Denmark In New York’s Tech Advisor Reveals the Value-Added of the Premier CANUTE Program for Danish SMEs
As Europe’s most digital economy and society, it’s no secret that Denmark also nurtures one of the world’s most exciting start-up scenes. From Skype and Just Eat to Zendesk and Momondo, Denmark’s tech start-ups benefit from a widely tech-literate population, Europe’s broadest 4G coverage, and a talent pool that has produced lasting innovations in tech and software, including C++, C#, TurboPascal and Visual Prolog.
At the same time, embedded in Denmark’s entrepreneurial tech spirit is a strong tradition for going global and exporting successful start-ups around the world. And with New York’s tech ecosystem now confirming its role as a global leader and magnet for fledgling tech companies and interested venture capitalists, the Big Apple is increasingly the place to be for Denmark’s most daring start-ups.
But how can Denmark’s scalable tech start-ups break into New York’s intricate tech environment while building networks, hiring employees and adapting to the local business culture?
The answer, says Denmark In New York’s Commercial Advisor in Tech, Victoria Bager, is CANUTE — a three-day, intensive boot-camp designed in partnership with Danske Bank to bridge the gap between Danish start-ups’ needs and the New York tech reality and serve as a gateway to the New York tech start-up ecosystem.
As the inaugural edition of New York’s CANUTE boot-camp concluded its three-day course at Denmark House, we caught up with Ms. Bager, to talk about the success of the CANUTE program and how it is opening doors for Danish start-ups across the New York tech ecosystem.
Denmark In New York: Denmark In New York’s Trade Council team recently hosted the inaugural CANUTE program in New York City. What does CANUTE offer Danish start-ups and what is the program’s overall purpose and outline?
Victoria Bager: The purpose of a market-entry boot camp is to give Danish start-ups direct access to Denmark In New York’s vast local network of industry specific investors, start-up founders, local experts, accelerator programs, advisors, and mentors to accelerate their time to market. Through the CANUTE program, Danish tech scale-ups can gain valuable knowledge crucial to launching a business in the US and in New York, in particular. And this was certainly the case during our recent inaugural CANUTE event here at Denmark House in New York City.
Over three days, the start-ups met with recruitment specialists, learned about legal, accounting and financial regulators in the market, worked with a PR agency on their narrative and story angle for the US market, visited and learned about the different co-working spaces, got insider tips on do’s and don’ts from Danish founders of scale-ups who already launched in New York, and trained and improved their pitch presentation with a communications coach before they met with VCs and investors from the New York ecosystem to pitch their businesses.
Tell us a little bit about the tech start-ups that participated in this debut CANUTE program in New York?
Victoria Bager: We were happy to welcome a group of 13 promising tech scale-ups to New York spanning a broad range of industries, including a digital innovation agency, an online art platform, a global running concept and an online migraine treatment solution. The common denominator uniting all the scale-ups is that their business model is technology-based and they nurture strong ambitions about expanding their business to the US market.
The Trade Council’s programs are specifically designed to align expectations of success with actual do’s and don’ts of launching a business in the US and work hard to ensure that Danish entrepreneurs are fully educated on the realities of the US and New York markets before moving ahead and pushing the launch button.
What value-added does the Denmark In New York commercial team — and by extension, CANUTE — offer Danish start-ups in the long run?
Victoria Bager: The Trade Council of Denmark works as the commercial arm of Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs representing Danish business interests across the US. Our job is to help small and medium-sized enterprises enter and expand their businesses in North America using our extensive network, market knowledge and local presence.
The CANUTE program is an example on how we utilize our local market insights when introducing and educating selected start-ups on the market opportunities and challenges when expanding abroad. We look forward to working with the start-ups when they decide to make the move to North America and help scale their presence faster being their local resource and boots-on-the-ground here in the US.
Pernille Abildgaard Frank is the Commercial Intern at Denmark in New York & Alberte Wahlers is the Communications and Press Intern at Denmark in New York.