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October 26, 2006

Completing Gründerskolen

Working in Oslo

After getting home from Brussels there were at least one good thing waiting for me at home, a delivery slip saying that my DSL-modem had arrived! Finally I could start really using the net again, as opposed to just doing the most basic things over my 3G cellphone-connection. And then on Tuesday some guys showed up to install a wall-mounted oven in my bathroom as the floor-heating was broken when I moved in. About time I say, as winter is just around the corner and a ground-level apartment without gets really chilly along the floors, so now I've gotten everything in the apartment in order, just in time for the Wednesday arrival of Øystein and Carina from Gründerskolen, who will be staying at my place over the weekend during the Gründerskolen Fall Seminar, the completion of my days as a student!

Thursday morning all three of us headed up to the University in Oslo to meet the rest of the gang and check out the seminars, and it turns out that our program was a part of the Oslo Innovation Week so there were lots of interesting stuff happening. On of the best lectures was a presentation of the MIT FabLab Norway by its founder Haakon Karlsen Jr. who told us the amazing story of its conception. There was also a really good and break-neck paced speech by Trygve Hegnar, founder of the Norwegian financial magazine "Kapital", plus several other lectures and a panel debate on entrepreneurship, plus time to mingle while getting some food and beer. We also got tickets to First Tuesday, so afterwards we headed down to Oslo City Hall to see what that was all about. It too was themed as a part of the OIW and there was several speeches on entrepreneurship as well as free beer, and we also got to talk to a bunch of interesting people.

The next morning we went back to UiO for another day of lectures, this time more related to our summer-stay with evaluations of our assignments and slideshows from the various destinations, as well as the awesome movie that Bjørn made from our stay in Silicon Valley. After "school" Carina wanted to go shopping while Øystein and I went back to my place to chill out. Later Øystein went out to meet his brother while I met up with Jan Helge and a bunch of the Boston-students at Aker Brygge. Later on we headed over to Justisen where a crowd of Singapore-students were hanging out, and while spending the rest of the evening there several others, including Øystein and Carina, joined us as well.

The schedule for Saturday was organized by Gründerskolen Alumni and included a prize ceremony for the article and photo-competitions held, as well as a couple of not terribly interesting lectures. I didn't win anything, but Øystein had submitted the best destination photo so at least he earned something on that expensive camera he bought while in the states. While most of the day had been a waste of time, that night held the most anticipated event of the programme; namely the Alumni-dinner. We had planned having or going to a vorspiel before dinner, but while Carina were out shopping and Øystein and I were just relaxing at home, time went by so fast that after getting ready around 18:30, Øystein, Carina and I just went directly up to Chateau Neuf where the dinner was beeing held. It started out with everyone mingling and greeting old friends, before getting seated through a series of speeches who would've been a lot less boring if the had been scheduled for after dinner. Eventually we got to dig in to the quite awesome buffet made by the Norwegian National Chef Team, followed by a lot of mingling, beer and dancing. I met a lot of cool people and had an absolutely great time :-)

Sunday was naturally not so great, but after seeing Øystein and Carina of to the airport and cleaning up the apartment it was all relaxation the rest of the day. Most of the time I spent watching Stargate: Atlantis, talking some hours on Skype with my Carina (the girlfriend), as well as finally bidding on eBay auctions for a Minas Morgul Polystone Environment which I've been wanting to get for years now, as it is the limited edition companion piece to the Minas Tirith bookend that came with the Return of the King Extended Collectors Edition DVD set.

Then this week it was back to work as usual, with floorball-practice on Tuesday. Also last evening it was the monthly gathering with Norway Business Club at Odeon resturant, an offline networking event for members of the OpenBC network. The event started out with a presentation of a MTV survey on Youth desires around the world, after which we ate dinner and enjoyed some beers while doing some networking. It was my first time there, and I will certainly keep going as it was an excellent place to meet interesting people, as well as learning something new from the theme of the evening.

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