Brian Mikkelsen, Danish Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs praise regional initiative with global perspective

213 business from countries throughout the world have applied to become part of the innovative Danish business initiative ”Growth Train”, and fifteen business from Denmark and abroad, including the USA, Spain and the Netherlands, have now been selected for the first team. The names of the businesses were revealed on Friday 13 October.

Minister: proof of potential
“Growth Train is a very exciting regional initiative completely in line with the Government’s ambition to strengthen the Danish culture of entrepreneurship in order to increase Danish growth and employment. The huge interest in the scheme is proof of the potential to attract and scale new growth businesses and I look forward to seeing the development of the businesses involved”, says Brian Mikkelsen, Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs in connection with the unveiling.

Growth Train is a so-called accelerator, an intensive development process for businesses which will end in a presentation to potential investors. In addition to helping firms grow, the aim of Growth Train is to strengthen the eco-system for start-ups locally as well as nationally and to encourage international growth businesses to focus on Denmark and Lolland-Falster.

Major initiative
The local authorities in Guldborgsund have financed and initiated the accelerator project, and according to the mayor, John Brædder, it is a targeted initiative.

“In general, we are doing well in Guldborgsund, but we do not just lean back to await where the development will take us. We take the driver’s seat and are constantly working to create the best possible framework for our businesses. I have high expectations of the Growth Train process which we initiate today. And with good reason. It is a major initiative for Guldborgsund, and at the same time, the team which is to be in charge of the process is in a major league within business development,” says John Brædder.

Strengthening of the eco-system
Growth Train will be run by the business development organisation Business Lolland-Falster. The organisation already runs two development environments in Nakskov and Nykøbing F, respectively, with focus on entrepreneurship. Mikkel Wesselhoff, Managing Director, sees Growth Train as a natural extension of the existing activities of the organisation within the start-up area.

The Managing Director says, “We are focussed on contributing to a national agenda giving priority to entrepreneurship and growth thinking. With Growth Train we will attract a category of businesses with much emphasis on ambition and growth potential, which will also attract and activate investors. In this way we will strengthen both the local and the national eco-system for the establishment and growth of businesses, which is essential for our future ability to establish additional and more successful businesses in our community.”

Strong candidates
There has been huge interest in participating, says Eythor Ivar Jonsson, Managing Director of Growth Train.

“A total of 213 businesses have applied, and they are highly qualified candidates. If we had room for more than the 17 businesses we have selected, we could easily have included more of them”, says Eythor Ivar Jonsson. He says that they will keep in contact with the candidates with a view to future growth schemes.

“Our growth ambitions are high and we are convinced that Growth Train can provide us with a very important starting point for future success, among other things because of the many competent mentors already attached to the accelerator”. These are the words of Taig MacCarthy from one of the participating businesses, Gik Live! from Spain, which produces the world’s first blue wine.

Office and accommodation
About 200 applications originated from international businesses from the USA, Canada, Australia, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, and several countries in Africa and Western and Eastern Europe. Particularly for the sake of the international participants, the accelerator has both accommodation and office facilities in Nykøbing Falster at its disposal. The process is initiated on 13 October and will end on 1 December where the businesses will be given a possibility of introducing themselves to a group of investors.

Food innovation
Most of the participating businesses are working within the food sector. And according to the Director of Business Lolland-Falster, it is no coincidence that Growth Train is focussing on this area.

“Since 2016 we have been working hard to create results in the areas which we already consider areas of strength. And the food sector is an area where Denmark in general and Lolland-Falster in particular have enormous potential,” according to Mikkel Wesselhoff

Participants
The 17 businesses selected for Growth Train are: Seagull International Clothing (Denmark), Munonne (Denmark), Nordisk Smag (Denmark), JO Safety (Denmark), East Logistics (Denmark), Helsetek (Denmark), Bold Drinks (Denmark), Oceaim (Denmark), Tekstil Biologi (Denmark), Ezypro (Denmark), Avokado (Slovenia), Gik Live (Spain), Orphedia (USA), Livestock Technology Services (South Korea), Tuckout (Australia), WeGardn (USA) og Sensefarm (Sweden).


PHOTO:
Photos from the day can be downloaded from Google album via this link (the album will be updated with additional photos until Friday evening):
https://photos.app.goo.gl/DlwLz9xPtyRlgHtF2

Photo of Brian Mikkelsen, Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, can be downloaded from the website of the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs via this link:
http://em.dk/ministeriet/ministeren


COOPERATORS:
Seed Forum International Foundation
The world’s largest investor network involved in matchmaking for investors and entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries. The cooperation will give the fifteen businesses in Growth Train access to the global matchmaking of the network.

World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF)
An organisation undertaking to strengthen the economic development in the world by furthering innovative financial instruments for small and medium-sized businesses (SMV) globally, including innovators and start-ups. 564 people from 54 countries attended the conference WBAF 2017.

Seeds & Chips
One of the world’s most influential conferences within food innovation. Attending the Seeds & Chips conference in Milan, Italy, will give the businesses in Growth Train the possibility of contacting some of the world’s leading investors, decision-makers and entrepreneurs at the Seeds & Chips 2018 conference, at which John Kerry, former US Foreign Secretary will be the keynote speaker.

Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
Specifically cooperation with “A-board”, a panel of advisors consisting of former MBA students at CBS who are now positioned throughout the world and can consequently be important guides/aides on international markets. A-board sets up a panel specifically for the businesses in Growth Train which will for a period of six months have access to advice from this panel.

More information on cooperators, mentors and ambassadors: www.growthtrain.dk

CONTACT:
John Brædder
Mayor, the municipality of Guldborgsund
E-mail: jobr@guldborgsund.dk
Tel: 2518 0390
www.guldborgsund.dk

Mikkel Wesselhoff
Managing Director, Business Lolland-Falster
E-mail: mw@businesslf.dk
Tel: 4038 2436
www.businesslf.dk

Eythor Jonsson
Managing Director, Growth Train
E-mail: eythor@growth-train.dk
Tel: 2214 9950
www.growthtrain.dk