Scale-up Denmark initiative is an accelerator programme that targets the most promising national and international entrepreneurs.
Denmark has a long history of creating entrepreneurial competences and supporting entrepreneurial learning and start-ups. The next step is taken by shifting the focus towards supporting high potential entrepreneurs and thereby creating scale-ups and high growth companies.
High growth companies create 10 times more jobs than the average company. Denmark has historically had very few entrepreneurs that have developed in to high growth companies. Less than 2 % of Danish companies with more than 250 employees are established during the last 10 years. The corresponding number for USA is 20 %.
The Scale-up Denmark initiative is an accelerator programme that targets the most promising national and international entrepreneurs within the business areas of the five regions smart specialisation strategies. The programme consists of intensive development courses, professional discussions, mentoring, participation in relevant courses and workshops and access to expert knowledge and venture capital.
Scale-up Denmark is a 4-year initiative that is expected to identify 355 relevant companies that will create 1200 new jobs and a combined increase in turnover of 266 million euro. The initiative is funded by ERDF, regions own development funds, the Danish Business Authority and the participating companies. The total cost of the initiative is 22M€.
22M € (62.000 euro per participant)
Evidence of success
The initiative has recently been launched and will be evaluated each half year and 2 years after the initiative has ended. Scale-up Denmark is inspired by a private accelerator programme called Next Step Challenge.
The precise effect of Scale-up Denmark is uncertain but taking the positive effect of Next Step challenge in mind, we expect to create the effects that have been estimated by the programme operators. This is 1200 new jobs and a combined increase in turnover of 266 million euro.
It is difficult to attract Danish entrepreneurs to join the programme. In next step challenge there was a majority of foreign participant. It is important that large cooperation’s participate as partners in the programme. The entrepreneurs gain a lot from their knowledge and facilities.
Potential for learning or transfer
The project is mainly funded be the European Regional Development Fund. The programme has to be developed in relation to an international specialisation and strength, that will attract national and international entrepreneurs to the region.