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One turns into eight: Scale-Up Denmark yields a good profit

2018-10-23

18 months ago, the Danish Regions launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs one of the largest cross-regional initiatives in Denmark for growth companies. The 3-year initiative named Scale-Up Denmark has now passed half of its lifetime and some exciting results can already be spotted.

During the past 18 months, Accelerace as one of the four operators driving Scale-Up Denmark has screened 2244 growth companies from Denmark and abroad which possess scale-up potential within welfare tech, life science, IT, clean tech, and food tech.

Only112 out of those companies have been selected to become part of the cross-regional initiative. And that curation has turned out to be an important piece of reaching the goals of Scale-Up Denmark. The initiative started as an elite training program, more ambitious than previous efforts, to grow companies and make them capable of attracting private investment and thus creating more jobs.

A financial success story

The initiative has midway in its lifetime proven to be a success according to a midterm evaluation done by COWI. For every Danish krone that the public sector has put into the program, eight kroner have been attracted from private investors.

“The Accelerace-supported companies that have been part of those Scale-Up Denmark centers are responsible for having collectively raised more than 170 million Danish kroner. The compiled expenses for those same areas amount to just under 18 million Danish kroner in the first 18 months. That means, that for every public krone invested by the public sector, eight Danish kroner have been invested by the private sector,” says Accelerace CEO Peter Torstensen.

An elitist focus ensures the quality

Peter believes that the initial elitist focus is a big part of the companies’ success. The goal was to only accept 14 percent of the screened companies. For comparison, the goal is 27 percent for the other initiatives within the Regional Fund’s strategy for creating more growth companies.

“From day one, there is a market-related assessment of the potential with this model just as the model ensures that a fruitful and close collaboration is created between the startups and the corporates investing in the entrepreneurs. If a company cannot raise the initial financing, it will not be selected because the logic in the model is that the market then does not believe enough in the business potential.”