5 Steps to Building a Successful Corporate - Startup Relationship

Watch the Techstars webinar and uncover valuable lessons learned.

Audun Abelsnes-1

Audun Abelsnes
Managing Director, Techstars Energy

Jens Festervoll

Jens Festervoll
Equinor Corporate Liaison for Techstars

Vicki Knott

Vicki Knott
CEO and Co-Founder, Crux OCM


Disrupt or be disrupted.

Leveraging new technologies is now a necessity for survival. Pursuing relationships with startups can be a successful strategy—if approached in the right way.

Watch our webinar and uncover the valuable lessons learned from Techstars Energy Accelerator Managing Director, Audun Abelsnes, Equinor's Senior Advisor in Corporate Innovation, Jens Festervoll, and Crux OCM (Startup and Equinor Partner) CEO and Co-Founder, Vicki Knott.


  • Find "best fit" startups
  • Overcome cultural barriers
  • Build trust and communication
  • Identify actionable plans
  • Drive successful POCs and pilots
  • Find the path to value quickly



Audun Abelsnes

Audun Abelsnes is the Managing Director of Techstars Energy in partnership with Equinor, Kongsberg and McKinsey. For several years, Audun Abelsnes has been part-responsible for the master-level course "New Venture Creation" (5th year) at BI Norwegian Business School (one of the Top50 business schools in Europe). He also founded and sold one company and he has been instrumental in funding and scaling up a medical diagnostic company. Audun Abelsnes has spent several years in PWC management consulting and holds a Master of Science in International Marketing from BI Norwegian Business School and City University in London.

Jens Festervoll

Jens Festervoll is a Senior Advisor in Corporate Innovation at Equinor, as well as Equinor’s Corporate Liaison for the Techstars Energy Accelerator hosted in their Oslo office. Equinor ASA is a Norwegian multinational energy company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway. It is a petroleum and wind energy company with operations in thirty-six countries. Festervoll has 17 years of experience in the energy sector an has worked as a Program Manager to set up Equinor’s recently established Digital Centre of Excellence. Prior to that, Festervoll was Vice President for Corporate Strategy in Statoil. Festervoll has a keen interest in innovation, digitalization and change management; and holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Oslo and University of Essex. Festervoll sits on the Board of Subsea Valley Cluster, a Norwegian Centre of Expertise technology cluster delivering world leading engineering from subsea to space.

Vicki Knott, P.Eng

Crux OCM has partnered with Equinor. Their startup utilizes AI and real-time optimization to enable semi-autonomous operation of pipelines, reducing the risk of operation and increasing volumetric throughput up to 4%. Vicki comes from an operational background at TransCanada Pipelines where she worked in commercial operation, process control engineering, and most importantly, spent significant time in the control room. She is a chemical engineer with a special interest in system wide operations and control. She sees liquid pipelines as a single operational process to be optimized in real time by providing the control room operators with the best tools possible. Utilizing her tenacious spirit she is excited to provide engineered software solutions to ensure that the industries front line people (control room operators) can operate liquids pipelines in the safest, most profitable way.