Thor Sigfusson

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Thor Sigfusson
Thor Sigfusson.jpg
Born Vestman Islands, Iceland
Alma mater University of North Carolina
University of Iceland

Thor Sigfusson is an Icelandic entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the founder and chairman of Iceland Ocean Cluster. He is also the co-founder Codland, Hlemmur Food Hall and Sjó-Food Hall. [1] He has written five books on topics of international business, knowledge networks and salmon. [2] [3]


Early life and education

Sigfusson was born in the Vestman Islands archipelago just off the south coast of Iceland. He completed his BA degree from University of North Carolina in 1991. [4]

Heimaey island

Heimaey, literally Home Island, is an Icelandic island. At 13.4 square kilometres (5.2 sq mi), it is the largest island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, and the largest and most populated island off the Icelandic coast. Heimaey is 4 nautical miles off the south coast of Iceland. It is the only populated island of the Vestmannaeyjar islands, with a population of 4,500. The Vestmannaeyjar Airport and the Westman Islands Golf Club taken together cover a good portion of the island.

Iceland island republic in Northern Europe

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, with a population of 348,580 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country being home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a tundra climate.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), also known as UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, or simply Carolina is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the flagship of the 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina system. After being chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795, which also allows it to be one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. Among the claimants, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the only one to have held classes and graduated students as a public university in the eighteenth century.


After completing his MS degree in Economics in 1993, he became a special advisor to the Minister of Finance of Iceland in January 1994. After working there for four years, he left the ministry to join the Nordic Investment Bank as deputy managing director. [5] In January 2003, he left Nordic Investment bank and joined Iceland Chamber of Commerce as Managing Director. [6]

Nordic Investment Bank

The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) is an international financial institution founded in the mid-1970s by the five Nordic countries: Denmark (incl. Faroe Islands, Greenland), Finland (incl. Åland Islands), Iceland, Norway and Sweden. In 2005, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became members of the Bank. NIB’s headquarters are located in Helsinki, Finland. NIB acquires the funds for its lending by borrowing on the international capital markets.

In 2005, Sigfusson joined Sjova Insurance as Managing Director of the company. He left Sjova Insurance in 2009 and joined University of Iceland for PhD in Business. In his studies he focused on how entrepreneurs used networks in their internationalisation. [7] His studies indicated companies and entrepreneurs in the marine industry were not well connected with each other. [8] He began working on a network to increase interaction between marine tech companies and launched the Iceland Ocean Cluster in 2011. [9] The cluster focuses on developing innovative ideas in the fishing industry. In May 2012, Sigfusson founded the Ocean Cluster House. [10] [11]

University of Iceland university

The University of Iceland is a public research university in Reykjavík, Iceland and the country's oldest and largest institution of higher education. Founded in 1911, it has grown steadily from a small civil servants' school to a modern comprehensive university, providing instruction for about 14,000 students in twenty-five faculties. Teaching and research is conducted in social sciences, humanities, law, medicine, natural sciences, engineering and teacher education. It has a campus concentrated around Suðurgata street in central Reykjavík, with additional facilities located in nearby areas as well as in the countryside.

Since establishing the Iceland Ocean Cluster, Sigfusson has spent his time speaking to audience in US and Europe about the opportunities in building networks in the marine industry. [12] In 2015, Sigfusson co-founded a sister cluster to the IOC, the New England Ocean Cluster to drive new ideas in the marine industry. [13] [14]

Using the research and information generated from Iceland Ocean Cluster, Sigfusson founded Codland in September 2012. Codland emerged as the merger of a biotechnology company and fishing companies with plans to fully utilize byproducts from the North Atlantic Cod. [15] The cluster also initiated the North Atlantic Marine Cluster Project, which works to increase relations between ocean and marine industries in the North Atlantic. [16] In 2013, he founded the company Collagen with the aim to use fish skin to create marine collagen. In 2016 he co-founded Hlemmur Food Hall, Sjó-Food Hall and Reykjavik Foods. [17] [18]


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