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#CPHFTW - CoPenHagen For the Win: Start-up ecosystem Copenhagen impresses delegation from Carinthia and Slovenia

13. October 2016

On the trails of Peakon, JustEat, Trustpilot and Vivino, 40 interested people from the Alpe-Adria region (Carinthia and Slovenia) came to Copenhagen in order to get to the bottom of the #open secrets of how to connect, support, accelerate and finance the innovative entrepreneurs in Denmark’s capital region. For three days, the delegation visited co-working spaces, university incubators and makerspaces, public foundations for entrepreneurship and private accelerators, funds and start-up initiatives.

Starting at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) , the Austrian Simon Herzog introduced the group to real out of the box thinking. Game changing ideas with a focus on social entrepreneurship stem from this international talent hub. Walking over to the Innovation Fund Denmark , department manager Hanne Harmsen swept away the group with her energetic talk about public risk capital for grand solutions (mostly university research projects), innovative start-ups and talents. The day was rounded up by an Austrian Business Circle hosted by the cider start-up with the telling name Æblerov – apple thieves. 

The visits at Founders House and Rainmaking Loft on the second day convinced the group, that living together in a start-up village and exchanging ideas and know-how is highly inspiring and beneficial for creative minds. After a very welcoming and delicious lunch break at the residence of His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Ernst-Peter Brezovsky, the programme continued at Accelerace with the take-home message “entrepreneurship can be learned”. Just on time but in a slight hurry due to the many questions after each presentation, the group was warmly welcomed by Steen Donner,  CEO of the Science and Technology Park at the Technical University of Denmark (Scion DTU ), who introduced us to Danish best practice in the area of research to business. Jakob Fuglede Nielsen, CFO and partner at SEED Capital located on DTU campus, pitched an interesting public/private innovation funding approach. The visit at DTU ended in the astonishing makerspace DTU Skylab – Danish architecture and creativity at its best. Wind up day 2: dinner at Spontan , a newly opened exquisite restaurant with the Austrian Michelin-starred chef Christian Gadient – delicious!   

Copenhagen Bio Science Park (COBIS ) at the University of Copenhagen with Lone Buchholz opened the final day of the tour. The Øresund region, connecting the greater Copenhagen area and southern Sweden, is a biotech stronghold with a vivid innovative and scene. Gernot Abel, science manager at Novozymes , inspired with an open innovation approach: nothing to hide - the global market leader in enzyme and microbes production impressed with hackathons and creative inputs from outside. Last stop at COBIS was a tour with Professor Matthew Johnson through his catacombs laboratory of Airlabs, a solution to clean air pollution. The final official stop for the delegation was at OBV 026, another co-working space, where Adrian Rössler from Lower-Austria works on his start-up Play With a Pro connecting musicians and music students. Culinary highlight was a sweet treat by SweetSneak , a pop-up bakery concept co-founded by Brini Fetz from Vorarlberg.

With a sunshine boat-tour through the channel of Copenhagen on a cold Scandinavian afternoon, the group left Denmark with their bags full of ideas and inspirations and the consent: let’s build a start-up ecosystem in the Alpe-Adria region!