In the outskirts of Copenhagen, you will find a startup ecosystem that is not just your normal incubator. The inQvation HQ in Taastrup features both an IoT hub, a highly skilled tech and commercial team, a startup studio and a huge office space for newly founded startups. Most of these were established during their founders’ time at DTU.
Claus Zibrandtsen, CEO at inQvation
“We see ourselves as an extended arm for early stage startups coming out of DTU. At some point these bright students will have graduated with their startups and we are the ideal place for them to nest while on a long journey,” inQvation CEO, Claus Zibrandtsen, comments.
Through its one and a half years of existence, inQvation has taken a horizontal approach, trying to find synergies across sectors. The goal is to focus on the outcomes of working together across sectors and create unique teams with diverse expertise in order to maximize a startup’s chance of success. Thus, inQvation helps startups with a place to stay, talent, resources and capital, not just capital alone.
“We don’t want to be the ones leaning back at meetings once every three months. It’s easy to find a shared office together with your local graphic designer or freelance accountant. But the synergies here are hard to find. At inQvation’s IoT hub we create this synergy across different IoT startups so everyone is pushed forward by helping each other,” Claus Zibrandtsen says.
Room for sharing ideas
The startups at inQvation are picked through a process that secures the right fit. This means that everyone at inQvation’s IoT hub is tuned in to the benefits of meeting new people and learning in a like-minded environment, with startups ranging from medtech and healthtech, to cleantech.
Among the many startups here, you can find the DTU startup Tooltracker which tracks craftsmen’s disappeared tools, and the Danish medtech startup Cortrium whose device detects heart fibrillation. Forcing startup teams like these to sharpen their network and work together is a benefit for everyone, Claus Zibrandtsen believes:
“In Denmark we are not famous for our networking skills. However, when startups are exposed to new people from day one, it makes us more open to the immense possibilities of sharing ideas. Our uniqueness is found in the fact that we gather so much talent in one spot where people find each other across verticals. There is an extreme amount of talent coming out of DTU and we are in a unique position to bolster the bright minds of the future. And I will do whatever it takes for them to be successful with their own startup instead of ending up in corporates,” Claus Zibrandtsen concludes.
Startups to overtake corporates
The inQvation startup ecosystem already houses 110 people and 24 startups. Located in Taastrup, it deliberately hides from the hype of Copenhagen, and this strategy has proven successful according to Claus Zibrandtsen:
“At the moment, Copenhagen is super crowded with startups. Here, we have the space for ourselves and enjoy great cooperation with the municipality and the private sector.”
After just one and a half years in business, he already notices a shift in the balance between startups and corporates: “At DTU High Tech Summit, the startup scene will soon overtake the corporate scene. And that tells me just how much power this space has. The students and their startups are no longer afraid of showing what they are capable of. That is an important step!”
“It’s no use closing your eyes to the changes. We need to constantly keep up and try to influence the process.”
Professor Jan Madsen, DTU Compute