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The curve is turning: Aarhus tech startups and scaleups report ready for recovery


This post is also available in: Danish

It’s been difficult to be an entrepreneur in Denmark for the past few years. There has been a general decline in entrepreneurship. According to the Danish Export and Investment Fund’s (EIFO) study of the Year of Entrepreneurship 2023; the number of new startups has decreased by six percent compared to 2022, which is the second consecutive year of decline since the record year 2021.

High inflation and economic uncertainty have contributed to the difficult conditions, but it’s not all dark clouds. Aarhus tech startups and scaleups at INCUBA have recorded steady growth in 2023, and in the annual IMPACT analysis completed in early 2024 among the companies in INCUBA a/s, the surveyed founders and CEOs report positive growth and optimism for 2024.

“We are very pleased to see that companies have generally demonstrated good, stable results in 2023. Not only have the companies experienced an increase in turnover compared to the previous year, they also report stable operating results, they are consolidating and ready for recovery,” says Mai Louise Agerskov, CEO of INCUBA a/s.

INCUBA’s IMPACT analysis for 2023 shows that there is resilience in the science park despite the challenges. 57% of businesses have seen an increase in revenue during 2023 and 59% have launched new products or services during the year. In addition, 71% expect a further increase in revenue in 2024. Despite the general downward trend in the market, INCUBA companies have managed to attract more than DKK 1.4 billion in investments across the three verticals, IT/tech, cleantech and life science. In comparison, the investment level was DKK 420 million in 2022.

“We’re still not back to pre-Corona levels in terms of the number of startups and fast track to growth, where we used to see around 50 companies growing out of INCUBA every year. But the picture is complex, and there are still industries that are experiencing remarkable growth, such as cybersecurity, biotechnology and areas within cleantech that support the green transition,” explains Mai Louise Agerskov.

Battman Energy to execute on more than 100 million euros in investments

A prominent example of this progress is in cleantech. Battman Energy started its journey with three founders in INCUBA’s StartupLab in 2023 and has been riding a wave ever since. The cleantech company develops large-scale battery parks around the country to stabilize the grid and now, with 14 employees, aims to facilitate and execute investments of more than €100 million in batteries by 2024.

“Since joining INCUBA, we have achieved significant and concrete results within our vision of supporting a strong electricity grid and a greener Denmark. We do this through our core business as a project developer of large battery energy storage systems (BESS), where we have, among other things, secured our first investments, procured our first projects and are executing on them according to plan,” says Daniel Kappelgaard, CEO at Battman Energy and continues:

– As a company, we’ve experienced significant growth and have already scaled up with a larger office at INCUBA because we’ve hired more employees. We have set ambitious goals for the future and are proud that by the end of 2024, we will operate the largest portfolio of battery storage systems within the Danish mainland. In addition, at the beginning of 2024, we also took the first steps towards international expansion and established an office in Spain. We are also in the process of starting operations in the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland and Australia, which will materialize during 2024.”

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