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Secret Investor Meeting Crucial to the Danish Startup Ecosystem


Invited investors – of all sizes and nationalities – will meet at a closed networking event during TechBBQ. This is expected to benefit the ecosystem in a big way.

Invited investors – of all sizes and nationalities – will meet at a closed networking event during TechBBQ. This is expected to benefit the ecosystem in a big way.

Venture capital is vital to the health of Denmark’s startup ecosystem. Knowing this, the TechBBQ organisers have something new on the program this year – poised to strengthen the investor side of the Danish ecosystem.

 ‘Nordic Investor Day’ is a closed event for select investors. While many investor meetings are filled with startup pitches from potential investees, this day is all about getting investors to know each other.

 According to Esben Gadsbøll, chair of the Nordic Business Angel Network and one of the hosts of the Nordic Investor Day: “It’s a networking event, and what makes it special is the fact that we invite all kinds of investors – from the new ‘business angel’ to the international, well-established venture funder. There will be talks and panels, but, at the same time, we want the event to create connections between ecosystems. Business angels and venture funders need each other in different stages of the investment journey. For that reason, it’s important that they know each other.”

 Even though it’s the first time investors are assembling in this way at TechBBQ, the event has already lured investors from all over the Nordic region, Asia, London, and the United States – including US Sequoia, Asia Soft Bank, London Accel, and the Nordic Creandum.


Attracting partners to Denmark

True, inviting a broad spectrum of investors to mingle might seem more ‘hyggelig’ than business-related. But the fact is that different kinds of investors need each other, irrespective of how much capital they manage.

Richard Breiter, Head of Investment at PreSeed Ventures, explained: “Startups need capital at every stage of their journey. Events like this one are important because they can catalyse the investment ecosystem.”

For example, the Danish early-stage investor who is attending this event on their own benefits from the opportunity to build relationships and attract syndicate partners – partners that may come with new investments and access to new markets.

 Breiter pointed out: “We are in this world to help every startup in our large portfolio grow into successful businesses internationally. Moreover, they are all going to need, capital to keep growing. To support that process, we want to build and nurture great investment partners. This event manages to attract foreign investors by creating a critical mass of investors as well as exciting startups from the ecosystem in one place.”

 Accordingly, this event – at a distance from the main floors of the festival – has the potential to accelerate investments in the Danish ecosystem.

Breiter observed: “Today we see how almost all investors cover the Nordic region because they expect more interesting companies based here. Looking back at the big developments in recent years, the future holds great promise. We believe more unicorns will be born out of Denmark.”


Foreign investment funds are betting on the Nordics

NordicNinja is a foreign venture fund that is paying close attention to what’s happening in Denmark.

 The fund is looking to invest €100M in scaleups from the Nordic and Baltic regions on behalf of a Japanese syndicate of corporations that include Panasonic and Honda. For that reason, Claes Mikko Nilsen, Investment Director in the fund, is welcoming their addition to the tech summit in Copenhagen. “We’re super excited that we now have this kind of investor day, where international investors can have an overview of what’s going on. It helps internationals find references and introductions to the most interesting startups in Denmark,” he explained.

Frederik Hagenauer, from the German venture fund Speedinvest, expects great things from Nordic startups, and sees TechBBQ as a great way to emerge within the ecosystem:

 “As an ecosystem, the Nordics punch vastly above their weight. There’s a disproportionately high number of successful tech companies in the region and that experience trickles down to early-stage founders. As a pre-seed investor, this means that, at TechBBQ, I am expecting to meet ambitious founders embedded in a mature support system of angels, mentors, and local entrepreneurs.”

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