One of Europe’s Leading Start-up Hubs

Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator made the Financial Times Europe’s Leading Start-up Hubs list.

“This recognition by the Financial Times celebrates our dedication to transforming oncology research and places us in a league with Europe’s most innovative ecosystems. It’s about more than accolades; it reflects our collective impact in pioneering new frontiers in cancer therapy and patient care,” said Ketil Widerberg, CEO of Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, when he was made aware of the news.

Ketil Widerberg, CEO of Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, is happy about making the Financial Times ranking. Photo: Fartein Rudjord

“This honor is a testament to the synergy between groundbreaking science and entrepreneurial spirit within the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator. Our unique approach, focusing on collaboration and support, sets us apart in Europe’s diverse and dynamic start-up landscape, as highlighted by the Financial Times.” Ketil Widerberg

Read more about the incubator companies and community on this incubator webpage.

Two Norwegian hubs

Only two Norwegian hubs are in the ranking. They are 6AM Accelerator, a pre-seed accelerator and investor for tech startups in Trondheim, and Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, with its laboratory-based community and cancer-focused companies next to Oslo University Hospital, the Radium Hospital. Oslo Cancer Cluster made 104th place out of 125 hubs in total.

Here you can read the complete list (link to Financial Times). 

It is also published as a Special Report in the Financial Times.

Specialized lab infrastructure

“With world-leading researchers in shared and individual labs Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator exemplifies the critical role specialized lab infrastructure plays in supporting focused innovation within the incubator framework, particularly in the demanding field of cancer diagnostics and therapies,” said Janne Nestvold, COO of Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator.

Woman in lab coat in lab

Janne Nestvold, COO of Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, in one of the incubator’s shared laboratories. Photo: Fartein Rudjord

Ranking methodology

According to Financial Times and their partners Statista and Sifted, Europe’s Leading Start-Up Hubs 2024 is a ranking of the top centres for founders offering incubator and/or accelerator programmes to people who want to build or grow a company.

To identify the 125 leading hubs, a registration and survey process was conducted. Several thousand hubs were evaluated, and several elements were considered for the evaluation, with the main criterion being the assessment of the respective start-up hub by alumni who participated in at least one incubator or accelerator programme run by the respective hub. In addition, the recommendations of external experts, such as investors, entrepreneurs, and academics were included. Finally, the most successful startups coming out of a hub were examined.

More about the ranking and methodology in this article in the Financial Times.


A heart for administration

Meet Dave Tippett, our newest team member supporting researchers to work better together.

“It is almost like a dating service at times,” Tippett jokingly explains. “Members come to us and explain their needs. Then we go through our database and try to find partners for them.”

Tippett is the new Membership and Events Coordinator for Oslo Cancer Cluster. This means he performs all-round administrative support, including on-boarding new members, arranging activities for members or involving members in the cluster’s projects.

Catering for researchers

Tippett is familiar with providing services for others. When Tippett moved to Norway from England, he worked in home care and learnt Norwegian on the job. Together with his partner, he then ran the successful catering business Kaffehagen. They were involved with several high-profile events for Oslo Cancer Cluster, including Cancer Crosslinks, Northern Future Forum, and more – until the corona pandemic forced Kaffehagen to close.

Luckily, Tippett’s unique skill set was still needed and, by the end of 2021, he was splitting his time 60/40 between Oslo Cancer Cluster and the Incubator. Tippett assists the Incubator tenants and provides technical support. In some ways, it is not too different from his previous work.

“I figure out good ways for researchers to work together.”

“The point of being a good administrator is to look at the problem and find a good administrative structure for it. Arranging a good party with delicious food or helping people do research and collaborate with their team is similar,” Tippett explains. “I figure out good ways to work together and deliver what people need.”

Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator is a vibrant professional environment that, among other things, provides laboratories and office spaces to cancer researchers from private companies and Oslo University Hospital.

“The work is very eclectic – you never know what the Incubator will ask of you,” Tippett says.

Committed to the cause

The job has an added meaning for Tippett since he has experienced cancer personally. Tippett recently lost both his mother and his best friend to cancer in a matter of weeks. Shortly thereafter, he found out he had carcinoma, but has now made a full recovery.

“I am motivated by the researchers working so hard to help people they have never even met before.”

“The researchers in the Incubator that I chat with on a day-to-day basis are genuinely nice people,” Tippett says. “I am motivated everyday by all of them working so hard to help people that they have never even met before.”

  • If you are an Incubator tenant or Oslo Cancer Cluster member, you can reach Dave Tippett at

Portfolio Items