Photo: Joachim Rode

Foundations pitch for entrepreneurs

Monday 10 Sep 18


Lotte Bonfils Andersen, communication & relations manager, DTU Science Park,
DTU Science Park turned the pitch concept upside down on Friday 7 September when they invited foundations, investors, and consultants to explain what they can offer entrepreneurs.  

Usually, entrepreneurs are the ones who nervously prepare their two-minute pitches in front of investors, foundations, and consultants. But at Funding Bazaar 2018, which took place on Friday 7 September, it was the exact opposite.

Eighteen foundations, investors, and consultants turned up at DTU Science Park to pitch their funding options to more than 250 interested entrepreneurs. The event was held for the third time, and among investors this year were Innovation Fund Denmark, The Danish Growth Fund, Novo Seeds, Jyske Bank, and Nordic Eye.

“We turn things upside down because there’s a very wide range of funding in Denmark alone, and it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to get an overview of the possibilities. While the companies need funding to develop their products, many foundations have difficulty finding suitable candidates for their money. This makes the Funding Bazaar a win-win concept,” says Lotte Bonfils Andersen, Communication and Relations Manager at DTU Science Park.     

She sees the Funding Bazaar as the largest funding event in Denmark, and she has in particular noted that interest in tech companies and start-ups has increased due to greater focus on start-up successes in media and society.

Companies with high ambitions
Among the investors there were Key Account Manager Nikolaj Sørstrup Jørgensen from The Danish Growth Fund. He was happy to go to the Funding Bazaar to meet companies with great growth potential and high ambitions and to discuss how The Danish Growth Fundmay help realise their dreams:

“The Funding Bazaar gives us the opportunity to get our messages out to a wide audience of some of Denmark’s current and future entrepreneurs. In order to create innovation and growth, access to the right funds at the right time is essential. That’s why it’s also essential to us to ensure that the companies are aware of the funding options.”

Inspire to seek funding
Lisa Jørgensen, senior officer at the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education, also attended to inform visitors about the possibilities for funding from the EU framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020. She has previously participated in the Funding Bazaar which gave her many new relations.

“We often find that small and medium-sized companies see Horizon 2020 as a large and confusing setup, but with the right guidance, companies can get a good overview of their options in the framework programme. With our participation at the Funding Bazaar, we hope to inspire some of the participating companies to seek funding from Horizon 2020,” she says.

Among the audience was Managing Director Jakob F. Skjærlund from the start-up Techvolver which develops solutions for pharma/meditech. He attended in order to get an efficient overview of the company's funding options.

“For us, it’s the efficiency that makes the event stand out from similar events.” If we had to contact everyone one by one, it would be difficult to talk to as many people in one morning as we do at the Funding Bazaar. Of course, it also helps that the pitch is turned around, both in relation to the time spent in connection with the many pitches you attend, and in relation to relevance. When we’ve heard the pitches, we know where there will be mutual interest in an in-depth meeting,” he says.

Jakob F. Skjærlund hopes that Techvolver can set up a small number of meetings after the event.

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