Copenhagen For The Win

Ever since I became a part of the Copenhagen startup community at the start of this year, I have insisted that in terms of quality, innovation and successes, Copenhagen is easily on a par with many of the so-called big guns in Europe, and that the only thing stopping Copenhagen from being mentioned in the same breath as Stockholm, London and Berlin was the fact that we are not as slick at promoting ourselves and talking about what is going on here.

However, from last night this will change.

Seventy members of the ecosystem came together to determine one common identity for us all to share both internally and externally to help us unite and to help spread the word of what is going on in the Copenhagen startup scene.

After a very democratic process of elimination by voting (What do you expect? We are in Scandinavia) we were down to two options: #MadeInCPH or #CPHFTW and in a closely run head to head, #CPHFTW came out on top.

So there we have it, a common identity for ourselves and for others to refer to us by when we and others are talking about what is going on in Copenhagen.

But, what do we have to talk about anyway?

Well, more than what you might think at first thought.

Although now based in London, Just-Eat is actually a Danish startup which has gone on to achieve International success just as Zendesk, Tradeshift and Podio have gone on to do in recent years.

And although many countries insist that Skype is it’s own, Denmark has just as strong a claim as anyone else, with the Co-founder Janus Friis being a Dane.

We can also lay claim to the guy who created the framework for what half of the internet is built on in David Heinemeier Hansen, who has had major success with Ruby on Rails and 37 Signals.

As well as other internationally renowned entrepreneurs in Jesper Buch, Thomas Madsen Mygdal and Morten Lund.

We have a sparkling heritage with an even brighter future, which includes startups such as Airtame, which has recently been a runaway success on Indiegogo, and is on course to be one of the most successful Indiegogo campaigns ever, as well as others such as Trustpilot, 23, Conferize, Drivr, Vivino and Endomondo who are all set to grow even more in 2014.

We have co-working spaces who have built up solid communities around themselves such as the established Founders House, which hosts exciting startups like Everplaces, IconFinder, Opbeat and Hello World Mobile as well as the up and coming Rocket Labs who can boast the promising startup Linkfire as well as housing the number one digital media in Denmark in Trendsonline, both houses have managed to create a community feel within their walls, as well as opening up to the rest of the community as venues for events, and serving as access points to the rest of the ecosystem.

There is also Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship, with an incubator lab, providing resources and assistance to students who want to explore the world of start-ups.

From April next year, we will even have NEST a co-living space for entrepreneurs!

Startupbootcamp is now one of Europes most prestigious accelerators and is now present in over 7 European Cities after starting here in Denmark back in 2010.

Silicon Drinkabout the after work drinks every Friday for startups and entrepreneurs is now taking place in 8 locations round the world including Sao Paulo and New York with even more to follow next year, as it seeks to establish itself as the global go-to place for startups, but Copenhagen was the first expansion outside of its birthplace London, and has served as a place for entrepreneurs to gather every Friday to swap stories, failures, successes and to have a drink together.

We also have chapters of successful franchises Startup Grind and The Lean Startup Circle who both attract guests of the highest calibre who give their time in order to give back to the community, as well as Silicon Vikings who hold events and provide resources in order to help connect the Nordics to Silicon Valley.

Yet despite all of this, since an article in The Next Web at the end of 2011 about how Copenhagen is a startup City to watch, international media coverage of the Danish scene since has been sparse, although there has been a slight increase in recent weeks with BBC news writing an article on Tommy Ahlers and Tech.Eu mentioning Kiloo, Podio and Falcon Social in their post on what else is going on in Europe outside of the major hubs.

We partly have ourselves to blame for this, due to the reluctance to shout about what we are doing, and to just do it instead. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, and is in fact a great principle to operate by, however, we also have to be aware that in the world of tech and startups, you sometimes have to generate your own hype in order to receive attention and traction in such a crowded field, where more and more hubs are being created across European Cities.

We are hopeful that the identity we have given ourselves will not only enable us to communicate better with each other, and come together but will also allow us to talk more about what we are doing here and receive the international attention that our startups and entrepreneurs deserve and allow us to clearly demonstrate to the rest of the world that Copenhagen really is here for the win.


  • Revisions

Following suggestions on this Quora answer, I have since added Vivino, Startupbootcamp and Silicon Vikings to my original post.

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