Developing as a human being through mentoring startups

Erick Arnberg (MSc Strategic Management 2010) is a motivator: he puts a lot of time and effort into voluntarily coaching startups and entrepreneurs in addition to his regular job leading operations for Google in Belgium, Finland and Norway. He shares his marketing and digitalisation expertise to mentor new businesses as they scale up their impact and accelerate their business ideas, both in Oslo and through RSM’s own mentoring programme, Mentor Me.

What is it about your effort that makes a positive change?
“Numerous startups and entrepreneurs don’t know how to scale up their businesses nor the baseline activities that are needed to grow their businesses. I discovered that I can share this knowledge with them and teach them how to innovate in business. I help them with the basics, and with thinking through their processes, about structure, and about digital marketing funnels. I try to help them get their business ideas off the ground, and encourage them to continually develop themselves individually. When they get this expertise, they innovate.”

Erick has helped over 20 businesses, located all around the world. Through Pioneers, a database of European early-stage startups, Erick has mentored start-ups in the Balkans through video conferencing. He is currently coaching ventures in Oslo.


“It’s important to be aware of change, how it affects you, and how you can adapt to it.”


Why do you do it?
“Part of my family comes from a humble place in Costa Rica, where the day-to-day reality is very different from my life in Oslo. Their reality is about being able to put food on the table every day, so I have been incredibly fortunate; I’ve got a broad spectrum of experiences to share. So for me there’s a moral imperative; I want to help – and enjoy helping – others. I’ve always been encouraged to have mentors, particularly for leadership positions. I care about the people I work with and want them to do well, so I want to help them understand their drivers and identify what could help them work better.”

Do you have any words of advice that might inspire others?
“I think we’re habitual beings that tend to become complacent and seek comfort. I want to encourage others to be conscious of this complacency and ask themselves if they are challenging themselves enough. Are you developing as a human being as well as a professional?

"We need to continue to adapt and develop ourselves to be able to deal with AI and algorithms ‘taking over’ and the advance in technologies; we must also change. I like Prof. Yuval Noah Harari’s take on this; he reminded me that changes have happened throughout humanity and change cannot be stopped.

“It’s important to be aware of change, how it affects you, and how you can adapt to it.”