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At Hellerup station, a former post office has been converted into a 2,300 square metre melting pot for engineers, entrepreneurs and startups, all working to develop the innovative solutions of the future.

Sponsored: This article is published in collaboration with TechStation.

It really looks like a postal building. And indeed it is. But today, the former post office has been transformed into TechStation, an incubator and entrepreneurial community where stamps and envelopes have been replaced by highly specialised spaces for innovation and development for hard tech startups.

The industrial premises are buzzing with activity. On a daily basis, over 60 people work in the building, including 13 startups. There are engineers, entrepreneurs and investors running in and out of workshops and offices with gadgets and instruments in hand. And that is the whole point, says Mikkel Mørkegaard, the station manager.

“All our entrepreneurs are curious about each other. They ask questions, share their own solutions, ask the hard questions and always help if they can. It’s a place where committed people come together to geek out on technical solutions – and that gives a great energy,” he says, while he shows around the large dining room where the startups have left their workstations for a while to have lunch together.

Station manager Mikkel Mørkegaard in the hard tech innovation hub TechStation

The Postmaster General’s old home

Five years ago, construction of TechStation began in the old post office (built in 1922), which is why some of the startups have their offices in the postmaster’s apartment, while others are located in the attic, in an open-plan office landscape built on the beautifully decorated dry attic.

But it is not just the beautiful surroundings. As a transport hub that connects the researcher from DTU in Lyngby with the commercial talents from CBS in just a few minutes, it is an extraordinary office community for many hard tech companies.

“Here you can service all parts of your business in one place. It creates a synergy in the building”

“Most entrepreneurs are so focused on their startup that they don’t want to waste a lot of time travelling from workshop to office. Here you can service all parts of your business in one place. It creates a synergy in the building that is difficult to find in a large industrial neighbourhood,” says Mikkel Mørkegaard, showing around the floor, where there are only a few steps between the workshop and the computer.

The heart of the house

The man behind TechStation is Jens Peter Bredholt, who 22 years ago founded the R&D engineering consultancy Kapacitet. Today, the company is headquartered at TechStation and is the heart of the house. It is through Kapacitet that startups get access to professional prototyping, testing and production facilities and a wealth of experience in hard tech.

Clean tech startup Ambient Carbon has benefited from this. Since 2020, they have been collaborating with Capacity on the development of an invention that eliminates methane emissions from cow and pig stables, among other places. Last year, the startup moved into TechStation to turbocharge its growth journey.

“It’s a huge advantage for us to be so close to the engineers who help us with product design and drawings. It makes it easy to focus on our product development. In addition, it makes sense to be close to the other companies in the house – some of which we may even collaborate with over the coming years,” explains David S. Miller, CEO of Ambient Carbon.

Mikkel Mørkegaard with the Danish sports tech VEOs product which Kapacitet has helped develop

Synergy throughout the house

The idea of synergy runs throughout the house. That is why TechStation Invest was established in 2019; an evergreen fund and investment group that invests in hard tech startups with high professional capacity and smart money.

“The investors are not people who just want a return on their money. They are genuinely interested in getting the product off the ground. Therefore, their most important contribution is the capital as much as the professional sparring, the network and the feedback they can provide in the product development phase,” says Mikkel Mørkegaard.

Today, TechStation Invest has invested around DKK 10 million in five startups, some of which have had or have offices in the building. And that type of synergy is growing.

“The dream is to turn TechStation into a social and professional startup hub. A place everyone knows and has been”

“We hope that one day the building will be full of people we have also invested in. The dream is to turn TechStation into a social and professional startup hub. A place everyone knows and has been, and where some fantastic innovative solutions and products have been developed over time,” explains Mikkel Mørkegaard.