Ocean Space program, Mr Rangen consider EIR of Norway to be the runaway success.
“They have found a massive market opportunity with a solid route to market and their team has learned to execute very, very fast. So far, they have raised two small rounds of capital, all of it happening in under six months. EIR are consistently hitting every milestone in their project plan. They are definitely going to go far.”
As for X2 Labs, at the moment Mr Rangen is concentrating on two phases in sequential order: first, fostering and scaling their top nine portfolio companies, which he says includes a very hands-on approach to fundraising, securing investors, building the teams and testing the business models. The second phase is to work on planning the next three programs for the accelerator.
“We are very excited to announce that they will all be built around the ocean space, ocean tech and aquaculture sectors. We can’t wait to get started. The official launch dates are not made public yet, but new information will be released in the near future.”