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International Benchmarking

The road to becoming a


Mapping of the Danish tech ecosystem conducted by Startup Genome shows that Denmark has the right foundation to evolve into a leading tech hub – if some significant hurdles can be overcome.

Digital Hub Denmark has partnered up with Silicon Valley-based Startup Genome to get a clear picture of Danish tech ecosystems, and compare them with international peers and frontrunners.

Startup Genome has extensive global experience mapping startup ecosystems by conducting deep dives into tech startup conditions in different markets. Utilizing global data, Startup Genome deciphers the components of successful ecosystems, allowing nations and cities to learn from best-in-class examples to accelerate their own local growth.

Key findings

The report shows that Denmark has strongholds in fintech, robotics and automation, agtech (food tech) and ed-tech/govtech, with these ecosystems ranking among the top 20 in the world.

The report also underlines that Danish startups are successful at scaling their business. While these startups typically relocate outside the country to do so, this is not problematic for Denmark.  Founders often return with more capital to invest in local ecosystems, bringing new knowledge of business growth strategies and the international connections it takes to create future unicorns (billion-dollar tech companies).

Nevertheless, if the Danish ecosystems are to accelerate and foster more future unicorns, there is a need for addressing obstacles by:

  • Connecting communities: Danish startups are less connected to the rest of the world, especially to other tech hotspots, than the leading ecosystems. Danish founders need to think globally from the outset and travel more.
  • Building larger communities: Although Denmark has a high number of startups per capita, bigger is better. In order to foster more unicorns, it’s necessary to double the number of startups in Denmark.
  • Closing the resource gap: Fewer Danish startups receive early-stage funding than in other ecosystems, and the average amount is also lower.
  • Attracting more experienced talent: Denmark lacks experienced founders and tech talent. The average salaries in Denmark are high, and possibilities for remuneration packages with stock options are sparse.  Combined with the low rate of early-stage funding, it is tough for Danish startups to attract necessary talent.

The report from Startup Genome was presented at Digital Hub Denmark’s launch event on August 2019. A follow-up to this first report is currently under consideration for next year.

Why bother…

Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent are five of the world’s top-10 companies. All were produced by tech startup ecosystems. However, the value created by the global startup revolution is concentrated in a few cities. By sharing comprehensive data, tech ecosystems can learn from each other.