Guest Blog by Anette Nørgaard
Three weekends in a row – completely crazy and totally fun. At this time of the year where the winter is getting closer and daylight disappears, Startup Weekends are like having an energy drink. So much enthusiasm and innovation gathered at one place – turns out, Denmark is not short of brilliant business ideas, but the challenge is always: how do you get them to the international market? So, it was good to be able to spread the word about BizSpark and how it can help all these inspiring entrepreneurs to accelerate their brilliant ideas.
Startupweekend #1: Aalborg (North of Jutland)
Organized by www.Kickstartaau.dk
I was very impressed by the nine teams were made who made the most of this opportunity by being very prepared. Many were software developers and some had already created their own products, so they had very clear ideas what they wanted to get from us, the mentors. Cloud and mobile apps were high on the list… no surprise there! It’s hard to single out any, because there were all so good, but I’d like to mention:
Best pitch: Online Meeting Planner – simplifying planning and tracking of meetings.
Best idea: Vubla – Making e-commerce site search work.
Best team: CreateItReal – The next generation of printers.
People’s choice and winner of the 10,000 DKK prize: BoligStorm – A set of online tools to help landlords to make apartment rental more efficient and profitable
StartupWeekend #2: Aarhus (MidJutland):
As well as mentoring start-ups and sharing my experience of developing a business and going to market (I was fully booked without a break for five hours!), I also had a chance present the benefits of BizSpark. This was a strong event, with over 40 people pitching, who then divided into 9 teams.
The overall winner: Family+ .. watch the final pitch
Most Innovative Idea: Handball Life: Video/streaming
eyeTravel: app for blind and visually impaired people
Startupweekend #3: Copenhagen
Organized by Gus Murray and team
The final weekend took place in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen and as well as local entrepreneurs, also included people from other countries. These events are pretty popular!
It was an interesting event for me, because quite a few of the entrepreneurs at the event were looking at open source for their development. So, for me, it was a great opportunity to tell them about BizSpark, which gives them three years of Microsoft software at no cost – plus the added benefits of being connected to a great network of business and technical support and visibility (including some great networking opportunities). See a short video of SW CPH here.