Startup Village: There now exist a big pool of companies with talent and ambition to reach the top if they get access to the right conditions, sufficient capital and talent.

Tine Thygesen, CEO of The Creators Community
This article was first published in Finans DK

The Danish ability to create the big firms of tomorrow is essential for our future welfare society. With the announcement of Peakons’ newest capital of 130 million dkk., this three year old company with 80 employees is an excellent example that danish entrepreneurship is on the rise.

We are seeing a promising amount of Danish startups which have grown large enough to be a part of the international battle of being in the driver’s seat. Among them, Trustpilot might be the biggest Danish hope for a new huge Danish company. Trustpilot is a portal for customer reviews and was founded in 2007 by Peter Mühlmann. Today they are market leaders in several European markets, and are currently in the process of a solid entry in the US.

Another promising startup is the platform for wine, Vivino, which recently announced new venture capital of 120m dkk. Rfresh Entertainment are also good contenders. They are among the world leaders within eSports, a huge industry which the fewest have heard about, and which is on the rise as well. Additionally, startups like Sybo (Subway Surfers), Templafy, LunarWay, Labster, Planday, and Coinify have all managed to secure a spot on the international market, or attract sufficient capital to be able to compete globally.

There now exist a big pool of companies with talent and ambition to reach the top if they get access to the right conditions, sufficient capital and talent.

Besides technology, the culinary industry takes a sizeable part of the credit for the blooming innovation right now.

CEO: Tine Thygesen, The Creators Community

Companies like Joe & The Juice and Sticks & Sushi are growing on an international scale, and with Noma as frontrunners, the creative Danish entrepreneurs have gained the courage to start world class concepts. Among the interesting ones right now, Empirical Spirits, a luxury spirit distillery on Refshaleøen started by former Noma people Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen. They produce liquor out of category, world class.  

What we are seeing right now is a Danish startup industry which is coming of age. When I returned to Denmark in 2008 after ten years abroad, the Danish entrepreneurial scene was thin and fragile, held alive by a small amount of people with limited experience, but with sky high ambition.

There are many of the companies, which were started back then, who were the basis for the success we see today. Back then, Podio, Endomondo, Tradeshift, Trustpilot and Senseeye were founded, companies which today are either sold or successful. They have been a part of training the necessary talent and attracted the necessary capitals interest to the country. The success is thus build upon a century of hard work.

It is an significant point, that Danish entrepreneurship therefore has to be assessed in the long run, and that it takes a big amount of small startups to create a couple of big ones. It is therefore the big fundamental framework conditions, like the danes’ view on value creation, risk, ownership taxation of employees, we have to focus on when we want to create growth, not short initiatives like counseling.

There is a clear tendency that Copenhagen is the center for new companies, and there is a continuous increasing concentration of talent and capital in the city. The request for innovative power is massive, also from the established businesses. When we in The Creators Community recently published Matrikel 1, our huge bet on of an innovation hub at Højbro Plads, the interest was so overwhelming that we sold 40% of the new offices in seven days.

It is essential for Denmark that we get the next row of cities to join in on the growth curve, including Århus, Aalborg and Odense. It requires that a local entrepreneurial environment is built, which can nurture the right mindset, as well as concrete learning.

Experience shows that it can only be established by private grassroot environments. It is extraordinary healthy for the employment when new Danish growth businesses are successful. In Startup Village on Islands Brygge, there are for example hundreds of available jobs. In my own business alone, we have to employ 25 new people before Summer. Therefore, we continually have to work as a nation to reach the top of innovation and growth, so that there is a lot of jobs and welfare for us all, also in the future.