Fusing Good design, large Data Sets, and Sensor Science


The Scale-up Denmark cleantech accelerator, which is managed by Accelerace, was started in August 2016 and builds on a decade of expertise in nurturing and fueling start-up growth. The start-up accelerator is especially focusing on start-ups within deep technology and new science, covering anything from IoT sensors to blockchain to AI to advanced materials.


Meet CEO and founder Vinay Venkatraman from Leapcraft in this Q&A, where he shares his insights and learnings from the program. Leapcraft is a new age global innovation provider working with user-centered design, big data and technology exploration.


Describe your startup in a few sentences: 

At Leapcraft we build IoT solutions for smart city applications, our flagship product is the Copenhagen Sense (CPH Sense) that enables cities to measure and manage the air quality issues they face. In addition, we are taking our experiences to delivery similar solutions for smart buildings (indoor air quality & energy).


How did you get the idea to start your business?

We were building a variety of data and sensor-enabled business models and the City of Copenhagen came with a series of requests that snowballed into our current business. Thus it was not a lightbulb moment but systematic market forces that shaped our thinking and ideas over time.


How does your product/solution work? 

We deliver “Sensing as a Service” for many smart city applications. Thus we offer hardware and cloud software along with the required algorithms, calibration and deployment technologies required to make a smooth delivery of data from sensor or IoT enabled use cases for cities. We offer this a service model and hand hold our customers to enable high-quality data and decision support. We often also integrate our offering with 3rd party services and infrastructure.


Why did you apply for the accelerator?

We have been approached by many accelerator programmes but we found this one particularly interesting as it suited our needs for a B2B to B2G focus along with an excellent team of people at Accelerace who have experience working with companies of our nature.


What impact has your participation in the accelerator had for your growth opportunities?

We have many good learnings, esp in structuring ourselves for better growth and professionalizing our current setup. Some the main takeaways have been learning how to validate a product market fit early and rapid iteration of value proposition. Along with it, an excellent process with our mentor enabled us to shape our team and strategy to fit our growth ambitions.


What is your key learning so far from your journey in the accelerator?

The biggest learning for us has been on rapid validation of market needs and how to balance product development with customer needs. This along with important lessons on marketing, fundraising and deployment strategies make an excellent takeaway for us.


Who’s in your founder team? 

The company was initially started by Vinay Venkatraman and now has an excellent team of 8 talented people covering both technology, design, and marketing – thus in some ways there was just one founder but the reality is we are all collectively still the founding team as we are still at the tip of the iceberg and we have come this far only due to a dedicated and skilled team.


Where are you located? We are located in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Current number of employees: 8


Year Founded: 2013


Website link: http://www.leapcraft.dk/