Board of Directors






Sarah Carpenter 

Chairman of the Board

Sarah, a native of Norway, has 19 years of professional and executive experience with both large global and smaller local Silicon Valley organizations. Consistently on the finance and accounting side of the house, she has lead teams in organizations as diverse as an energy company to a large international software company and a venture capital supported technology start up organization. She has both public and private company experience building and managing complex and multi national budgets and strategic plans. Always partnering with various stakeholders within the organization to ensure alignment of their financial targets and operational requirements fit within the overall strategy and goals of the company. Sarah’s keen analytical sense as well as practical operational experience, provides for a driven and experienced leader with excellent communication skills.  Furthermore, her work throughout the years managing to various financial goals provides for strategic understanding of any overarching framework while not losing sight of the details critical for success.






Ingrid Echter

Executive Director 

 Ingrid Echter is excited to join the Silicon Vikings team to implement her experience working in the event industry in San Francisco and New York City. An Estonian native, Ingrid had the pleasure of leading an Estonian nonprofit organization for 4 years, building an Estonian network in the Bay Area and bringing together different interest groups globally. What made this exciting for Ingrid was creating win-win opportunities and global connections that strengthened her community and built bridges between countries.

With Silicon Vikings Ingrid is excited to learn about the needs of the broader Nordic and Silicon Valley communities to again build strong synergies and win-win opportunities for everyone involved.




Eilif Trondsen 

Chair, SIG Entrepreneurship & Learning

Eilif Trondsen is Research Director at Strategic Business Insights (SBI)in Menlo Park, California. The focus area of Dr. Trondsen’s research and consulting at SBI (formerly Stanford Research Institute) is the use of technology for innovation, learning and performance improvement. He has 32 years' experience at SBI and at SRI International, leading or contributing to a variety of projects for U.S. and foreign clients in the private and public sectors. At SRI and SBI, Dr. Trondsen has held the position of Research Director of the Business Intelligence Program, the director of the Learning on Demand program, and has also led SBI’s research initiative around 3D immersive technologies. In his tenure at SRI and SBI, he has given numerous presentations and autored many publications on various eCommerce, eLearning, innovation and virtual-worlds topics.




Helene Åström


Helene Astrom, has during her 15 years in the finance profession had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of businesses, from automotive manufacturing, software, professional services to healthcare.  Having worked as Finance Manager, Controller and CFO, amongst other positions, has given her a solid knowledge in areas as accounting, processes, business analysis to strategic decision making. She has a professional history of managing financial functions and being part of the executive management team.

Helene was born in Sweden, educated at the University of Lund and is currently living in Silicon Valley.




Christian Olsson

Information Officer

Christian, who holds the position Vice-President Marketing & Alliances at Habit DX Inc. and Habit ID Inc., has extensive marketing, alliances and sales management experience from the Silicon Valley startup scene including Habit ID continuous authentication software, ByteShield digital rights management software, Marratech (Google) videoconferencing, Protegrity database security, and TenFour (FoxT) email security. Christian has also served as the Swedish Trade Commissioner to Australia where he assisted Swedish hitech companies while entering the Australian market. His career started with 14 years at ITT Flygt, the world's leading submersible pump manufacturer, where he held sales & marketing management positions in the US, Sweden and Australia. 




Bengt Eliasson

Chair, SIG Mobile

Bengt Eliasson is passionate about innovation in business. With 20 years of experience in business development and management, Bengt has devoted most of that time to the next generation of retail and service industries.

Bengt’s major areas of specialization are currently in consumer products, retail development, communications technologies, and consumer analytics.

Prior to joining IBM, Bengt was head of a strategic outsource operation with Unilever Nordics and Varsego. Before that Bengt held various levels of line management in Nordic retailers and suppliers such as ICA-Ahold, Coop, Esselte and Movement.

During his 20 years as accelerator in business projects and companies, Bengt always pushed for innovation, accountability and results and has always been a central figure in growing the company.

Bengt has a Masters degree in Business administration from Lund School of Economics and Business. Bengt also joined post graduate studies at IMD (Lausanne) and internal courses at IBM Business school.

Bengt lives since 2013 with his familly in Northern California.



Christina Samuelson

Head of Communication, PR & Event





Lars Jensen

Chair, SIG Cloud & Social Media

Lars is a partner at Scale Capital, a venture fund investing in Danish tech startups. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and has founded several companies in Denmark. Lars currently serves as an advisor and Angel Investor to a number of cloud based startups.

A major motivation for joining Silicon Valley Vikings is to help build a bridge between the innovation laps and tech startups in Denmark and funding opportunities in the Valley. Lars is a tireless advocate of knowledge sharing across the Atlantic, and leverages applied learning’s from other parts of the world. 

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Lars worked in leadership positions within large organizations such as Cable & Wireless, TDC and Saxo Bank. He was also a management consultant at a London based consulting firm.

Lars holds a BA in Marketing, a graduate degree in Foreign Trade from Copenhagen Business School, and an MBA (hons) from Babson College in Boston, MA.