2016 was the third consecutive year that Danish Tech Challenge was running. We continue to surveye the partipating startups in terms of turnover and job creation. According the most recent survey it seems that it really pays off to invest in accelerator programs, as the companies perform significantly better than average.

Over a course of four months, during the Fall, 20 hardware startups have been competing in Danish Tech Challenge (DTC) at Scion DTU, for the 1st prize of DKK 500.000. DTC is a four-month long acceleration process for high tech hardware startups. For the past three years, every year an elite group of 20 startups, selected from 60-80 applicants, have competed to be deemed the company with the biggest industrial growth potential.

How did it go the participants from 2014-2016?

Statistically there’s a high risk of failing when starting a new business. As a matter of fact, it is more likely that one fails rather than succeeding. With this in mind, we are very happy to note that the previous DTC-participants have done very well on average. This naturally covers large variation, however, the following overview shows, that the previous DTC participants do substantially better than the average startup company.

It is interesting to note that the companies from DTC 2014 are expecting a turnover of 38 million DKK in 2016 compared to a realized turnover of 17 million DKK in 2015. In other words, a doubling compared to the previous year. The turnover increase of the participants from 2015 is even more significant, as it has gone from 3,3 million DKK to an expected turnover of 13 million DKK in 2016. That is a quadrupling in just one year, which is really impressive. Although it is important to remember that the companies naturally start low, since they are startups when participating in DTC.

The participants from 2014 now employ approx. 79 full-time employees and 50 part-time employees. The participants from 2015 employ approx. 44 full-time employees and 31 part-time employees. This is much better than one could have expected statistically. The companies themselves of course deserve all the credit for this, however, we do believe that DTC and everyone involved have contributed to this impressive picture

The best way of determining whether the companies have found the acceleration process valuabe is to ask, whether they would recommend it to others. When asking them, it turns out that 100% of the participants from 2015 and 2016 would recommend DTC compared to only 83% of the participants from 2014.

The fact that recommendations from participants are increasing combined with the impressive increase in turnover and job creation, suggests that the program having found a format that works.

Read more about the winner of Danish Tech Challenge 2016 here or read about how we work with businesses in Danish Tech Challenge here: Can hardware startups be lean?

Thomas Klem Andersen

Innovation Consultant at Scion DTU
I have an entrepreneurial mindset and assist startups and SME's in business development and navigating the tech venture ecosystem. I match company specific challenges with industrial and commercial mentors, relevant DTU research, professional networks and councellors

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