DIGGING NEW WELLS: Norway's economy is struggling, largely due to the low prices of oil and gas; a quarter of the Scandinavian country's GDP comes from fossil fuels. In the face of downturn and possible recession, Norwegians are turning to tech for new economic possibilities. Since 2012, a gaggle of tech companies has appeared in Oslo and made its presence known across the world, USA Today reports. Twenty-five percent of these companies focus on education. Kahoot, the most prominent, boasts 40 million users, most in the USA, and the DragonBox suite of games have sold half a million downloads at $4.99 apiece.
Rolf Assev of Startup Lab Oslo told USA Today that the catalyst was falling oil prices: "the people who used to be hired into the oil sector are now starting to become entrepreneurs." Neither USA Today nor Assev provided numbers of former oil employees-turned-entrepreneurs, undermining their emphasis on the directly proportional decline of oil and growth of tech.
Norway is, however, a country digitally connected and ready for new products. A 2013 survey by Google found that two thirds of Norwegians owned smartphones. Despite a small population of only five million, USA Today reports that the country has three million Facebook users.