The power of incubators

Published: 08 August 2023

Text: Anne-Marie Korsberg Stokke

In the rough landscape of entrepreneurship, startups often face a daunting uphill climb to success. Much like the life-saving medical incubators used to care for premature babies, an incubator for startups equips early-stage companies with the necessary skills to thrive in a competitive business world.

In the business world, an incubator is a specialized program or space that offers resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities for selected startups.

Industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs are often involved in guiding the startups through workshops, one-on-one sessions, and networking events, helping them to refine their business model, identify target markets, and develop viable strategies. The industry partners get access to innovation and investment opportunities in return.

Important community

Incubators typically operate on a fixed-term basis, providing a structured and time-bound program that ranges from a few months to a year. During this period, the startups become part of a vibrant community, often sharing a co-working space with other like-minded entrepreneurs.

“Startuplab is an incubator and early-stage investor for Norway's most ambitious technology startups. We offer a community here at Oslo Science Park where entrepreneurs can meet and learn from each other,” says Per-Einar Dybvig, CEO of Startuplab.


Social events, such as Ping Pong tournaments, are also a part of incubator life.

Startuplab has approximately 90 companies in its portfolio in Oslo and has partnered with more than 20 industrial partners such as DNV, Telenor, DNB, Equinor, and OBOS. Startuplab admits around 50 new companies per year in six different industry programs.

“We are proud to be able to document international success for many of the companies we have assisted,” says Dybvig.

Covering all industries

In addition to Startuplab, you will find two sector-specific incubators at Oslo Science Park; Aleap and ShareLab.

The health incubator Aleap currently hosts around 50 startups in the fields of health and MedTech, with a nationwide network for these types of companies.

"What we do is unique in a Nordic and international context. Most incubators specialize in one or two sub-categories within the health sector, such as pharmacology, diagnostics, or digital health. At Aleap we want the full range of healthcare companies. We see the synergy across different areas, and those working, for example, on diagnostics benefit greatly from being able to collaborate with digital health solutions, and vice versa," says Erling Nordbø, CEO of Aleap.

Lab for hire

ShareLab, now occupying two floors at Oslo Science Park, is an incubator for approximately 25 biotech startups. In addition, they provide advanced laboratory facilities that can be rented out as individual workspaces or complete working environments.