Minnesota North Stars in Oslo 

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What better way to take the pulse of the U.S. market, than an in-depth analysis from A-students at the prominent St. Olaf College in Minnesota?  

At the beginning of January, four hand picked and dedicated A-students embarked on a 4000-mile journey from The North Star State Minnesota, to ice cold Oslo. Their mission was to spend the first month of 2024 helping a Norwegian health tech company with a U.S market analysis.  

A Warm Welcome to -20°C 

From his office at Oslo Science Park, Gaute Næspe, CEO of Norwegian tech company Inform Life and Norway Health Tech member, is reading through a tailor made 75-page analysis of the U.S. market. A few months prior, Næspe met with St. Olaf College to define the outlines of this project. 

From the left: Maheen Asim, Gaute Næspe, Joshua Sutherland, Tim Næspe, Emilie Sæther Storli, Sarah Fleming and Rara Dzikrina Istifadah.

The collaboration surpassed all expectations, with Næspe praising the students for their professionalism, systematic approach, and structured work. The St. Olaf College students, Rara Dzikrina Istifadah, Sarah Fleming, Maheen Asim, and Joshua Sutherland, left an exceptional piece of work that impressed Næspe.  

It has been a great experience working with Gaute and gaining insights from a new culture with a different leadership style, says Istifadah.

Innovation in Focus 

Innovation is grounded in the core of St. Olaf College students. Istifadah has been reflecting on the belief and investment in innovations, and the importance of envisioning.  

The general institutions and businesses in the U.S. are known for their capitalist approach within the market strategy which often implies underlying wicked intentions behind it. However, there are exceptions to the landscape, like St. Olaf College as an example, where they embrace innovation through their abundant resources and funding for their students. This reflects the extent of possibilities that people in the U.S. can aim for in improving efficiency and innovating for the betterment of society through the support of the existing organizational structures that emphasize collaboration, says Istifadah.

Comprehensive Analysis as a Strategic Asset 

– Gaining tailored insight from the St. Olaf College students at an early stage of scaling are equipping us to create a well informed go-to-market strategy. We can now approach challenges and issues in a more precise way, says Inform Life CEO Gaute Næspe. 

The extensive report covers a range of elements, including players and the competitive landscape, SWOT-analysis, pricing strategies, potential partnerships, socio-economic conditions, and ethical considerations within the American healthcare system. 

As Inform Life stands at the brink of significant growth, the analysis can position the company strategically in a competitive U.S. market. Istifadah notes the complexities of the healthcare landscape: 

– To mention some aspects of the market; you are faced with the reality of competition, a billion sized market, overprescribing, lack of transparency and a people in serious health dept. The playing ground in the U.S. is influenced by a power play in the field itself, which is very different from Norway. It is not easy to grasp the width and depth of it- but hey! This is what you are entering. This is some of the information we have been providing Gaute with. 

Inform Life will now use the insight to plan for their establishment in the American market.  

A Norway Health Tech Initiative  

Facilitated by Norway Health Tech, this exchange of competence between St. Olaf College and Inform Life showcases the success of the Norwegian Innovation Scholar Program. Companies interested in collaborations with St. Olaf students in 2025 can contact Sindre Holme, Norway Health Tech’s communication chief, at sindre.holme@norwayhealthtech.com. 



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