The purpose behind perspective

Erhvervshus Hovedstaden, also known in English as Copenhagen Business Hub, is one of Denmark’s business hubs helping to improve the business community. The six regional business hubs (Erhvervshusene) cover all of Denmark and provide free and independent sparring on business development and the different possibilities for subsidies/co-financing in areas such as digitalisation, sustainability, and internationalisation for both startups and SMEs.
“Take a ride in the helicopter. From very early on, evaluate the opportunity to grow your business abroad, as it may influence your basic product design and ability to attract funding.” - Claus Birkedal

Copenhagen Business Hub values having both an inside and outside perspective when it comes to building a business and developing a product. That’s why Claus Birkedal, a business developer at Copenhagen Business Hub and former entrepreneur, develops a close working relationship with local startups.

Working as a mentor

The mentors of the business hubs are often former founders themselves and have access to regional, national, and international networks and opportunities relevant to their clients. Having these shared similar experiences allows mentors like Claus to take an empathetic approach, “You get very much into their world so that you can understand their point of view.” 

It’s important to feel invested in the development, and Claus often asks, “If this was my business, how would I run it? How would I mitigate risks and find customers? How can I make the company stand out against the competition?”

Know the playing field: From ancient scouts on foot to modern radars and satellites

Equally vital, Claus also stresses the importance of having a third-party perspective when developing your product – especially when working towards an international presence. “Even if you have a good offering in Denmark, it might not work abroad in often more competitive spaces. You have to understand the international market. Sometimes it's good to be in a smaller market  to develop, but at the same time, you don’t get the international perspectives.” To combat this lack of understanding, Claus recommends testing the product outside Denmark early on or scheduling market visits to better understand the audience. A basic understanding of the international markets is also important when it comes to raising external financing

While it can sometimes be uncomfortable opening your business to outside feedback, it’s crucial to stress-test your concept, and Copenhagen Business Hub is ready to guide startups through their journey, both locally and abroad.

Read more about the accelerator program and apply here
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