30 June 2020 Vaekstfonden – Supporting the Start-up Ecosystem in Denmark COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on individuals and businesses worldwide. As such, it has impacted the start-up ecosystem and funding landscape in one of EU’s most developed countries – Denmark. How Does Vaekstfoden Help Start-Ups in Denmark “This is absolutely natural when we stand in front of a crisis we have never experienced. And this is why at Vaekstfonden, we have launched a series of initiatives and financing products to help the companies get through this crisis,” shares Tonni Bülow-Nielsen, Managing Partner in Vaekstfonden’s Department of Equity Investments. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The fund will continue to invest, along with strong partners, in promising and innovative start-ups, so they can have access to risk capital. Here’s is something interesting, though. On one hand, many companies are struggling in the current climate. On the other hand, there’s a number of start-ups that have an advantage in the crisis – for instance, tech companies. In times of great challenges often come new, innovative ideas that revolutionise entire sectors. Has Vaekstfonden Investment Strategy Changed Due to COVID-19 The fund will continue to look into a number of sectors that they have identified previously. “At Vaekstfonden, we are here to develop the companies that Denmark cannot afford to miss out on. Therefore, we are always open to meeting new and interesting companies. But especially food-tech and sustainable business models are on our radar right now,” says Tonni Bülow-Nielsen. Help and Support for Portfolio Companies Vaekstfonden has a solid and continuous dialogue with their portfolio companies. The fund has a strong team that helps and guides the start-ups. “In times like these, we also want to provide insights and business advice to our portfolio companies. In our investment team, we have some of the best investors in Denmark, who have strong sector knowledge and experience from various industries,” proudly shares Mr Bülow-Nielsen. In the current climate, investors are doing a lot to provide the companies with capital. Expectations and Investment Plan for the Rest of 2020 “Of course, the corona crisis will impact us as well. It will impact everyone,” acknowledges Tonni Bülow-Nielsen. But they have already made a few strong investments in 2020 – both new and follow-up. And they will continue to do so. Vaekstfonden is always looking into finding strong investment opportunities. The sectors they’re interested in include Ed-tech, robotics, med-tech, and agri-food-tech. Lessons Learnt from the Crisis “On a more personal level, we learnt the value of remote working as we also made a digital transition overnight – like the rest of the world. A more flexible work life – that is important to remember when this crisis is over. Also, we experienced great dedication from our partners and co-investors. We have really worked well together to help entrepreneurs through this crisis,” concludes Mr Bülow-Nielsen.