Never before have so many entrepreneurs wanted to be a part of our environment as in 2016. We have experienced record-high application numbers for our incubation program in Nyskapingsparken Incubator, and we have never helped as many entrepreneurs to establish a faster and safer way to growth. By the end of 2016, more than 70 start-up companies are located in our premises at Marineholmen. These start-up companies have more than 200 employees. The companies have different needs, and we make our best efforts to provide everyone with the help they need through our incubator program, our accelerator program and our shared offices. We have also entered strategic agreements with the law firm Steenstrup Stordrange, the bank DNB, the accounting office Bookkeper, the IP consultants Zacco and Innovation Norway. They are present in our premises to contribute with their expertise for our members.
During 2016 we also expanded our services to companies within the ocean industry. Ocean Industries Accelerator (OIA) is our new offer to start-up companies that have completed the incubator program, companies in growth and established businesses within the ocean industry. We established the accelerator together with GCE Subsea, NCE Seafood Innovation and NCE Maritime Cleantech, and the objective is that the innovation community shall contribute to better collaboration on resources, stimulate new collaborative constellations and create growth in the marine industry.
At the beginning of 2017, we are working on the plan for moving into our new incubator located in Media City Bergen (MCB) and activity related to the opening. Both national and world leading actors from the media industry will be gathered here. Our job is to get everything set for start-ups from the media, IT and digitalization industry to succeed with creating the solutions of tomorrow. We plan to make this happen together with the media cluster NCE Media.
The preliminary work that investigated the possibility of establishing a Makerspace at Marineholmen was finished at the end of 2016. During the first part of 2017 we are opening premises of 80 square meters earmarked creative and innovative people. Makerspace will contain professional tools and will become a craft and technology laboratory centrally located in Bergen.
Student entrepreneurship is popular these days. The number of students with great ideas and a desire to start their own company when they finish their studies is increasing. At BTO we have a dedicated business developer working on student entrepreneurship. In 2016, he received 17 student ideas.
We offer students help with business development, office space in our incubator Nyskapingsparken or the shared office community of T41, and help with applications for the program FORNY StudENT by the Research Council of Norway.
In addition, students with innovative ideas have the possibility to participate in the intensive program ACCEL Student, which offers professional advices, increased network, access to investors and provides practical training in the usage of the best tools.
In 2016, we worked on 17 student ideas from our owner and partner institutions. In addition, 24 students attended two ACCEL Student programs with 12 projects.