Energy Efficient Technologies successfully kicked off

By Søren Røn, Program Director, Next Step Challenge

February 1st 2017, 9 expectant companies entered the Kickoff in Esbjerg at the Scale-Up Denmark Center for Energy Efficient Technologies, which is one of the Region of Southern Denmarks 5 defined areas of strength. A short and hectic screening process happened beforehand. We screened 174 companies, and received 76 applications. 43 companies were asked to forward additional presentation-material, and out of those, 17 companies went through interviews, and had to forward a one-page presentation as well as a 5-minute long presentation-video. All this knowledge was used on our Selection Day January 18th, where our Selection Board selected the strongest to participate in the Scale-Up program.

Our Selection Board consists of Preben Mejer (Radr), Henrik Mentz (iEnergy), Stig Poulsen (Vækstfonden), Niels Münster-Hansen (Cisco), Thomas Helt (Falck Healthcare) og Lisbeth Valther (SE Next Step).

The Energy Effective Technologies program has attracted many exciting innovative companies, all of whom grasps the development in different ways. There are companies, which work from a technological viewpoint and others from a more traditional viewpoint, but common for all of them is, that they work with the focus of bringing something new to the markets, and thus utilize the tendencies currently present. It will be exciting to follow the next step, says Niels Münster-Hansen, Country Manager and Managing Director Cisco Denmark.

We started out hard with the kickoff, and completed 2 camps within the first 10 days. First we had a camp about Lean Canvas/ Business Model Canvas, and at week 6, we ended with 1,5 days training in creating a high performance team. In addition of the two camps, all the companies held their first milestone meeting, where a team of resource persons is joined around a company, and give them sparring on the entire business – from market strategy, business plan, organization and pricing. The resource team consists of 4 persons: A program Manager, a Business Expert, An Industry Expert and a Community Mentor.

Every company has a fixed Program Manager associated, which helps the company keeping focus on the activity-plan, which the team works with in-between the 5 milestone meetings. The Business expert’s special focus is on the business model and the go-to market strategy. The Industry Expert comes with deep knowledge about the specific market/product, and is from an established company, which wants to be associated with the program in order to share knowledge, teach, and be a part of new, exciting and inspiring innovation collaborations. As such, we have industry experts from Grundfos, Kamstrup, Solar, Olesen & Jensen, D-I-S, VP Industries, Din Forsyning and of course SE associated with the companies. Finally, the Community Mentor has a role in terms of sparring in regards to leadership and organization. The Community Mentor is a person, whom themselves is a leader of a bigger company and has more experience in building a company up.

We had a great start, and even though the companies believe it was sometimes a hectic process, everyone is super happy due to being a part of it. Everyone has experienced getting a lot of value out of the Kickoff weeks, and especially the milestone meetings are very well received – both by the participants, but also by the established companies.

Have we not at all experienced any challenges? Of course, we have. We have also worked very hard in order to get our processes in place in relation to screening, the application process, the program design, and also in relation to the start-up, but we also feel that we have succeeded with what we wanted.

And we also had to experience, that compared to the previous Next Step Challenge, we only have 2 international companies with us this year. The Selection Board chose 11 companies all in all, but 2 international companies unfortunately left due to a difficult economical perspective for the Scale-Up Denmark setup. Small start-up companies have difficulty finding the economical resources it requires to move to Denmark, and in advance, show that they can take care of themselves.

In addition, there is the elongated administrative process of gaining permission to move into Denmark as a founder, as well as a work- and residence permit. These frames unfortunately make it very difficult to attract international companies at the same rate as the previous Next Step Challenge setup.

But all in all we are very happy about the 9 exciting companies, which we have gotten started into a course at the center for Energy Efficient Technologies and look forward to 5 exciting months of working with the companies and with the ecosystem surrounding them!

Elitetræningscenteret for Energieffektive Teknologier er kommet godt fra start!

Af: Søren Røn, Program Director, Next Step Challenge

Den 1. februar 2017 var 9 forventningsfulde virksomheder mødt op i Esbjerg til Kickoff på Scale-Up Denmark Center for Energieffektive Teknologier, som er én af Region Syddanmarks 5 definerede styrkepositioner. Forud var gået en kort og hektisk screeningsproces. Vi havde screenet 174 virksomheder og modtog 76 ansøgninger. 43 virksomheder blev bedt fremsende yderligere præsentationsmateriale og ud af disse gennemgik 17 virksomheder interviews og skulle fremsende one-page præsentation samt en 5 minutters præsentationsvideo. Alt denne viden blev brugt på vores Selection Day d. 18. januar, hvor vores Selection Board blev præsenteret for virksomheder og udvalgte de stærkeste til at indgå i Scale-Up forløbet.

Vores Selection Board består af Preben Mejer (Radr), Henrik Mentz (iEnergy), Stig Poulsen (Vækstfonden), Niels Münster-Hansen (Cisco), Thomas Helt (Falck Healthcare) og Lisbeth Valther).

Programmet inden for Energieffektive Teknologier har tiltrukket mange spændende innovative virksomheder, der angriber udviklingen på forskellig vis. Der er både virksomheder, der arbejder ud fra et teknologisynspunkt og andre ud fra et mere traditionelt synspunkt, men fælles for alle er, at de kommer med et fokus på at komme med noget nyt til markederne, og dermed udnytte de tendenser, der er i øjeblikket. Det bliver spændende at følge de næste skridt, fortæller Niels Münster-Hansen, Country Manager og Managing Director Cisco Denmark.

Se videoen med Niels MĂĽnster-Hansen lige her!

Vi er startet hårdt ud med kickoff og gennemført 2 camps inden for de første 10 dage. Først havde vi en camp om Lean Canvas / Business model Canvas og uge 6 sluttede vi med 1,5 dags træning i at skabe et high performance team. Foruden de to camps afholdt alle virksomheder deres første milepælsmøde, hvor et team af ressourcepersoner er samlet rundt om virksomheden, og giver dem sparring på hele deres forretning – fra markedsstrategi, forretningsplan, organisation og til prissætning. Ressource teamet består af minimum 4 personer: En Program Manager, en Business Expert, en Industry Expert og en Community Mentor.

Hver virksomhed har en fast Program Manager til knyttet, der hjælper virksomheden med at holde fokus på den aktivitetsplan, der i teamet er aftalt som virksomheden skal arbejde med i mellem de 5 milepælsmøder. Business Experten’s særlige fokus er på forretningsmodellen og go-to-market strategien. Industry Experten kommer med dyb viden om det specifikke marked/produkt og er fra en stor etableret virksomhed, der ønsker at være tilknyttet programmet for at dele viden, lære og indgå i nye spændende og inspirerende innovationssamarbejder. Vi har således Industry Experts fra Grundfos, Kamstrup, Solar, Olesen & Jensen, D-I-S, VP Industries, Din Forsyning og naturligvis SE tilknyttet virksomhederne. Endelig har Community Mentoren en rolle som ledelses og organisationssparring. Community Mentoren er en person, der selv er leder af en større virksomhed og har erfaring med at bygge en virksomhed op.

Vi er således kommet rigtig godt fra start og selv om virksomhederne synes det til tider var en hektisk proces, så er alle super glade for at være kommet med og kommet i gang. Alle har oplevet at få rigtig meget værdi ud af kickoff ugerne og i særdeleshed milepælsmøderne bliver taget rigtig godt i mod – både af deltagerne men også af de etablerede virksomheder.

Har vi slet ikke oplevet udfordringer? Jo! Vi har selv knoklet stenhårdt på at få alle vores processer på plads i forbindelse med såvel screening, ansøgningsprocessen og programdesignet, og også i forbindelse med opstarten, men vi føler selv, at vi er lykkedes med det vi vil. Og så har vi måtte erfare, at til forskel fra det tidligere Next Step Challenge, så har vi kun 2 udenlandske virksomheder med i år. Selection Boardet udvalgte 11 virksomheder i alt, men 2 udenlandske virksomheder er desværre sprunget fra grundet et vanskeligt økonomisk perspektiv for Scale-Up Denmark setuppet. Mindre startup virksomheder har svært ved at afsætte de økonomiske ressourcer, det kræver til at flytte til Danmark at bo og på forhånd vise, at de kan forsørge sig selv. Derudover kommer den langstrakte administrative proces for at få lov til at komme ind i Danmark som founder samt arbejds- og opholdstilladelse. Disse rammer gør desværre, at det er vanskeligt at tiltrække internationale virksomheder i samme grad som under det tidligere Next Step Challenge setup.

Men alt i alt glæder vi os utroligt meget over de 9 spændende virksomheder, som vi har fået startet op i forløb i centeret for Energieffektive Teknologier og ser frem til 5 spændende måneders arbejde med virksomhederne og med økosystemet omkring dem!