Iceland Venture Studio

More than just capital

We transform ideas into sustainable decentralized businesses

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

― Rob Siltanen (Apple Think Different Commerical)

We are founders and we build companies with founders. We have practical knowledge on how to work with founders who have the capacity to build great companies: we think it is more than “founder picking”, it is also mentoring and coaching. We take an active role in mentoring and coaching the founding team in technology design and development, strategy, business development, team development and recruiting as well as operations. We have explicit experience taking founders from the idea stage to a profitable exit. The greatest value that we add is in helping founders navigate multiple priorities, exposing them to a network of influencers, sequencing tasks and accelerating the value proposition development of the company.

We have brought together a toolbox for Founders through what we call the Developer’s Ecosystem. The Developer’s Ecosystem is a growing multi-disciplinary team of developers, designers, marketers, analysts, scientists and operators who are passionate about solving hard problems and building companies. Building a company is hard, especially if you are a first-time founder, a scientist or a technologist. We have had the opportunity to work with a number of Founders and Entrepreneurs who have also built a global network of investors, mentors, advisors and operators with the same obsession as ourselves in helping founders step up to the next mega-trend.

Through the Venture Studio, we are adding to our Capital Ecosystem, a group of Venture Capital Companies and Angel Investors who believe in our vision and are willing to put ‘skin in the game’. We sit on the side of the Founder and help them with our network and knowledge to navigate the process of building and scaling their companies.

Bala Kamallakharan

Bala Kamallakharan is the Founder and CEO of Startup Iceland, a grassroots initiative aimed at building a sustainable startup ecosystems in Iceland. He has served as an executive board member for Guide to Iceland and TravelShift. Over the years, Bala has invested, mentored, and served as Chairman of the Board at CLARA (Resonata), the Icelandic Community Analytics company, which was acquired by Jive Software in 2013. Bala has invested in various early stage ventures, including Buuteeq (acquired by, Mattermark, and Genome Compiler (acquired by Twist Biosciences).

Bala Kamallakharan

Freyr Hólm Ketilsson

Freyr established Dattaca labs with his Co-founder, Bala Kamallakharan. He has worked in business development, marketing, and management positions. He previously served as innovation manager at Vodafone IS, where he was responsible for creating new revenue streams, both within the Vodafone group and through new third-party partnerships. Prior to that he founded an eMarketing company and served as CMO for the startup, Remake Electric, where he also served on the company's board. Freyr was part of the founding team of Cleantech Iceland, which now operates under the umbrella of Iceland's Federations of Industry.

Freyr Hólm Ketilsson
Magnús Bjarnason

Magnús Bjarnason

Magnús Bjarnason - Magnús was the MD of corporate finance at Kvika bank prior to founding MAR Advisors in 2017. He was the CEO of Icelandic group, a €600 million seafood company with operations in 10 countires. Magnús was a MD at Landsvirkjun (Iceland’s largest energy company) and at Glitnir bank & Glacier Partners New York, where he led development and managed M&A advisory units and a US$ 1.5 billion portfolio in sustainable energy and seafood across three continents. From 1997-2005, Magnús worked in the Icelandic diplomatic service,where he served as Consul General in New York and Deputy Chief of Mission, Minister Counsellor in Beijing. Magnús has served on the boards of many organizations such as Iceland Seafood International (ISI), HS Orka, Farice, Seachill UK, Gadus Belgium, American Scandinavion Foundation and Sena. Magnús holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona, and a B.Sc. in Banking & Finance from NSU, Florida. He is fluent in Icelandic and English.

Dr. Ari Jonsson

Dr. Ari Jonsson

Dr. Ari Jonsson is the president of Reykjavik University; a private non-profit university in Iceland that focuses on education, research and industry collaboration in the fields of technology, business and law. Dr. Jonsson completed a doctoral degree in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1997, with focus on artificial intelligence and autonomous decision- making. He then joined NASA Ames Research Center as a research scientist, working on the development of automated technology to improve the efficiency and reliability of spacecraft operations. Dr. Jonsson also contributes to the innovation and entrepreneurship environment in Iceland. He is the Chairman of the Board for two startup companies and serves on the board of a few other companies as well.

Ingrid Vanderveldt

Ingrid Vanderveldt

Ingrid Vanderveldt (iV) is a tech entrepreneur, media personality, investor and philanthropist. She is the Founder and Chairman of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 (EBW2020), MintHER™ (The Engine Powering a Billion Women by 2020) and Vanderveldt Global Investments. iV also heads the $100M IV Credit Fund and The IV Club (by invitation only for fast growth women led businesses on track to generate $100M plus with a global impact). Previously, she was the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence (“EIR”) for Dell Inc. where she oversaw entrepreneurial initiatives worldwide helping to build a $250 million business segment and founded the $125M Dell Innovators Credit Fund, Dell Founders Club, and the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs during her 3-year term.

Bre Pettis

Bre Pettis

Bre Pettis is an American entrepreneur, investor, video blogger and creative artist. Pettis is best known as the co-founder and former CEO of MakerBot Industries, a 3D printer company now owned by Stratasys. Bre has been instrumental in building ecosystem approach to new markets as it relates to 3D printing and now doing the same with his new venture in Bantam Tools which makes desktop machines to printed circuit board manufacturing. Bre is also an investor in the Venture Studio.

We understand exponential growth and power-law distributions. We want to help founders experience that journey. We are founders in our own right; we think founders have the uncanny ability to see the future when many do not and to see value where no one sees value that is a true strength.

Investment thesis

Changing technology landscape driven by customer centricity. Personal data, privacy and security are acknowledged mega-trends that are ready for decentralization.

Contact us today

Grandagarður 16,
101 ReykjavíK,


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