The Nest incubator is CIID’s latest addition to Denmark’s growing startup scene, and keeps international talent working in Denmark. Founded in 2014 out of an overwhelming demand for support from the many entrepreneurial minds in CIID’s network, the Nest is Denmark’s earliest-stage and only design-driven incubator. Critically, this refers not to only creating beautiful products or apps, but to a fundamentally people-centric approach driven by design thinking, rapid prototyping, and co-creation with users.

The Nest supports startups at the incubation, product development, or pre-launch stages. These three phases are separated by mandatory milestones, which when passed unlock further support and funding. Startups may join at any phase and stay for a duration of 4-12 months.


The Nest provides a world-class network of mentors and advisors, financial support of up to 320,000 DKK, prototyping resources, an extensive partner support structure, and a workspace in the center of Copenhagen in exchange for 3-8% equity. Accepting teams as early as the concept stage while providing the infrastructure, partnerships, and resources for startups as late as the launch phase allows for considerable flexibility and individual support rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

The Nest welcomes any startup with a strong team, a commitment to a people-centered and iterative approach, and a valid working permit for Denmark. Given CIID’s strengths in these verticals, the Nest favors startups in healthcare, hardware, and IoT (the internet of things), but is open to products and services across industries. The Nest portfolio includes among others an app for Asperger’s patients, a creativity-enhancing wearable for electrical brain stimulation, a personal trainer marketplace, and a travel app for children.

An impressive Institute

The Nest is only a part of CIID, the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. CIID attracts international talent, this interdisciplinary hub of creative minds creates impact through the design of people-centric products, services, and environments. It is best known for its one-year education programme for 25 students per year, ranked the #17 design school in the world by Business Insider, and standing out as the only European institute from the 21st century with fewer than 100 students, in this ranking. With its education programme, design consultancy, research arm, and Nest startup incubator, CIID cements Copenhagen’s place as one of the world’s leading hubs for user-focused design. Companies such as Sony, Intel, LEGO, and Dropbox pay to use CIID as a recruitment hub and to place people there for knowledge spillover and network access, as CIID is host to talented individuals from dozens of nationalities and professional backgrounds.


Applications for the January 2016 round are open from November 2 – 22nd, and will be evaluated by a selection committee in early December. New teams will join the Nest in mid-January and stay for 4-12 months.

More information and the application link can be found at their website.