- I saw a room for opportunity here, both in relation to the market and business model. Combined with the experience and expertise I have, I chose to bet, says Morten Ertsaas, founder and general manager of Vane Ocean Technologies.

And what he has chosen to invest in is an autonomous sailing vessel that will be able to carry out energy-demanding sea missions.

- We want to focus on energy-demanding tasks far out at sea, says Morten.

Among other things, he has a background from Kongsberg Maritime, where he worked for three years as a specialist in dynamic positioning.

I had a desire to start something of my own, so when I saw an opportunity here I had to take the plunge.

Now Vane has had a prototype of the appearance made, a so-called MVP. In product development, this means "minimum usable product", and this means that the basic key functions requested by the end customer have been implemented.

- In that way, you obtain important information about the product and its performance in combination with the development process becomes more customer-oriented - without too high a cost, says Morten. He also mentions that they have already carried out several successful sea trials with the craft.

Steady progression

Since the start in 2018, it has progressed at a steady pace. Like many other companies, the corona pandemic has meant somewhat slower progress than previously planned. The plan was to raise capital, but the pandemic put an effective stop to these plans.

- The start-up of the company went relatively well as we have largely bootstrapped our way through the heavy lifting. With the exception of some much-needed core investments, we have managed to maintain an efficient development course which is now finally coming to an end. Since we have not had large amounts of capital available, there have been some limitations there, but I would say we have managed to follow the plan we have set for ourselves. We have had a steady progression, informs Morten.

And the entrepreneur does not hide that it has been difficult at times.

- It has been a demanding affair, but we are well on our way to achieving the interim goals so far. We have kept the plan that has been set, he says.

Good help from Kobben

Morten took a master's degree at the University of Southeast Norway. There he was introduced to Tormod Moldestad, who at the time was general manager of MicroTech Innovation, which is now called Kobben.

There are several similar projects with you, which means that you have the necessary competence and expertise in the area.

This was decisive for Morten choosing Kobben. The help from Kobben has meant that Vane has come into contact with the network necessary to grow.

- We are very satisfied with the help. We have received good help with, among other things, strategic positioning in the market, legal help and many of our contact points are from Kobben's network. We have received good help so far and are very satisfied with the choice, says the entrepreneur.