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student fellowship

Get the mindset of Silicon Valley in one semester

How do you go from idea to a viable business? How do you become an entrepreneur? What are the questions you should ask yourself and how do you become a creative thinker? These are some of the questions universities in Silicon Valley examine when they integrate entrepreneurship into their degrees. Now Danish master students can experience the same.

There are some skills that are not possible to learn in a lecture hall or from reading textbooks. The skills of entrepreneurship and understanding the mindset of Silicon Valley are definitely some of them. Entrepreneurship is about developing new innovative solutions and solving existing problems – problems that are real and relevant outside the walls of a university. So where do you as a student learn to become an entrepreneur? The answer is “in Silicon Valley.”

Silicon Valley is known for entrepreneurship. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs the world has ever seen came out of Silicon Valley, such as Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), and Elon Musk (Tesla). A result of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem consisting of world-leading universities, big tech companies and a ton of start-ups, which are all defining features of Silicon Valley and contribute to making it the world’s leading tech hub.

It is no surprise that universities in Silicon Valley have realized that integrating entrepreneurship into their programs have significant benefits. Students learn the skills of entrepreneurship while they complete a degree. They learn to think critically, collaborate, communicate and become more creative, which are all key parts of the “21st century skillset.” Not just in a classroom, but by getting out in the field, understanding the need, testing ideas and engaging stakeholders.

“By learning entrepreneurship skills at the universities, the students are presented with an alternative carrier path and in some cases, even help universities commercialize their research and findings. A skill that is very attractive for Danish students as well and can be used in a startup or an established company,” explains Jeppe Dørup Olesen, Innovation Attaché at Innovation Centre Denmark Silicon Valley.

Another feature of Silicon Valley is its unique entrepreneurial approach to taking risks, adjusting to change and helping others. It is a high-pace environment, which keeps you on your toes. Things move fast and you only really understand how the next million-dollar business is built by experiencing it first-hand.

Therefore, Innovation Centre Denmark in Silicon Valley partners with Danish organizations to facilitate student fellowship programs, which give students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with entrepreneurship as a part of their education.

At first the entrepreneurial process can seem a bit messy and confusing, but during the program I learned that there is actually a recipe to follow, a process of innovation and design thinking. I have learned how to identify an actual problem, find the appropriate idea and how to test it.

Eigil Bagger Fintech Scholarship Student, Fall 2019

FinTech students conquer Silicon Valley

The FinTech Scholarship, sponsored by Spar Nord Fonden, gives five students an opportunity to study financial technology and entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley, California while also developing their own startup idea. The students enroll in an entrepreneurship course at UC Berkeley while also participating in an entrepreneurial program facilitated by Innovation Centre Denmark. This is a unique opportunity for fintech students as Michael S. Dahl, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Chairman of the Board of Spar Nord Fonden explains:

“We want to give Danish students the tools to develop great ideas and create successful businesses in Denmark. The FinTech Scholarship is a unique opportunity for talented students to collaborate with students and professors from world-leading universities in one of the most entrepreneurial environments in the world. We see it as an investment in Denmark’s future.”

One of the students who came to Silicon Valley in the fall was Eigil Bagger.

“At first the entrepreneurial process can seem a bit messy and confusing, but during the program I learned that there is actually a recipe to follow, a process of innovation and design thinking. I have learned how to identify an actual problem, find the appropriate idea and how to test it,” he says. Eigil Bagger took home the award for Most Fundable Project at Innovation Centre Denmark’s final pitch event at the end of the entrepreneurial program.

Danish students in Silicon Valley start-ups

The International Innovation Project (2IP), sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, is another unique program that enrolls five life science master students in a 5-months company project in Silicon Valley. The students gain first-hand experience by joining an exciting fast-growing startup and become part of the team that make it all happen. 
Lauge Naur Hansen spend five months in Palo Alto working in the biopharma startup, Juvena Therapeutics. He brought home useful experience in his suitcase:

“The 2IP program gave me a unique opportunity to apply the methods and theory of the lecture halls to real-world problems, experience a milieu focused on applied science and learn about small cooperation R&D in medical technology.”

Mikkel Skovborg, Head of Innovation at the Novo Nordisk Foundation is excited about the internship to continue to grow the Danish Life Science industry:

“We are happy to support young, ambitious students learning the important skill of entrepreneurship at a very early stage in the careers. Seeing and learning the successes and failures from early start-ups within the life sciences is crucial,” he states.


We are currently accepting applicants for FinTech Scholarship (Deadline March 1st) and International Innovation Project, 2IP (Deadline March 15th).

Read more and apply at and


If you want to know more, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.