team members

About Start IoT

The history of Start IoT began in 2016 when Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke challenged Telenor researchers to come up with an initiative that could build competence and stimulate digital innovation in Norway. We started by asking our key stakeholders in the academia, industry and government institutions in Norway what direction we should take. The answer was Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). The Telenor Start IoT initiative is the result of that. The AI part has manifested itself with the opening of Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab together with NTNU and SINTEF on 08/03/2017. The IoT and AI initiatives complement each other – the IoT will bring large datasets and AI/Machine Learning can and will be used to analyse and extract value from IoT datasets.

Will we see billions and billions of connected devices in the future? What types of networks will be used? What types of business models will emerge? Let us innovate and learn together!

Our team

These are the people involved with Start IoT at Telenor.

Ieva Martinkenaite

Head of Start IoT

The bones and brains of Start IoT. Peoples’ manager, passionate about building collaborative communities. An energy boost, leading the tech geeks with high respect and good portion of humor. If not at work, often found travelling or immersed into classical music and art.

Arne Munch-Ellingsen

Technical Lead

A leader, hacker, healer and janitor for Start IoT. Mainly working with everything technically related to the initiative. If not immersed in the Start IoT initiative, Arne can be found on a golf or squash court, pedaling on a mountain bike during the summer season, strapped to a pair of telemark or randonee skis, or even on top of a snowboard somewhere hilly during the winter season.​

Olai Bendik Erdal

Project Lead, Oslo

Our project lead in Oslo, mentoring startups at the StartupLab and helping them to accelerate. Constantly searching for business opportunities and new applications of network technologies. Always reminding us “what is in it for the user?” Have been a co-founder of start-ups and “intrapreneur” of Internet strategies and innovative services within Telenor. Plays guitar in rock band in his spare time.

Per J. Nesse

Project Lead, Trondheim

Our project lead in Trondheim, heading cooperation with NTNU, Wireless Trondheim and other partners in the IoT ProtoLab. The Associate Professorship ‘hat’ at NTNU and 20 years of experience in managing product development and innovation projects in Telenor, gives him a solid background to advice startups and students on entrepreneurship opportunities within IoT. You can easily find Per doing outdoor activities, especially winter sports, be it downhill or cross country skiing.

Jannicke Hedum Bakken

Communications Lead

Our heart and soul in communications and community engagement, putting a great deal of curiosity into our story-making for Stat IoT users. If she is not busy writing articles, she is likely to be in deep conversations about best ways to engage people. She loves laughs, fun and upbeat people. In her free time she likes to hang out by or in turquoise waters.

Sigmund Akselsen

Project Lead, Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab

Our critical link to the Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab initiative. A senior research scientist and coordinator of the Lab where setting up research projects and making data ready for machine learning applications is his daily job. No wonder that we find Sigmund – the medallist in national speed skating competitions on the ice track throughout the seasons.


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