More than 300 international companies have applied to become part of Europe’s most ambitious start-up competition and accelerator program Next Step Challenge which will be running for the second consecutive year. Only 15 companies will join the competition that will take place in Denmark, where the companies will compete for the first prize of EUR 250,000.
More than 300 entrepreneurs from 75 different countries want to move to Denmark as part of the Next Step Challenge start-up competition. The number of applicants is a massive increase compared to last year’s 130 applicants. Startups from North Europe, UK and North America are strongly represented in the final pool of candidates.
“We are very proud, to attract this many ambitious entrepreneurs to the Next Step Challenge”, says Lisbeth Valther, Director of SE Next Step, which is part of the SE group. She further elaborates:
“The companies will develop their products and services based on the unique digital infrastructure of the southern region of Denmark with access to test products and solutions on a living lab of 260.000 households. This way the entrepreneurs will create the next generation of companies within smart energy, digitalization and digital health.”
Only 15 startups will compete in the finals
Next Step Challenge is initiated by SE, Accelerace and the region of Southern Denmark focusing mainly on new developments within digitalization and the opportunities it creates for future advancements. As part of the program the startups have a unique opportunity to test their business case through the digital infrastructure in the region of Southern Denmark. All the companies work within smart energy, digital health, smart home or communication services.
“In the first round of the Next Step Challenge the Serbian company Teleskin won the grand prize of EUR 250.000,” says Søren Lottrup, Partner in Accelerace and continues:
“Teleskin is today established in Denmark where they are in the process of improving their product innovation and expanding their team. Actually, previous contestants have proved that their ideas are both viable and possess huge potential. This is also a crucial success factor in the selection process towards the next round”.
In the beginning of November the most promising companies will present their business case in front of the Next Step Challenge selection board which consists of business leaders and industry experts.
Only the top 15 companies get selected for the challenging program which starts December 1st, 2014. The entire program ends in an award show in Esbjerg in Denmark in June 2015. During the program, the startups will get the opportunity to work alongside national and international experts connected to SE and Accelerace. Additionally, business developers from the region of Southern Denmark will visit Esbjerg during the program.
About the Next Step Challenge:
- The Next Step Challenge is the most ambitious entrepreneur prize and accelerator program in Europe. Ambition really is the key word: the Challenge offers ambitious startups the chance to access a one-of-a-kind business development program and state-of-the-art digital infrastructure and smart grid.
- During the 6-month program 15 promising startup companies will be working in Esbjerg in Denmark. The program includes workshops, labs and support from experienced Accelerace consultants.
In the Next Step Challenge the best international startups within smart energy, smart home, digital health and digital communication services compete for the biggest entrepreneurial prize in Europe of EUR 250.000. The Next Step Challenge is based on a partnership between SE, Accelerace and the region of Southern Denmark with a focus on providing continuing growth and development in the region of Southern Denmark.