SFE students receive 1 million NOK

Once again master students in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UiOs Centre for Entrepreneurship is awarded 1 million NOK from The Research Council of Norway programme STUD-ENT.

Two young men smiling, photo.

UiO student entrepreneurs Daniel Arevalo (left) and James O'Donnell. Foto: Anna M. E. Jarbekk

What is STUD-ENT?

The STUD-ENT program wants to encourage more businesses to be based on ideas from students at Norwegian universities and colleges. In total, there were 22 projects that received support to realize their idea in this round.

The students and their startup Glimty

James O’Donnell and Daniel Arevalo are the founders behind the startup Glimty. Both are students from the master’s programme in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Oslo. Glimty is a digital intelligent customer support system currently used to help find the perfect gift.

- Glimty’s technology is tackling the problem of automating the cumbersome parts of the assistance process delivered by personal shoppers or digital clerks in online marketplaces and stores. We are building an intelligent customer assistance system that includes a chatbot, machine learning and a web-application to provide usable and reliable conversational experiences for online shopping.

Solving a real problem

The guys are happy to have received the support from The Research Council of Norway, and are eager to start using the funding for automating the assistance process even more.

- Having validation from experts in Norway and The Research Council of Norway make us feel confident that we are taking the right steps towards our goal.

James and Daniel have always wanted to develop a product that solves a real problem and has therefore had close contact with their users. They believe they convinced The Research Council through their vision for the future and gave them proof of how their solution currently works and how it will become even more relevant when they continue to develop it.

- We think that the most important factor was showing our focus on solving a problem and having an impact in the way people will consume products and services in the coming years. At the same time, we presented a realistic strategy for entering the market that could generate short term results.

Help and support from the University of Oslo

The supervisors from the University of Oslo receive a lot of praise from the guys.

- The center for entrepreneurship, and in particular Mari Saua Svalastog, has been an amazing help to us, always available to answer any of our questions, no matter how tedious or simple they were.

Also, James and Daniel are keen to point out how their master's programme has been able to give synergy effects in developing Glimty.

- During our master’s program we have tried to integrate everything we have learnt about different aspects of starting a business into what we do at Glimty. And the knowledge available to us through the vast number of influential supervisors and professors has helped us tremendously in making the idea behind Glimty a reality.

Heading for big goals

Now, James and Daniel are focusing on getting Glimty up and going, and they have big goals; They want to take on the Norwegian market and then turn international.

- Thanks to the funding from the Research Council, Glimty's team will be able to keep developing the technology that sustains our initial business model and gives our company the potential to scale both within Norway and abroad.

Wanting to help new applicants

But even though they are busy with their start-up, the guys are quite clear that they want to pay forward all the help they themselves have received.

- Don’t hesitate about contacting us if you have questions about the application for the STUD-ENT or if you want to discuss how your idea can become a business. Being open to sharing your ideas with others and being transparent about what you want to achieve will help you get there a lot faster, because other people will most likely help you if they see an opportunity to contribute.


The Center for Entrepreneurship congratulates James and Daniel, and wishes them good luck with the development of Glimty!

We also encourage more master students at the University of Oslo to apply for support from STUD-ENT!

Next application deadline is 14 February 2018.


More information


Announcement STUD-ENT 2018 (forskningsrådet.no)

Facebook group for STUD-ENT at the University of Oslo

Published June 26, 2017 2:29 PM - Last modified June 27, 2017 3:09 PM