What started out as boring summer holiday, turned out to be a lucrative business venture for Waleed Ahmed and Flemming Sommerfeldt Bordoy. They were frustrated with the low battery capacity of their iPhones, and designed a solar-powered holster that could charge the device. The product not only already earned them NOK 12 million, but kicked off their entrepreneurial careers.
“They think big, unlike the typical Norwegian,” Bård Stranheim, Director of Innovation Norway in Telemark, tells public broadcaster NRK. “It’s a Mark Zuckerberg-kind of attitude.”
Innovation Norway helped the duo establish their company, Grønt Norge (“Green Norway”), and build the prototype with a stipend of NOK 150,000. This year, the young duo expects their company to report earnings of NOK 40 million.
Still, the success hasn’t gone to their heads quite yet. “Don’t get me wrong, we have a great life,” Ahmed says to NRK. “Flemming and I have an agreement that we’ll slow down a bit when our savings reach NOK 100 million.” As for now, Ahmed is still living at home, and Bordoy is serving in the military.
However, it shouldn’t take too long before they reach their goal. Other projects and contracts are in the works, and they are still saving and working hard at opening up new doors and opportunities. Last year they only took out NOK 100,000 in salary, in addition to the company covering all their travel expenses.
“Although we deal with a lot of young people, these guys are at the very end of the spectrum,” says Stranheim. “They have definitely found a recipe for success.”