About us ..

It started with ..

Minotenk supporting Startup Migrants book and contributing to the concept development of the Preschool. The Preschool springs from Startup Migrants which we established in 2018. Our vision was   “Everyone in Europe should have an equal opportunity to start a business”.

Since then, we have gathered a lot of data and best practices on what the private and public sector can do to support more enterprising immigrants. We have done projects with Hello Europe and Ashoka, an award-winning American-German company Welcoming International, launched the book Boundless Entrepreneurs with Civita, Entrepreneurship Forum, Bertelsmann Foundation (one of the most renowned in Germany). We have even presented to King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden!

Based on our models and research, we have developed and tested the Preschool.


Why the Preschool?

One of the strongest driving forces for innovation is diverse teams.

When people with different personalities, backgrounds, ages and experiences come together, they often discover new problems. Then the chance is greater to come up with new and profitable products and services. Norway needs entrepreneurs who speak several languages, have an international network and want to start growth companies. We need people who want to create new jobs, develop good ideas and contribute to value creation.

Therefore, we want to connect multicultural budding entrepreneurs with start-up environments and the business community in Norway and the Nordic countries.

Our team

We make the Preschool happen!

Maria Amelie

Maria Amelie wrote her first book at the age of 25, was named Norwegian of the Year and contributed to a change in the law for refugees. She has since written four more books on entrepreneurship and technology. Maria has seen the best and the worst of immigration, since she has been a refugee, undocumented migrant worker and labor immigrant. Now she wants to focus more on the fact that this type of life experience is an important foundation for success as an entrepreneur.

Nicolai Strøm-olsen

Nicolai Strøm-Olsen

Nicolai Strøm-Olsen is the author and co-founder of Startup Migrants, the leading Nordic art magazine KUNSTforum and the conference Kunstweekend.no. He has written the biography Hans Gude - an artist's life (2015) and three other books on urban development and entrepreneurship; Bykamp (2014), Startup Europe - The founders who change Europe (2016) and Startup Israel (2017).

Muzammil Saeed

Muzammil Saeed is a project manager for Solibo AS. He is now taking a master's degree in economics and administration with a specialization in Business Analytics. He has both participated and won several case competitions / hackathons, including for Sparebank1 and Helly Hansen. Muzammil has previously participated in the preschool and is part of the organizing team.

Norhan Othman

Norhan is an architect and city planner powered with passion towards cities' entrepreneurship ecosystem and infrastructure-related research. She is enthusiastic about exploring how entrepreneurial cities' empower and support their citizens and migrants. Currently, she is writing her masters thesis at the Technical University in Berlin about the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Berlin and its support infrastructure. Norhan is based in Berlin where she works on scaling Forskole / Startup Preschool in Germany.

Sonja Grillmeier

Sonja holds a bachelor's degree in International Culture and Business Studies. She wrote her bachelor's thesis at the University of Passau about the impact of Gender in Migrant Entrepreneurship. Sonja has a great passion for the exchange between different cultures. She is committed to shape a more diverse startup ecosystem.

Pira Thiru

Pira Thiru is a seasoned business developer that has scaled various startups in Norway. He was a part of the team that led the expansion of Voi to Norway and was responsible for managing their entire operations for over a year before he went on to lead the expansion of Hedvig Insurance to Norway. Pira is born and raised in Oslo, but has Sri Lankan/Tamil roots. He’s committed to the cause, and is eager to help minorities and migrants crack the code for how to get their business up and running in Norway.

Cibele Kojima

Cibele is an urban designer and project manager whose work aims to build more inclusive cities. She is a skilled process facilitator and researcher in civic education and international cooperation who brings experience from the public sector, civil society, and international agencies, such as UN-Habitat. She believes that innovation can contribute immensely to a more just world if it aims to tackle the right problems. As a migrant herself, she considers multicultural environments the most dynamic and fun to work in.

Our partners

Stina Ihle

Stina Ihle Amankwah is a project consultant at Minotenk think tank in Bergen. She has a bachelor's degree in international and European law with a focus on human rights in the private sector from the Netherlands and Spain, and a master's degree in model-based community planning from the University of Bergen. She also has dialogue training from the Nansen Center and is a trained mentor against radicalization at RVTS Vest. She is also Head of Corporate Partnerships in the start-up company VIBRANTCREATOR.

Linda Noor

Linda Noor has a master's degree in social anthropology from the University of Oslo and wrote a master's thesis on forms of cohabitation among Muslims in Norway. She has specializations in Islam, Middle Eastern Studies and Psychology. In Minotenk, Noor is the general manager, with the overall responsibility for administration, resource management, projects, political influence and communication / PR.