The “GreenUP Accelerator” wants to take a carefully curated batch of green startups from prototype to international scaling in just 20 months – with the help from a wealth of experts and a 1M DKK up-front investment in each startup.

This article is made in collaboration with ‘DTU Science Park‘ – one of the amazing partners making the magazine ‘Tech for the Planet 2021’ possible. You can read the full magazine here.

This spring, 15 green startups were selected for the ambitious accelerator program “GreenUP” at DTU Science Park, which is supported by The Danish Industry Foundation. The first third of the 20-month program was spent refining the startups’ products and business plans, and now 10 companies have moved on to the next part of the program: The “gear up” phase.

“They have matured immensely, and it’s 10 super exciting companies that will move on to the next phase,” says Steen Donner, CEO at DTU Science Park, and continues:

“Gearing up will be all about structuring the company. They have to figure out if their product/market fit is actually the right one, and they have to validate it internationally. Over the next 3-4 months they will prepare themselves for the last phase, where the companies need to start scaling.”

All participants in the program have been offered a 1M DKK investment in advance. During the first six months, the 15 companies have attracted +50M DKK in additional venture capital and have already started hiring.

Need for speed

Every accelerator’s goal is to accelerate the growth of startups. For GreenUP this isn’t just true in a financial sense – it is just as much about making the startups’ carbon-reducing solutions scale for the sake of the climate.

“Green solutions have to happen quicker. The shortest route between two places is a straight line, but that’s rarely possible on a startup journey. The way we will make it as fast as possible for them, is by helping them avoid too many detours – and we do that by giving them access to a whole bunch of resources in the form of knowledge, help and capital,” Donner explains.

During the comprehensive GreenUP programme, the entrepreneurs will get access to lawyers, accountants, marketing, sale, business development, management consulting and investors. All to the sound of carbon reduction which play an increasingly important role toward the scaling phase.

Inspiring others

With the first batch well on their way, Donner is more certain than ever that Denmark both has the ideas and skills to become a green growth nation. For the GreenUP Accelerator the ambition is for 7-8 of the 15 startups to scale and establish themselves internationally.

“Of course, they won’t all become unicorns, but if we are able to build a few, medium-sized, companies in Denmark with a few hundred employees, I’m more than satisfied,” Donner says.

The climate needs all the green solutions we can think of. For that reason, Donner hopes that GreenUP will inspire others.

“This programme won’t save the planet, but we hope to deliver a small contribution toward green growth in Denmark. And we hope to see much more green startups applying for the program so we get even more successes with bigger and better footprints,” Donner says.

About: GreenUP Accelerator

  • GreenUP is an ambitious accelerator, sponsored by The Danish Industry Foundation, aimed at startups contributing to reducing carbon emissions.
  • Participants get direct access to experts in everything from law and accounting to business development and sales. Furthermore, the program offers an up-front investment so the entrepreneurs don’t have to spend too much time raising money initially.
  • The program is significantly longer than most accelerators. The aim is to take the participant all the way to international scaling and a Series A investment in 20 months.