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Meet our new interns: Kari and Markus!

Kari Elisabeth Dybwad and Markus Solsvik Krüger have just joined the Finance Innovation team and will be interning with us for 10 weeks. Both are currently studying for a Master’s degree in Innovation and Management at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL).

The duo were quick to get in touch with Rea after her presentation during the Matchmaking and presentations with HVL. Kari and Markus´s interest and enthusiasm in fintech and the cluster was evident, so the choice fell on these two bright students.

Their first week started with a bang, so we challenged them to tell us about their initial experiences, and share some of their reflections:

Our first week started off with a warm welcome from the Finance Innovation team. We were met by our new colleagues who made sure to dress us up with awesome NCE FI merch, provided us with some chocolates to keep our sugar-levels balanced and showed us to our offices (possibly the best in Media City Bergen) - with a scenic view of the beautiful city of Bergen.

Our colleagues have understood that students love free food and made sure that we got an amazing lunch in the MCB cantine (we recommend anyone who loves good food to visit!). The first day was quite eventful: the fire alarm went off in the middle of lunch and we had to evacuate the building. Luckily this was no ordinary day in Bergen - the sun was shining and the temperature was tolerable. As a cherry on top we got to meet the NCE Media team outside and had a short chat with their CEO, Anne Jacobsen.

The view from our offices in The Fintech Hub at Media City Bergen

From the get-go we were also introduced to various projects in the cluster and were included in workshops and meetings with cluster members. We started our first day with a workshop by the Customer Service Innovation group in Finance Innovation together with DNB, Tryg and AVO Consulting where we discussed and identified the pain points and possibilities within customer service. The following day we got to hear cluster member Xreceipts, a Trondheim based startup, pitch their concept to several financial institutions in Norway and get feedback from them.

We are also working together with our sister-cluster NCE Media to arrange the annual tech conference that both clusters collaborate on; mcb tech. In this project we will be assisting in creating a marketing plan for the event, as well as writing an application for additional funding.

The week continued on a high when we met the founders of Accountflow (an Oslo based cluster member), Daniel and Eric. Together with this dynamic duo we brainstormed a brand new concept within future oriented accounting, or Acctech, which we think will be very exciting.

During this first week we feel like we've been quite integrated in the team already, and given introductions to their diverse work in the cluster ecosystem. We've been introduced to initiatives within sustainability, insurance fraud, startup development, open banking, KYC & AML and so much more. As eager students we have taken the opportunity to join in on all the meetings and we can safely say that the learning curve is high in this organization!


Towards the end of the week, the team organized a small (and very Covid-responsible) get-together to welcome us to the cluster. We quickly understood that this is a team that loves board games and some of the team members are perhaps more competitive than others. Kari was named the game-night champion, leaving Markus and the rest of the team behind with an appetite for revenge.

Busy times ahead
For the next couple of weeks we’ve been assigned several tasks, such as taking responsibility of a project with VISA, interviewing cluster members, planning events and mapping the funding possibilities for cluster members - just to name a few.

This will be an opportunity for us to wrack our brains around and get valuable experience. We are both eager to get started, and are looking forward to further experiencing what the world of fintech has to offer.

If you want to get to know us further on a personal level, the following two paragraphs will guide your way.

Markus is born and raised in Bergen. He is 23 years old, and has loved football all of his life - perhaps a bit too much. Despite his height (176 cm), he is a retired goalkeeper who barely stretches halfway to the crossbar. Yet, he managed to perform fairly decent during his football career. Markus joined the navy when he turned 19, where he served one year as a security soldier. He then went on and started his studies at HVL, where he finished a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Administration with a major in Leadership and Administration. He is now one year into his Master’s degree, where his love for technology, open innovation and value creation has been embraced and developed to a new scale. He now gets to put his knowledge to test here at Finance Innovation as an intern. With Markus, you can discuss European football for hours. Preferably the great success of Chelsea FC - more specifically their incredible Champions League run in 2011/2012. Otherwise he can go on about videogames or scuba diving for days, or even better - join him for a session (how contradictory can these hobbies be?!).

Kari comes from Sandvika right outside the capital of Norway, Oslo. She is a social and active girl who thrives outdoors when the weather is nice (she questions the Bergen weather from time to time). On her spare-time she is either hiking, by the sea or lying on the couch eating ice cream. Her interest in innovation and entrepreneurship accelerated in high school where she was the general manager of a youth company that participated in the National Championships. She has also been a jury member at such championships, and most recently this summer was a coach at EMAX, an event organized by Innovation Norway. After finishing high school, she attended officer training in the Armed Forces, and worked as a troop commander before her studies. She has tailored her bachelor's degree, with specialization in project management, psychology and personnel management. Kari is currently studying for a Master's degree in Innovation and Management which has given her the opportunity to be an intern at NCE Finance Innovation. She hopes to apply her knowledge and skills from previous experience to this internship. Unlike Markus, you should not talk to Kari about football or gaming (even if her boyfriend forces her to watch matches every weekend and therefore has a decent understanding), but rather cross-country skiing and biathlon.