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Please find below some of our past member introductions, so you can be inspired and make your own memorable impact!

Business servises

I am a Danish Capetonian and have lived in Cape Town more than half of my life. Arrived
here in 1993 to start my first company, and after that the entrepreneur in me took charge,
and I haven’t looked back.
Appointed Copenhagen Goodwill Ambassador, and Global Partner of Bloxhub. I believe in
encouraging and supporting a strong diaspora. When done right it is very powerful. Also for
South Africa.
Since early 2022 Hästens Beds ( has my main focus developing Africa for
this great Swedish family owned brand.
Over the past 30 years I have started/done businesses within travel insurance, medical
emergency, publishing, sustainable energy and waste/biomass solutions, fashion (H&M),
furniture (, lamps and LED candles (, watches and
design items (, and many more.
The only common denominator is that they are all Nordic.
My motto is "Make sure you network, and support your network, long before you need your
Looking forward to interact with you all here and at our events, and creating magic between
Warmly, Laura


I’m Birger “Burger” Lundgren a Swede that had been in SA for almost 18 year. background in
the software industry. Founder of Optimizely SA
The last three years I have been in the sanitation business and created the organisation
Sanitation Ambassadors. The mission is to provide world class toilets for kids in schools and
use the “waste” to enrich the soil for food production.


I am a Carl Fredrik Sammeli a serial entrepreneur, advisor and investor who believes that
entrepreneurship is a force for good in the world.
Lives in lovely Cape Town since 2012 with my family (my wife Marie Sammeli is an best
selling author that writes about South Africa - still only in Swedish). https://
My most recent passions is my micro-property tech development venture, Bitprop, in South
Africa and my work for Aligro Planet Acquisition Company AB (publ) ("APAC”), a Swedish
SPAC of American model. Over the past 30 years, my experience has spanned
entrepreneurship, business development, sales, talent management, strategy, public affairs,
marketing, communication, as well as issues and crisis management. My experience has
placed me in leading positions within multinational companies, NGO's and a number of
leading professional service firms within the sectors of business law, management, finance
and technology. Today, I work as an investor and/or adviser with early-stage entrepreneurs,
family offices, family-owned businesses and investment companies including Venture Capital
and Private Equity.


I am most known for founding the PR agency, Prime – the world’s most awarded agency in
PR by Cannes Lions in the period 2010-2021 (today Prime Weber Shandwick). Please
connect with me at or via Have a great sunday! We will now have a sauna (wood fired of course!)
and then a braai. Based on a genetic test) on one of our kids) we are 49% Finish, 35%
Swedish and 16% Norwegian so Nordic House fits us perfect!

Dear All, I am a Danish serial entrepreneur! Live in California and has started and sold 10
Companies in my carrier and still active CEO in a few additonal Networking companies! Was
CTO in Cisco systems 4 years, but like startup. The last 5 years I have done more and more
goodwill where I help on BoD’s or Startup companies find customers and Capital. Come to
Cape Town again start October for 3 week’s to look at how to start a few branch office if the
is the SW talent needed !

Hi my name is Lasse Im Danish and live in CPT, I have built ventures for Rocket Internet and
Naspers, helped scale Travelstart in Africa, also have raised multiple rounds for various
Now I am involved in several startups and focus on data science consulting and software
development. I am also advisor to Nordic House on parts of their journey, exciting to see it
For the last couple of years I have been running a SaaS company and my main job which is a
data consulting company where we solve data engineering and cloud
development challenges. As a Dane I am also terrifed to learn from @Fred Hagelberg that
snaps has made it to Africa 😅 Not sure I will make it today but hopefully Ill meet you soon

Hi, Whilst enjoying life in Africa (Cape Town), together with my wife Cathrine, I work to try to
give something back to Africa. In particular I have sponsored Egmont Trust for many years
(an organisation which supports African women and children affected by Aids) and a few
more charities. During a 35 year career in international finance I was part of 5 start-ups, 4 of
which as founder. Currently I work on an IT start-up about to roll out in the African sports
industry. In addition, I invest in small/medium sized companies, mainly Nordic, both unlisted
and listed. My name is Håkan Filipson, and I can be reached on
Looking forward to meeting you all in due course😊

My name is Henrik Bauer and I am professor of Ortopaedic Oncology at the Karolinska
Institute in Stockholm. I diagnose and operate children and adults with cancer in arms, legs
and trunk. These cancers are called sarcomas. I have published more than 120 scientific
papers on sarcoma and also on metastatic bone disease in patients at the ens-stage of life.
I came to Cape Town in January 2021 as unsalaried guest professor at the Orthopaedic
Department at the Groote Schuur Hospital. My project is to start a South African Sarcoma
Registry to improve diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately many patients come late for
treatment with enormous tumours that are already spread. After 8 months we now have a
Registry which has been published in the South African Orthopaedic Journal.
The next step is to educate and inform so that more patients come earlier for treatment.
This will take time so I am now applying for grants so I can continue this work for 2-3 years.
My mail is

Hi everyone, I’m Swedish on paper but South African at heart and since 2003 have owned
and sold several companies within the South African hospitality sector. In 2019 I opened a
Fair-trade accredited, sustainable guesthouse in Paternoster. I also own a travel business
that caters to high-end private clients in Scandinavia. I come from a background in brand and
concept development within the Swedish retail food sector with several years on the board
of Åhlens and Hemköp. I’m also a certified South Africa guide and have been guiding groups
for more than a decade. Looking forward to meeting you all.

My name is Sunniva Berlanda Viking, a Swedish architect/urban designer based in Cape
Town since 2015. I first set my 5 year old feet on African soil (Botswana) in the 1980s and
garnered international professional experience of working on architectural and urban
projects in Eastern and Southern Africa, Europe and Asia. In 2013 I was appointed Sweco
Architects Regional Area Manager in East Africa and relocated from Sthlm to Nairobi. 2016 I
founded my own practice Studio Sun in Cape Town.
At present I am co-founding partner and managing director of, an architecture
& urbanism practice where work varies from consulting in supporting participatory design
and building processes, with site supervision, for early childhood development centres
(ECD’s) in eastern Zambia for UNICEF to exhibitions in the Oslo Architecture Triennale in
2019, and the 2021 Seoul Biennale for architecture.

My name is Fredrik von Baumgarten. I am a business (corporate and M&A, private equity)
lawyer from Sweden looking to establish myself here in SA.
I am also an investor in a company called Sea Fire Technologies Ltd providing internet to
underserved communities in Khayelitsha and Eastern Cape.

Morning from Pernilla Landstedt. My husband Pelle and I moved from Stockholm to Cape
Town in 1997. Since then we have raised our two kids here as well as running our DMC
(Destination Management Company) Propel Africa (
We have executed more than 1000 projects over these 24 years together with our
Scandinavian speaking team, our South African network of colleagues and suppliers. Our
focus is corporate, special interest & leisure groups, and we are also assisting with travel
arrangements for upmarket individual travellers. We both have a background mainly
in travel & tourism within hotels, VING, Club33 and SAS.
I also spend time on running my non-profit soccer initiative, helping
young South Africans from different backgrounds. Pelle is a musician and a passionate golfer
when he is not crunching numbers for Propel Africa or helping out with Rainbow Team.
We are so happy that NORDIC HOUSE is now coming together and that we can all benefit
from this network through activities & projects that Laura and her team are organizing.
Looking forward to meeting you all.

Greetings everyone and brilliant initiative this is! My name is Charlotte Obidairo. I am a
Danish entrepreneur with business footprints in several African countries. I am a lawyer of
training with a 7-year stint in the UN system before embarking on an international
development career that morphed into multiple business franchises in Sub-Saharan Africa
incl. BoConcept and PANDORA. I served 4 years as a technical advisor to the Danish
Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and was the first Dane ever to receive a
Grand Challenge Explorations Award from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I founded YEDI
in Nigeria 10 years ago based on the South African Grassrootsoccer model empowering
youth to live healthy productive lives. -
I am married to Simeon Obidairo - a Nigerian lawyer specialized in compliance and anticorruption.
We have two teenage daughters. We have had our principal home in South
Africa for more than a decade, that we are gradually returning to, while we expand our
business footprint there. This includes opening of two BoConcept Furniture Stores in
Kramerville and Cape Town respectively - Needless to
say, I am passionate about Scandinavian design, innovation and architecture.
Look very much forward to meeting you all!
Also has a consulting company (entry to market), a food truck leasing company and a
nomadic art gallery . Recently became a Copenhagen Goodwill
Ambassador and is a long term passionate supporter of youth programs in Nigeria - https:// . Excited and happy to meet you all virtually and hope to meet in person soon.
Have a fantastic weekend 😃

My name is Philip Palmgren and I first moved to South Africa with my family in 1995 and
returned to Finland in 1998 to study, work and finally started my own importing business
Norcap Oy Ab/ which then evolved into an boating and leisure Ecommerce
site which is now one of the biggest in Finland. I still continue as chairman and
shareholder. In 2011 I got the opportunity to come back to Cape Town which was an
opportunity I could not miss. Since then, three children has been born in Cape Town and we
love it here.
Our company represents various Finnish/Nordic forest industry companies
in Southern Africa with main focus on graphic paper, plywood, timber and sustainable
packaging. We supply products and solutions to all the major retailers, printers, distributors,
converters and industrial end-users. We are also all the time looking for new innovative
solutions from the Nordics that we see would thrive in Africa together with chosen local
I am also the Honorary Consul of Finland in Cape Town.
Will be great to connect with you all and make Nordic House into a success story!
0738854666 or

My name is Geir Tellefsen, Norwegian, just turned 50 – with 19 of those years here in Cape
Town. Entrepreneurial with special skills in IT, Finance, BPR and Strategy. Quite good
network in the Cape. Main business is Flexistore which is a fully automated, app driven, selfstorage
business that we are busy rolling out in the Nordic countries + US. I have also started
up the business Rosendal Winery, SAs leading premium D2C winery - where I am still
involved with a minority stake in a non-exec position. My wife Sissel and myself also own
and (she) run Daily Dish, SAs 2nd largest dinner kit company. We are also exposed in
tourism/property here in SA.2 children age 19 and 17. We live in Constantia. I am the hnr
Consul for both Norway and Sweden here in the Cape with office at the V&A Waterfront.
Looking forward to interact with you all!. Geir

Hi everyone and greetings from Finland at the moment, where I just landed for a short
travel. It's SLUSH week in Helsinki and there's plenty old friends to meet.
Coincidentally, I also co-founded the Cape Town Tigers, who are currently South African Club
Champions and on the road to the BAL finals in the African Champions League. (Next
tournament in Johannesburg 2nd of December).
We're a small Cape Town/Helsinki based software company Feelette, which creates better
communications over internet. Our first clients include the Basketball Africa League, for
example, who we work together on a R&D project to improve fan engagements on their
streaming platforms.

Thank you Laura for allowing me into this group. I'm Ines, a Norwegian living in Cape Town
for about 13 years.
I am currently running Pine3 Marketing, a full specter marketing business - looking
holistically at marketing, and have a fantastic team of other Scandinavians with me.
We have clients all over the world, but we focus mostly on Scandinavia and South Africa. I
am passionate about helping Entrepreneurs make good decisions within marketing and are
hence involved with various entrepreneurial groups in Norway and South Africa where I
contribute as an industry "expert" (not my favorite word).
Feel free to connect on LinkedIn as that is a platform I am active on: https://
I live in Big Bay with my husband and two young kids, which together with work takes up
most of my time:)
Looking forward to getting to know you all better!

To all that don’t know me, I’m Carl-Emil Knox born and raised in Sweden.
After more than 20 years of experience, first in Public Relations and then in Interior Design
I’ve moved into Real Estate. Today I am working as a Property Practitioner at Lew Geffen
Sotheby’s International Realty in Cape Town.
During my career I have helped multiple companies and people to translate, design, develop
and build their property portfolios. I have been through multiple sales and purchasing
processes and am very familiar with the emotional stress most of us feel in this process.
I always walk the extra mile to fulfill my client expectations, both to buyers and to sellers.
Love took me to South Africa and passion brought me into Real Estate.
Are you interested in selling or purchasing another home or just want to ask some real
estate questions?
Please feel free to reach out at any time. I am very happy to help and the coffee’s on me!
Have a great weekend,
Carl-Emil Knox
072 984 1831

Hi and tks Laura! I export my wine brand Gun Bay and sell locally and via my online shop on Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn too. Look forward to meeting
you. Cheers Andrew Ing
Our 2020 Shiraz was entered into the Michaelangelo Wine and Spirits Awards under another
brand and on 1st Sep it got a double gold. So it's a 4 star Platter dbl gold for R89 free courier
🙂 . All our wines are bottled in Darling and the grapes are hand picked from bush vines.
Intense flavours. 🍷

I’m Sara Radu and relocated to CT about a year ago, both for work but also for the love of
kitesurfing – CT and surroundings is really a world class spot for strong winds and big waves.
I work as VP Africa for Polarium, a Swedish tech company providing energy storage solutions
based on our lithium ion battery technology.
Are main customer groups are telecom and C&I. We set up our third factory here in CT (in
addition to Mexico and Vietnam) in April last year and are hereby proudly manufacturing in

Hi all! My name is Fredrik Hagelberg. My parents (a Swede and a Dane :) brought me to SA
when I was just a kid - some time ago! I work for a French Solar IPP called CVE
( in Cape Town as their Business Development Manager. I have a
background in renewables having been a founder/partner in a previous business as well as
consulted for others... but more importantly for this group... as a hobby, I produce a smallbatch
Akvavit right here in Cape Town with the craft distillery, Distillers & Union. I look
forward to bringing a few bottles for you all to sample at the next meeting so you can get
your orders in for Christmas! Check it out:

Hi, I’m Birgitta. Arrived in Zambia early 90s working with industry development, twinning
Zambian small and medium sized companies with Swedish small companies in the same line
of business. Moved permanently to Gaborone, Botswana-1995. Came to Pretoria 2002. In
Botswana and Pretoria we had among other businesses furniture factories selling to the SA
chain stores. 2020 I moved to Cape Town in the middle of the pandemic. Looking forward to
connect with everyone and see what possibilities the future holds. See you at the Baileys!

Thanks Laura - hi everyone 👋 Fred Roed here. I run a learning community for
entrepreneurs called Heavy Chef. You can check it out here:
You can find out more about me here:

Thank you Laura for welcoming me 🙂

Hello fellow Nordic House members!
I am Steve Mathew, a born and bred Capetonian. I have lived in this magical city of Cape
Town most of my life, and as I say to everyone who asks me why I still live in what can
sometimes be seen as a troubled country: “I live, work and play in one of the most beautiful
cities in the world, I don’t need to travel here for holidays! I live the lifestyle!”
I am the Founder & Managing Director of, one of SA's leading digital
agencies. We were founded in 1999… 24 years ago. Which in “digital years” is about 100 ;-)
Fireworkx designs and develops custom web-based systems for organisations globally. We
have built and delivered over 375 projects.
At heart I am a Technologist, Entrepreneur, Philosopher, Digital Strategist, Road & Trail
Runner. I started running in my mid 40’s and have completed 40 marathons and 23 ultra
marathons. You will find me on Table Mountain’s trails several times a week. I’d love you to
join me sometime!
My role at Nordic House is Technology Advisor. I’m really looking forward to engaging with
you, learning about your organisations, and working together.
Please feel free to connect with me:

Thanks Laura for this super initiative. My name is Sylvia Brune. My family is from Brune Gard
in Fausadalen on the edge of Storfjorden in Norway 🇳🇴 . In 2012 I was asked by my partner
Kresten Buch 🇩🇰 , to move to Cape Town with him and help start 88mph fund and
accelerator out of an amazing space in Woodstock. We ended up investing in 45 startups in
Nairobi, Cape Town, and Lagos between 2011 - 2015. After that, I started and ran a travel
app for frequent flyers until 2021. Gutted at losing the whole thing to covid, I threw myself
into a few new projects: wine canning business Kiss of Wine, my podcast Build your own
Country, then on to running a tech & dev business pawaPass that builds user verification &
compliance solutions for large organisations in Africa.
Started talks with Lesotho government this year, to build a city in the mountains - pawaTown
- for digital nomads from across Africa/world, pan-African businesses looking for amazing
off-sites, and for special small/medium sized events. It will be a type of SEZ with some level
of self-governance. This project has lived rent free in my brain for a long time.
Since leaving Cape Town in 2013, Kresten and I have been visiting every summer until last
year we finally bought a place in Higgovale and hope to spend even more time sundowning
going forward. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Hej! My name is Yasmina (Swedish) and me and my family moved to Cape Town last August.
My husband is originally from South Africa but grow up in Sweden. We have lived the last 20
years in London. We are both co-founders of a UK management company that focus on
compliance, legal and risk management and operates in the space of M&A, entity
restructuring, global expansion and support in general. We employ and develop talent
locally. We are all about uplifting the community and at the same time connecting
opportunities. Since we moved here we have partnered with a foundation that supports
hundreds of entrepreneurs in Townships. As well as investing in Cape Town’s next film
Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the next 2 Nordic House events but feel free to
connect with me directly if you like. Otherwise I look forward to connecting with you all on
the next Nordic House event after that!

Greetings all,
I am Sindre Koppang from Norway. I am and advocate and economist that loves to work in
the tension between law, economy, geopolitics and finance. I ran litigation for decades
before I worked as a lobbyist for Norwegian Business and Industry. Worked for some years
as a leader in the Norwegian Parliament. Done some starts up, but the last 16 years in CT I
spend most of my time in the market as an investor. I follow the motto ”There is no failure.
You either succeed or you learn.” Here to remind you that as long as you’re learning, you're
not going to fail at anything. How comforting and how appropriate for the builders and
innovators of this network.
I rent out some apartments in Camps Bay for short time rental: https://www.atlanticseaview.

Hello, I'm Therese Hansson (Swedish) and have spent the last two decades in South Africa.
Currently, I've been residing in Knysna, where I’ve been for the past 10 years. My husband
(also Swedish) and I are the proud owners of Head over Hills Luxury Retreat
( where we provide top-notch accommodations with amazing
views (all rooms furnished with Hästens beds 😊 ). We're a family of four with two children
attending grades 6 and 7. Sports play a significant role in our lives, with a shared passion for
cycling, running, water polo, and hockey. My husband, a former professional golf player, has
a strong background with sports and a true entrepreneur, while my professional experience
lies in financial advising and corporate banking. I'd like to express my appreciation for the
invitation to this networking opportunity and eagerly anticipate meeting you all, maybe I will
meet a few of you tonight already😊

Hello Laura and you others! My name is Dag Blakkisrud. I am norwegian and just became a
member of the Nordic House. My connection to South-Africa is that I am married to Frank
Malaba, Zimbabwean artist, storyteller and actor, resident of Cape Town. Together, we wish
to work in the fields of culture and arts in the north and south. Looking forward to meet you

Hi, thanks Laura and team for facilitating! My name is Mikael Samuelsson. Me and my wife
Therese moved to Kommetjie in 2018. I work as a professor in entrepreneurship and
innovation at the University of Cape Town, the Graduate School of Business. Therese is
opening a CrossFit gym in the Long beach Mall area in the southern peninsula.
Hi Laura, Victoria, and everyone. Thank you for adding me here. I'm Frank Malaba. I'm
married to Dag, who's also on the group here. I'm a performance artist, storyteller, and
writer. I weave stories for stage, film, and other formats and have a passion for introducing
Southern African health cuisine to the world. I'm exploring ways of bringing these passions
together both here and in Scandinavia.

Hi Laura and everyone! I’m Sussi Galley and I’ve lived in Cape a town since 2000 and prior to
that I was In Zimbabwe for a decade. Back in 1993 I founded Livingstone Safaris, a luxury
travel company and I am very lucky to still absolutely love what I do. Our clients hail from
the US, UK and of course the Nordics. My husband is South African and we love travelling to
Sweden annually.
I look forward to catching up at the next networking event.

Thank you Laura for having created Nordic House and for always keeping the torch burning
and for the welcome.
I’m excited to have finally joined. I came to Port Elizabeth in 2000 as a classic MISE
expatriate for Maersk. Since then I’m not only ex Maersk but ex academia (psychology) ex
handball project with SIDA and ex running and coaching the SA handball champions PE
Vikings, a township club with the most wonderful youth, for 10 years and since 2013 I’ve
been living in Cape Town except for a short stint back in Vesterbro in 2018 where I needed to
check if my homesickness was bigger than my love for Cape Town. I’m in the leather industry
and work within the wholesale, retail, and online spheres.
Looking forward to meeting you next month 🤩 🤗 🙏

So inspiring and affirming to read fellow Nordic House member’s stories, and why we choose
to call this beautiful place home.
I’m Danish and my SA story started as love at first sight in the late 80’s. I’m now on my third
stint; 9 years, and happily counting.
I see Nordic House as an amazing possibility to meet incredibly diverse people, with a
common affinity for this welcoming, complex, intoxicating, rewarding, generous and
stunning place.
I look forward to meeting you at the Nordic House events. thank you Laura and Victoria for
making this happen.

Thank you to Laura and Victoria for all your work - and for adding me to this wonderful
Karina here 😊 also Danish. I came to Cape Town in 2009 on a project with the Disabled
People’s Organizations, Denmark. In 2013 when the project ended I wasn’t ready to leave
Cape Town so I started a consultancy with a SA friend. We’re still going strong working with
NGOs, government and private companies - specifically in the disability space, but also
boader within Diversity, Equity, Imclusion and Belonging. In between I’ve also been a student
at Stellenbosch and UCT. Now I live in Observatory with my boyfriend and dog 😃
Looking forward to reconnecting with fellow Danes and meet new Nordic friends.
Enjoy the rugby tonight 🇿🇦 😃

Hello Laura, Victoria and members of Nordic House. Thank you for the invitation.
My name is Heine Wieben Rasmussen. It’s been 5 years since my wife Daria and I moved
from Copenhagen to SA with the dream of creating Bliss and Stars - a luxory retreat fusing
astronomy, meditation & breathwork, gourmet food, and outdoor activities.
We bought a pristine off-the-map piece of land in northern Cederberg and developed the
full infrastructure before opening December 2020.
We haven’t looked back since the adventure started and loving every moment this fabulous
country has to offer.
Looking forward to connecting.
🙏 ✨ Heine

Good afternoon Laura, Victoria, and esteemed members of Nordic House,
Thank you so much for the invitation to be a part of this network 🙏 .
I am Danish 🇩🇰 living in Stellenbosch 🇿🇦 .
I am an Economist (CBS, Denmark) and work with market development, business plan
development, strategy development, resource mobilisation (funding applications), customer
mapping, etc.
They key word for what I do is ANALYSIS. Producing reports & presentations that Boards of
Directors or Market/Business Development Managers need in order to make sound
decisions on investing in new markets in e.g Africa and how to go about it, eg:
- Analysis of markets (countries, sectors, customer segments)
- Identifying new business opportunities for companies
- Developing market strategies (market entry or expansion)
- Identifying, screening, and analysing target customers
- Facilitating the business plans and/or feasibility studies.
Besides working with companies, I am also an Associate with Development Associates
(consultancy company in Denmark) doing consultancy work for Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(DK), Embassy of Denmark (various Danish Embassies in Africa), and Danida - see https://
Besides my passion for developing new markets (in Africa), I love spending time in the bush.
In my next life, I need to be living half the time in the bush saving rhinos 🦏 , elephants 🐘 ,
leopards 🐆 , lions 🦁 , cheetahs 🐆 , and pangolins… Just sending it out there in the
universe to manifest! 🥰
Looking forward to meeting you all face to face - the old fashioned way! 😊
Carola Baran
Cell/WhatsApp: 074 1111 903

Hello, my name is Robert Karaszi, founder and partner manager at Findity AB
( - a market-leading service/platform for expense management in the
In addition to this, I am also a consultant at Vinnova, Sweden's innovation agency, where I
assess grant applications for start-ups and scale-ups.
I currently spend 7-8 months a year in Cape Town and the remaining time in Stockholm, but
my intention is to move to Cape Town permanently during 2024. In the long term, also find
new challenges in my new home country :-)
My contact details:
- Email:
- LinkedIn:
Feel free to stop by and say hello if you are at Innovation City - where I spend a couple of
days every week. Looking forward to meeting you all!

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