Working with a large corporation as a small startup is very difficult. Hear from the people behind the first Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Equinor and Kongsberg, as they share insights, successes, and pitfalls from their first class.

Jens Festervoll, Corporate Liaison for Techstars Energy/Senior Advisor Corporate Innovation
Audun Abelsnes, Managing Director for Techstars Energy
Guro Knapstad, Business Development Manager in Kongsberg Digital

Jens Festervoll has 18 years of experience in the energy sector as a consultant and professional across the energy value chain, primarily in oil and gas. He is a Senior Advisor in Corporate Innovation and Equinor’s Corporate Liaison for Techstars Energy. Previously he has worked as a Programme Manager when Equinor’s Digital Center of Excellence was established and Vice President for Corporate Strategy. In addition he has held a number of positions from gas trading, business development and analysis in Norsk Hydro and Statoil. Festervoll has a keen interest in innovation, digitalization and change management. He holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Oslo and University of Essex. Festervoll sits on the Board of Subsea Valley, a Norwegian Centre of Expertise technology cluster.

Audun Abelsnes is the Managing Director of Techstars Energy in partnership with Equinor, Kongsberg and Capgemini. For several years, Audun Abelsnes has been part-responsible for the master-level course “New Venture Creation” (5th year) at BI – Norwegian Business School. He also founded and sold one company and he has been instrumental in funding and scaling up a medical diagnostic company. Audun Abelsnes has spent several years in PWC management consulting and holds a Master of Science in International Marketing from BI Norwegian Business School and City University in London.

Guro Knapstad is currently working with development and commercialization of digital twins for industrial assets. She is also Kongsberg’s Corporate Liaison for the Techstars Energy Accelerator. Knapstad has 13 years of experience in the energy sector, previously holding positions within business development for renewables and oil&gas in Norsk Hydro and Equinor. She holds a Master of Economics from Norwegian School of Economics and Sydney USNW. In addition to working with innovation in Kongsberg Digital and Techstars, Knapstad is a small-scale investor in tech startups

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