Shadow a CEO

Shadow a CEO is an initiative developed by the NORA Research School on AI in collaboration with NORA.startup. With this initiative, we wish to inspire PhD students and researchers to take the leap and commercialize research. For many researchers, the world of academia and the world of entrepreneurship seems like two polar opposites. Shadow a researcher is an initiative developed to bring these two worlds closer together by introducing students and researchers to the life of an entrepreneur. The aim of the initiative is for PhD students and researchers to familiarize themselves with commercialisation processes and to understand what it takes to found and lead a startup company.

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For the startup: 

At a glance: 

Who: Founder of a NORA.startup member

Duration: 1 week (depends on the availability of the CEO)

Expected deliverables: Allow the student/researcher to observe team meetings and one-2-one meetings with the researcher/student. 

Wish to participate in the Shadow a CEO Initiative? 

We are looking for CEOs who are willing to be shadowed by a researcher for one week. Involvement in the initiative would entail inviting a PhD student/ researcher to join a few meetings with the startup team. The PhD student/researcher will shadow the CEO during a normal day in the startup. The CEO must be willing to schedule a few meetings with the PhD student/researcher where the student/researcher can ask questions regarding what it takes and means to be a founder and CEO. The PhD student/ researcher will in turn write an article about their experience while shadowing the CEO and the startup. 

The CEOs signing up to participate in this initiative will be able to select a PhD student/ researcher who is working within a given field related to the startup’s industry and technology. The aim is to match the PhD student/ researcher with a startup where they can contribute with some knowledge in return. 

Anita Scjhøll Brede, CEO and co-founder of is the pioneer of the Shadow a CEO initiative, which is further a collaborative initiative between NORA.startup and the NORA Research School on AI. She brought this idea into life and she encourages other founders in the NORA.startup network to join the initiative! Are you up for the challenge? 

For more information and to sign up to this initiative, email 

Register to participate as a CEO

For the student/researcher: 

At a glance: 

Who: AI Researchers (Master students, PhD Fellows, Senior Researchers)

Duration: 1 week

Expected deliverables: One written blog article describing your experience shadowing the CEO

Do you want to learn more about entrepreneurship and what it takes to launch and lead a startup? 

The Shadow a CEO initiative invites AI PhD students/ researchers interested in founding an AI startup to observe the day to day life of an entrepreneur. We are looking for PhD students/ researchers who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship, who might have an idea for a startup or who wishes to learn more about the entrepreneurial process. The initiative involves spending a few hours with the CEO of a startup for one week. You will be invited to team meetings to observe daily tasks and meetings where you will get real life insight into the life of a CEO. You will also have the opportunity to schedule one to one meetings with the CEO to ask questions regarding their venture. In return, you are expected to write an article about your experience with the CEO. 

All startups involved in the Shadow a CEO initiative are members of NORA.startup, and are therefore developing products/ services using artificial intelligence, machine learning or robotics. It is expected that your degree and knowledge field correlates with that of the field of the startup. The Shadow a CEO initiative aims to match eager PhD students/ researchers from an academic field that matches the startups industry and technology. 

Anita Scjhøll Brede from is the pioneer of the Shadow a CEO initiative, which is further a program under the NORA Research School on AI. We encourage you to register to participate as a researcher!

For more information and to sign up, email 

Register to participate as a student/researcher

The Shadow a CEO initiative will run over quarterly periods starting with January-June 2023. The startups are kindly asked to agree to their availability to be matched with a student/researcher during this time period and the student/researchers are kindly asked to mark their availability by selecting a preferred month. The week in question will be agreed upon by both the student/researcher and CEO ahead of time.

Publisert 5. okt. 2022 12:35 - Sist endret 5. okt. 2022 13:04