Lights, camera, action! We kicked off December with Beyond Beta’s Camp #2. On December 1-3, 21 promising Danish startups gathered in front of their computer screens to dig deeper into scaling strategies and maximizing their potential to attract investors.
Completing Camp #2 means that the first-ever batch is more than halfway through our new Accelerator program Beyond Beta. According to Casper Kraken, CEO at Fooducer, an online B2B marketplace with integrated matchmaking for green food ex-/importers in Europe, Beyond Beta should be a must for every startup journey and entrepreneurial education:
“We feel it [Beyond Beta] should be an integral part of every startup journey/every education on entrepreneurship (..) Your program is above and beyond expectations, and is really something that has helped our company fast-forward a couple of years over the last few months!” (Casper Kraken, Fooducer)
Throughout the three camp-days, the founders spent a majority of their time in sessions with mentors and fellow founders. Katja Grothe-Eberhardt is the founder and CEO at Klimate, which offers Carbon Neutrality as a Service and assists SMEs to calculate and neutralize their carbon footprint. She acknowledges the discussions with mentors and founders as a key value-add of the program:
“The highlight for us was the workshops and interactions with our fellow cohort startups and mentors from Accelerace. Both the workshops and mentor sessions gave us invaluable discussions and feedback to Klimate Co., and lead to a lot of important internal talks and development.” (Katja Grothe-Eberhardt, Klimate)
Introducing Newly-Produced Courses
This time, we introduced our startups to new topics/courses, including Startup Product Roadmap, Reinforcing Value Loops, and Team/Culture. Compared to the courses in Camp #1, whose online-parts are freely available for all startup founders on our Pre-Accelerator platform, these four are exclusively created for the startups in the Accelerator.
The Startup Product Roadmap encourages the founders to align their technology and product releases to ensure that they deliver on the desired outcomes, whether that be turnover, entering new markets, or testing hypotheses. Stine Kalmer Jørgensen, co-founder and CEO at DreamPlan, a holistic digital self-service financial advisory service for retail banking customers, appreciated the opportunity to take a step back and deep-dive into the topic:
“I really enjoyed the Beyond Beta Camp #2 because we got to revisit our product roadmap and the connection between our output, product, and tech as well as timing. It was useful to take the time to dive in again. And to get feedback from both mentors and fellow participants. A very useful exercise which we had otherwise neglected because time flies when you are focused on production and operations.” (Stine Kalmer Jørgensen, DreamPlan)
For Mikkel Søgaard, co-founder and CEO at Digital Devotion Games, which creates innovative games meant to be shared by using pro-social game design innovation, learning the how-tos of Reinforcing Value Loops was a game-changer (pun intended). This course focuses on mapping out and leveraging, in our opinion, two critical prerequisites for building a scalable company: how fast startups can grow relative to its competitors in the relevant market segment (alpha), and the attractiveness of that market – e.g. its size and growth (beta).
“What stuck out to me the most during Camp #2 was learning about Alpha/Reinforcing Value Loops. I love this tool, and during the workshop, I got a better understanding of how to use it and how I can use it to our advantage. I believe that this will definitely help us showcase and communicate our uniquenesses and potential.” (Mikkel Søgaard, Digital Devotion Games)
The backbone of a startup’s success is the people who work behind it. That is why we designed a course focused on the how-tos of setting a strong founder team and building an open and honest feedback culture. Malte Nørgaard is the co-founder and CEO at Hexastate CBM Solutions, which provides solutions for companies within the field of condition-based maintenance. They are currently a team of six, and within days, they had already implemented some of the tools:
“We really got a lot out of this session. It is so important for our future growth and expansion that we strengthen our culture to work more structured, and with a deep understanding of each other – especially in between co-founders. We have already implemented some of the tools.” (Malte Nørgaard, Hexastate CBM Solutions)
Learn from Mentors, Fellow Founders, and Seasoned Investors
Our mentors know a great deal but certain things are best told by others. For that reason, we have made it a habit to invite external guests to share their success factors and fuck-ups to avoid when scaling a startup and raising investments.
Jan Rosenbom from Keystones, Denmark’s largest network of startup investors with 450+ members, held an Investor Talk on valuation and negotiation. He covered everything from common pitfalls, the importance of screening your potential investors (inspiration: 30 questions entrepreneurs should ask investors), and what investors discuss when startups leave the room. A great behind-the-scenes view, if you ask Mikkel Søgaard from Digital Devotion Games:
“The Keystones presentation was great. Straight to the point and easy to understand, with some really useful takeaways (…). I have gotten a lot of new insights into how business angels operate and think.” (Mikkel Søgaard, Digital Devotion Games)
The person behind the Founder’s Talk was Mikkel Clausen, the co-founder and Head of People/Culture at Accelerace alumnus Penneo, a software that helps organizations automate business processes related to signing and managing documents. An open and honest conversation by someone that has experienced his fair share of highs and lows of the startup roller coaster, which Christian Zandersen, CTO at Hexastate CBM Solutions, appreciated:
“Always great to hear insights from an entrepreneur who is still in their company. Good perspectives on a lot of things regarding where to focus.” (Christian Zandersen, Hexastate CBM Solutions)
Upcoming: Bi-weekly meetings, Cut-offs, and Camp #3
Camp #3 is planned to take place in February. In between, the founders will work individually and have bi-weekly meetings with their assigned mentors from Accelerace and The Business Hubs. However, there is a catch: Beyond Beta is divided into three phases with cut-offs every six weeks, meaning that only the most promising and engaged startups are selected to move on to the last phase of the Accelerator.
We will wrap up this news story similar to how one of Camp #2’s hosts, Accelerace’s Community Manager Rebecca Guacan, did at the end of each live stream – with a (bad) joke:
How can you tell if someone is an entrepreneur? Don’t worry – He or She will tell you.
Since 2008, Accelerace has helped accelerate 800+ Danish and international startups, including Trustpilot and Templafy, of which over 80% are still active. Accelerace has made 65+ pre-seed investments in startups, who have been through the accelerator program and have started partnerships with industry-leading companies such as the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Arla and Elia. Accelerace is also responsible for the management of NOME (Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship), an elite Mentoring Network for startups within therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, digital health or industrial biotech.
About Beyond Beta:
Beyond Beta is Denmark’s top-tier accelerator program for promising startups with a demonstrated growth ambition. It is a brand new collaboration between Accelerace, the Danish Business Hubs (under the lead of Copenhagen Business Hub – Erhvervshus Hovedstaden) and Danish Design Center, who have combined their experience of working with 1000+ startups to launch this next evolutionary step of European accelerators. The platform-based approach means that startups can kick-start their journey today by joining the 100% free, online Pre-Accelerator, which can be used as an on-demand toolbox to build for scale or as a first step into the core accelerator.