Niklas Adalberth’s Norrsken Foundation is a Sweden-based organization focused on social technology entrepreneurship. The group seeks to invest in “impact companies” — those looking to creatively solve challenges for greater good in the world.

Making an impact

The Norrsken Foundation recently announced the launch of a major initiative to highlight companies they believe are making an impact. They revealed a list of startups nominated for the Norrsken Awards, and this fall the winners will be crowned during their new event, called Impact Week.

We’re not going to reveal the full list here, because, well, that wouldn’t be very socially good of us. The Norrsken folks deserve a visit, so head on over to their site for more details on #theimpact100.

Drums, please

What we will share is the special shoutout that Norrsken made for us (and the others on the list): a signature drum solo. So set your volume higher than mute but lower than max, pop in your headphones or AirPods, and enjoy the impact of these drumsticks:

At Impact Week in late September, three nominees will be honored. The prize consists of six months of mentoring services from McKinsey & Co., Brunswick Group and Mannheimer Swartling.

Before Impact Week, you’ll have a chance to nominate startups that the Norrsken Foundation may have missed. If you know any other teams doing good by doing well, suggest them for the list!

In a four-stage process culminating in a selection board event in Vienna on March 15, SidekickHealth was one of 10 companies from nine countries selected to the Health Hub Vienna (HHV) accelerator program.

SidekickHealth co-founder and chief medical officer Dr. Saemundur “Sam” Oddsson was also honored with the award for best pitch among the companies invited to participate.

Transforming health care through innovation

The goal of HHV is to transform the health care system through innovation and entrepreneurship. Launched by INiTS and the UNIQA Foundation, HHV brings together pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, private and public insurance companies, healthcare suppliers and startups to develop new, holistic health solutions. INiTS is Vienna‘s high-tech incubator, which has supported several successful founding teams in the field of life sciences, such as mySugr.

The HHV program runs from March through June 2019 and is designed to help companies gain market access, build business networks and distribution channels, and scale their organizations for continued growth. HHV partners collaborating in the three-month program include UNIQA, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, and other private sector and academic organizations.

A jury of business and science luminaries

The selection board for the event was comprised of leaders such as UNIQA Foundation CEO Peter Eichler, Michaela Fritz (MedUni Vienna), Alexandra Kautzky-Willer (MedUni Vienna), investors such as Hansi Hansmann and Johannes Strohmayer, and founders Sophie Chung (Qunomedical, Berlin) and Eszter Nagy (EveliQure Biotechnologies, Vienna).

New technologies to tackle pressing health needs

SidekickHealth is honored to be recognized among the best of the new class of innovations improving the health of populations across Europe and beyond. Our hats are off to our fellow members in the HHV program:

  • Datlowe: Automated, AI-based technology for the early detection and prevention of hospital infections
  • Doc+: One-stop software solution for patients to optimize diagnoses, medical assignments and disease treatment
  • Cloud-based and cross-system health database for physician-patient communication
  • Doctorly: Cloud-operated management platform to increase the efficiency of medical practices
  • Infermedica: Self-learning chatbot for the initial diagnosis and assignment of patients
  • Knok healthcare: Self-diagnosis and telemedicine app
  • MedicSpot: Examination and diagnostic stations for low-threshold tele/online treatment
  • MindMate: Machine-learning and gamification-based patient recruitment for clinical trials
  • Scarletred: Mobile skin imaging app for measuring and diagnosing skin lesions

It is believed that lifestyle changes can benefit one third of the population with pre-diabetes or suffering from type 2 diabetes. Tryggvi Thorgeirsson and SidekickHealth are supporting a campaign to “kick sugar” in the new year.

The Icelandic medical journal Læknablaðið spoke with Thorgeirsson about behavior change, digital therapies, the importance of data, and some of the health differences between iPhone and Android users.

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Vertical is excited about supporting brilliant ideas and brilliant people who make a change in the world. There is nothing better than uplifting companies who are transforming society with the help of innovation and technology. That is why we have started showcasing founders from startups we’ve worked with. Meet our featured hero.


Tryggvi Thorgeirsson, M.D., MPH

Company name:






Product/service description in one sentence:

We help employers and other organizations improve health and wellness at scale.

Why you do what you do? How did the idea of making this solution come to you?

We do what we do to help more people live better and longer. Being a physician is a rewarding experience – particularly caring for and talking with patients. But over the course of thousands of patient conversations, my co-founder and I realized we were putting out fires we’d have liked to prevent. One patient stands out very clearly to me. She had high blood pressure and was already taking two antihypertensive medications. As we sat there discussing treatment options, it was obvious that prescribing another drug wasn’t the best solution. There had to be a better way.

How is SidekickHealth different from the competition, what makes you special?

Traditional health care approaches – even many digital ones – often fall short because they target the rational side of our brains. But behavioral research tells us that’s not how most people make lifestyle choices. SidekickHealth combines concepts from behavioral economics with gaming, technology and personal coaching to find the right motivational triggers and guide people along a healthier path.

How was your time in Vertical? What was the most valuable? What did you enjoy the most?

Excellent. We’ve had amazing opportunities to connect with world-leading companies like Pfizer and Samsung, gain new insights from them, share ideas on some of the world’s toughest challenges and explore collaborative ways to solve them.

What are you up to? What’s next for SidekickHealth?

Our client community of employers and care providers continues to grow, so we’re busy scaling our team and technology to ensure their employees and patients have a great health experience and outcomes. We’re also developing new content to help people prevent and manage different chronic conditions.

What piece of advice/wisdom would you share with these who want to make impact in the world, real the changemakers of tomorrow?

Do well by doing good.

This interview originally appeared on the Vertical Blog.

Síminn and SidekickHealth have signed a partnership agreement that makes SidekickHealth’s health technology platform part of Siminn’s product offering.
SidekickHealth is a solution developed by the Icelandic health care company SidekickHealth, which enables people to manage their health using a game-based approach. Clinical research, behavioral economics and artificial intelligence also guide users towards achieving their health goals. As users earn points for completing healthy activities, their efforts are rewarded in a variety of ways, including through the donation of clean water to help children in need.

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