Arctic Tourism Duo Win Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur Award

Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo, CEO and CFO of Brim Explorer
Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo, CEO and CFO of Brim Explorer

By The Maritime Executive 06-05-2019 09:45:07

Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo, the CEO and CFO of Brim Explorer, were announced as winners of the 2019 Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur Award at Nor-Shipping Opening Ceremony in Oslo on June 4. 

The Young Entrepreneur Award seeks to recognize an individual or a team under the age of 40, who have been involved in bringing to fruition an idea, building a business, strengthening the industry or in some other way taking a leading role and marking themselves out as the next generation of shipping professionals. This year’s winners join Tor Østervold, the founder of ECOsubsea, Boyen Slat, founder of Ocean Cleanup, and Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, as winners of this prestigious award.

The award was presented by Norway’s Minister of Trade, Torbjørn Røed Isaksen, in front of an audience of industry representatives and invited dignitaries, including King Harald of Norway.

Influencing the jury decision was admiration for the professional manner by which the two 33-year olds managed to gather investors and clients in order to build two vessels and ready them for operation. The hybrid ship they have helped design is one of the world’s most flexible electric vessels, as it can be charged at any port and operate on batteries for 10 hours with a cruising speed of 10 knots.

Another important factor was that Brim Explorer creates jobs. The firm will employ a crew of 10 persons on board the first vessel and will need the same amount for the second ship. In addition, construction of the ships will provide a significant number of employment possibilities.

Michela Sasdelli, Secretary General of Youngship and Jury Chair for the award, says of the winning team: “Finding the winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award gets harder with every Nor-Shipping. Not just because the number of entrants is increasing year on year, but also because the caliber of the entries is at such a very high level. In addition, there is a great degree of diversity in the projects, organizations and backgrounds that the entrants are drawn from.

“The decision to give the award to Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo followed a long and animated debate by the jury members. Brim represents an opportunity for the maritime industry to take part in sustainable growth in tourism, where pushing the limits of the technology available plays well with the overall aim to create green maritime industries. Operating at the intersection between tourism and the maritime industry puts them in a unique position to reach a global audience and to showcase the innovations of our industry.  Sustainable tourism from Brim Explorer will be an inspiration for the tourism industry worldwide.”

The shortlist included Karoline Sjødal Olsen, CEO and co-founder of Blue Lice, Inty Grønneberg, CEO and Founder of Ichthion, and Magnus Eikens, Morten A. Christophersen, David M. Knutsen, Miriam E. Wennberg, and Stian T. Magnusson, co-founders of Connect LNG.