Copenhagen Startup Environment

Everything you need to know about having a startup in Copenhagen
Max Glocke, 06 August 2018
PackitUp is now over two years old and we as the founders have been part of the entrepreneurial scene in Copenhagen for quite a while. We conclude: If you put some effort in, you’ll massively benefit from having a startup in the Danish capital. Today we’ll get into why this city is such a great place for entrepreneurs and next time we’ll share with you the main things you should know when starting out as an entrepreneur.

Once a year Monocle presents their Quality of Life Survey and in 2018, Copenhagen scored 5th place! This does not have that much directly to do with entrepreneurship, but it’s a good start. We all want to live in a nice city, don’t we?
Maybe a closer look at the Startup Cities Index 2017 from Nestpick tells us more. In this one, Copenhagen scored 11th place, barely falling behind the top 10. This index ranked cities according to how attractive they are to employees in the startup business.

Getting it out right at the beginning of this blog post, Copenhagen has room for improvement. There are cities around us, mainly Berlin, London and Stockholm, that have had more time to mature and get everything up and running for an entrepreneurial environment to thrive. We have to catch up in some areas and time will show if we are on the right track.

But cities really need time for those things to happen. You can’t just expect Silicone Valley 2.0 to pop out of the ground and produce one startup unicorn after another. Copenhagen is setting itself up to be a great entrepreneurial city and, in my opinion, it is working. Here are a few reasons why:

When it comes down to innovation and entrepreneurial mindsets, Copenhagen is a great place to be. People here love tech stuff, especially if it fits into their everyday life and if it makes common day-to-day stuff easier. There is a very specific attitude to the people of Copenhagen that makes them accept startup culture in a very special way. Not only is almost everything here highly digitalized, the people actually like trying out new things and technologies, for the most part completely unbiased and with an open mindset. That of course is incredibly handy for an entrepreneurial eco-system because it shows a high level of acceptance of what we do. Invent new stuff and try to get people to use it. This attitude of giving new ideas a chance is not only paramount for startups to develop their ideas but it is also crucial for the eco-system surrounding the startup scene to adapt and offer the necessary resources.

Think about universities incentivizing their students to come up with new ideas and actually pursue them. Think about government institutions subsidizing new ventures and making it easy for entrepreneurs to survive without having to bother with health insurance issues, unemployment insurance issues or administrative headaches. It’s the same for everyone and it’s all fast and digital. Think about the legal system being set up so you can open a company in literally 5 minutes (that’s how long it took for PackitUp to be an LLC).

All of this takes worries away from the entrepreneur and frees them to pursue their ideas.

Think funding, it’s easier in Copenhagen to get funded than anywhere else in the world. Well, it actually isn’t. It is very hard. We have to work on that, but let’s talk about this later, please.

But other than that, Copenhagen has the framework for a successful startup city set up. Now we need to fire them up and get it going! Stay tuned for the next blog post! We’ll share some knowledge about where you should go to get your startup off the ground here in Copenhagen.

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