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Danish startups learn how business is done in Silicon Valley

Growth hacking, pitching, business model pivoting, investor meetings and even more pitching was on the agenda when nine of the best Danish tech startups participated in the 24th edition of Innovation Centre Denmark’s startup program SCALEit.

For startups based in Denmark, Silicon Valley is not only far away in terms of geography but perhaps even further away in terms of mindset. This is what nine leading Danish startups TinyWolf, GoLittle,, StreamCrux, Go Dogo, OnePrediction, Manpremo, WasteHero, and Edaptio experienced first-hand when they took part in the weeklong startup program, SCALEit in the beginning of September. This edition of SCALEit was organized in collaboration with Innovation Fund Denmark.

The week was full of workshops on pitching, growth hacking, business model innovation, feedback sessions and investor pitches. The startups went through the week with great enthusiasm, willingness to listen and showed remarkable improvement. Because of the exposure experienced by the startups during the week, many of them found it necessary to stay in Silicon Valley for a second week to conduct follow-up meetings with interesting contacts and possible investors.

What we have learned on SCALEit is that in Denmark you think about what is likely, while in Silicon Valley you think about what is possible.

Allan Møller Larsen, CEO Vertikal.AI
Hanne Jarmer, CEO of Go Dogo pitching their business.

Overall, the takeaways were many and varied for this batch of startups. Nevertheless, one piece of feedback emerged repeatedly for them all: They simply needed to think bigger to make it in Silicon Valley and become those billion-dollar businesses. The startups realized just how big an idea their startup can become, how big a market they can capture with it and how fast their companies can grow with the right mindset and the right partners. One of the startups founders, Allan Møller Larsen, from Vertikal.Ai said it best: “What we have learned on SCALEit is that in Denmark you think about what is likely, while in Silicon Valley you think about what is possible.”

It is safe to say that all the startups went home with a lot to digest, but excited about having participated. Alexander Bonde, Director of Sales at Wastehero stated that “It’s been an amazing week with so many new learnings,” while Martin Bach-Andersen, CTO at Vertikal called SCALEit “A truly unique experience” and Morten Resen, CEO at GoLittle said that it had been “the best week possible.”

As these founders all agreed, being based in Denmark can make it hard to get an overview of the opportunities that are offered for startups in Silicon Valley. This is exactly why Innovation Center Denmark launched the SCALEit program in 2011 and have so far completed 23 – and now 24 - successful programs to date. SCALEit is that first stepping stone into the big leagues in Silicon Valley and the program gives them the tools and mindset to hopefully become the next generation of large Danish companies – to the great benefit for Danish society.

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Do you and your startup want to experience this journey then please do not hesitate to reach out.