From an economic perspective, the fall of 2008 brought dark days all over the world. But one of the hardest-hit places was Iceland, the Nordic European country whose entire financial system went into a deep freeze after a rapid and systemic collapse of its banking system.
But two young Icelandic entrepreneurs Vala Halldorsdottir and Sesselja Vilhjalmsdottir found a silver lining in the situation. With an absence of traditional job prospects, the two young women decided shortly after the 2008 economy crash to start their own boardgames company — and it turned out to be a big success. After that, they were motivated to spread the word about entrepreneurship to more people by making a documentary film about startup life.
The Startup Kids filmmakers on set, Vala Halldorsdottir and Sesselja Vilhjalmsdottir
Much like they first jumped into entrepreneurship without a ton of experience, Halldorsdottir and Vilhjalmsdottir tell us they jumped into the filmmaking process with nothing more than a rented camera and a one-way ticket to the US. The plan was simple, but audacious: To somehow track down a number of successful tech startup founders and talk to them about entrepreneurship.
Thanks in part to a successful Kickstarter campaign and the participation of very well-known founders from the likes of Vimeo, Soundcloud, Kiip, InDinero, Dropbox, and Foodspotting, it all worked out — and The Startup Kids film became a reality. Up until today, the film has been seen at a smattering of screenings. As of today, though, it’s available to a much wider audience, with the film’s debut on iTunes.
It’s a fun story and the final product is an interesting watch. You can see the trailer embedded above, and download the full film here (for now, it’s available only in English-speaking countries, but the DVD is available for shipment worldwide on The Startup Kids website. The official summary goes like this:
“A film about young entrepreneurs in digital age made by two of these entrepreneurs themselves, The Startup Kids is a documentary about the growing number of young web dynamos such as the in the U.S. and Europe. Made by two Icelandic entrepreneurs who founded their first company shortly after the economic collapse of Iceland, this doc is an insider’s look into what it takes to make it even when everyone is telling you it is impossible.
We also had the opportunity to talk with the filmmakers via Skype about The Startup Kids, and you can watch that in the video embedded below to hear more about the inspiration behind the film, how it went from idea to reality, how the Icelandic startup scene is faring these days, and much more.