Danish Tech Challenge – we accelerate hardware startups
What is Danish Tech Challenge?
Our main purpose in Danish Tech Challenge is to help hardware startups accelerate. We work with 20 startups every year. Most are in the B2B space, most are working to find product-market-fit and most are quite early-stage.
Who can participate?
We work with startups who build solutions that have the potential to change the world. We work with startups who are ready to enter the market and keen to commercialize their product.
To do this, we create programs tailored to the needs of the specific startup.
Get a short introduction to Danish Tech Challenge in the video
You get sparring and workshops with a focus on your startup. We’ll put you in front of relevant investors, give you access to our entire network, help you expand your team, find the right board and find product market fit. We’ll set you up with relevant mentors, give you access to a workshop to work on your product and connect you to our talented alumni members.
In other words, we will help you grow your startup.
What can you expect?
- 1:1 sessions every week, working with our business and product developer
- Workshops on B2B sales, online marketing, product development, pitch training, finance and legal and much more.
- A dedicated mentoring team, based on your specific challenges
- Help from all our partners with anything you need
- A chance to pitch to investors, find new team members, advisory board members or anything else you’ll need to improve your company
- A trip abroad with the other participants; in 2019 we were in Tel Aviv and in 2018 we were in Berlin.
- Participation in two large events with more than 400 people attending
- Sitting with the most talented hardware startups in Denmark in the best possible location in Futurebox.
- A dedicated team to help you every day
In Danish Tech Challenge, we use external juries to help select the companies participating in the program, and to decide who wins the competition. Read more about the Jury principles here.
One of the 20 companies participating in Danish Tech Challenge will win 500,000 DKK. At the end of the program, 10-12 companies will enter into a semi-final, and six of these will move on to the final. These six companies will pitch at an Award Show hosted in January, in front of more than 250 guests.
Where does it happen?
Danish Tech Challenge takes place in Futurebox. Futurebox is the no. 1 place to be, if you’re a hardware startup. We’re based at the DTU campus close to research, technology development, a thriving student startup environment and right amongst all the innovative companies based at DTU Science Park.
Important dates for DTC 2022
- Deadline for sign ups: June 7 @12:00
- Jury pitch days: 16-17 June 2022
- Danish Tech Challenge Kick-off: 19 August 2022
- Funding Bazar at DTU: 2 September 2022
- Start of Accelerator: The Onboarding Week: September 5th – September 9th, 2022.
- Open House: November 3th 2022
- Semifinals: 14-15 December 2022
- Finals: 12 January 2023
- Announcement of the winner: 26 January 2023
If you are here with an idea that you want to make work – this is the place to be. We help each other as much as we can. We give each other feedback. Everyone here works hard helping each other.Steen PetersenSyncsense, DTC 2020.
- Q: Should I sign up?
A: Yes! But you need to have a Danish CVR number. If you don’t have one already, we can help you.
- Q: Can I sign up for Danish Tech Challenge if I don’t have a hardware product?
A: Sorry, no! Danish Tech Challenge is only for companies with a hardware product.
- Q: How do you define hardware?
A: Anything that is not purely digital or a service.
- Q: Can I have a job while being in Danish Tech Challenge?
A: Of course you can! However, we expect your startup to be your main focus.
- Q: We’ve been working on our startup for a while, should we still sign up?
A: Yes, indeed.
- Q: We already have a working prototype – can we still sign up?
A: Yes! We both accommodate brand new startups and the ones with a bit more experience.
- Q: I’m a solo founder, can I sign up?
A: Yes, of course. However, if you get in, we’ll probably try to push you to get a co-founder. Because being on your own is tough. That being said, we’ve had several solo founders in the programme who have performed really well.
- Q: When is DTC?
A: Officially from September to January, but we like to get to know you before we begin. In that way, we are much better equipped to help.
- Q: Who can participate?
A: Anyone with a hardware product. We don’t discriminate by age, gender, university (or degree), background. In fact, the more diversity, the better.
- Q: How do you handle confidentiality?
A: This is a safe space and we never share your information without consent. However, Futurebox is an open space and there are a lot of people walking in and out of the building. So, if you have very sensitive information, consider when and where you share that information.
- Q: Do I pay or give up equity to be in the programme?
A: No, it is all free.
- Q: Do I get any funding during the programme?
A: We’re happy to connect you to investors, but we don’t do funding ourselves.
- Q: Will I get my own office?
A: No, but you will get your own desk. Futurebox is an open space, because we believe collaboration calls for close proximity.
- Q: Is attendance required?
A: Yes, attendance is mandatory for the meetings and common gatherings.
- Q: Do I have to move in?
A: No, you don’t have to move in. But we recommend you to do so. You’ll benefit much more from the programme, the team and the other startups if you’re here on a daily basis.
- Q: What does it take to win Danish Tech Challenge?
A: We do not want you to see it as a competition, but as an accelerator programme. It takes a huge amount of dedication throughout the programme. You need to build a relevant team, a working prototype and a solid business model.
- Q: Who decides who win?
A: We have an external jury, mostly made up of tech experts and investors. The DTC team have no say in who the winner is.
A total of 20 companies join Danish Tech Challenge each year. Do yourself a favour and see the other startups as an advantage to the programme rather than as competitors. The network between you is a huge asset to you and your startup.
During the accelerator programme – and before it officially starts – you’ll hang out with the other startups. We’ll have weekly lunches and several dinners, present weekly themes and share ideas. Sometimes it’s just us, and sometimes we invite external professionals to join us.
Before, during and after DTC, you will participate in several events. There will be a kick-off event before the program starts, an Open House event in November where all startups pitch in front of a large audience, and of course the annual VIP award show, where we will announce the winner.
… and now to the extra fun part
When it comes to get to know each better we arrange ping pong tournaments, invite you to Friday Bars, host a DTC Christmas party and much more. If you want to throw a party for you and your DTC colleagues we will without doubt support that as well.
We want you to have a clear picture of the process going forward and when you can expect to hear from us:
- June 7: Deadline for applications closes
- June 11th: All applicants will hear from us whether your startup has been selected to pitch in front of a jury for further selection
- June 16th and 17th: 30 startups will pitch in front of a jury to be selected for a week of bootcamp
- August 19th: the 20 selected Danish Tech Challenge Startups will attend a kick-off session where the DTC team, the partners and selected stakeholders will tell you all about what you can expect from the program
- 2nd September: Mandatory Funding Bazar at DTU. Here you will get a sense of the whole funding ecosystem from soft funding, loans and hard funding. The best way to kickstart your funding journey and kick off your Danish Tech Challenge journey
- September 5th – September 9th: Individual meetings with all 20 selected startups where we assess your progress up until now and focus in on what we together want to improve in your business through the program
- September 5th: Program starts with a 1 week fulltime mandatory onboarding week, where you get insight into the entire program, all partners and discipline owners and you get to know your fellow DTC peers.
- November 3th: Open house
- December 14th & 15th: Semi-Finals
- January 12th: Final
- January 26th: Award Show