One of the highlights of the past week for the Danish tech startup community was definitely TechBBQ, a celebration of local entrepreneurship arranged by TrendsOnline. And according to Daniel Glassow Friis Laursen, the initiator of the TechBBQ, it is exactly a celebration – a celebration of success, failure, learning and basically everyone and everything that make Danish startup ecosystem grow and develop.
TechBBQ: THE BEGINNING
When Daniel thought of arranging TechBBQ for the first time, his intention was to have a family-like meeting with local entrepreneurs. The idea quickly gained a lot of support and soon Daniel was sharing his vision with Klaus Nyengaard, Martin Bjergegaard and Esben Gadsbøll who also got interested. The need of event like TechBBQ became even more apparent when it turned out that all four were completely in sync about how TechBBQ should look like. And of course, 350 guests who gave a positive feedback as well as requests to repeat the event from those who didn’t make it were another validation of the need.
From last year’s 350 attendees the event has grown to 520 participants this year and there are a few important partners who have helped the event happen. For instance, spicy BBQ was provided by IBM. The growth of interest towards TechBBQ in just a year is in line with what has been happening to the whole startup scene in Denmark. Tine Thygesen, one of those who stand at the roots of this growth, noted that the rapid changes that are occurring now have started just 3-4 years ago. And it is sure impressive how much it was possible to achieve in such a short time.
NORDICS VS. THE US STARTUP ENVIRONMENT
Klaus Preisler, US-based entrepreneur of Danish origin behind Lapio Inc, commented:
“Nordics are hot right now. It is just a couple of years ago that they started being noticed because of the successful examples that are coming from the region. Give it some time and things will unfold further on.”
Klaus also observed that the Nordics have a very useful common feature – people here know how to think and reflect and give feedback. This makes a great test market. The challenge, however, is in attitude towards failure which is still somewhat negative. Failing here can be perceived as something bad that ruins your reputation in a way while in the US, for example, it is viewed as an excellent learning experience.
Another important change that should be on the way is being more open:
“In the US there are lots of events happening, everyone is an entrepreneur. Here we used to have a bit more closed mind set, we don’t share ideas as much. And that’s the importat part.”
But it is exaclty events like TechBBQ that encourage more communication and sharing between entrepreneurs so it is important to sustain them. Daniel sees two future paths for TechBBQ.
We can continue as we go, keeping it as our own event, building the brand of Tech BBQ and compete with all the other events in the region. Another way is to talk to all the other guys and find out if we could collaborate and throw something really great together. And we already had some talks about it, nothing is decided yet but we know for sure that we want to build something bigger, something greater.
Next year’s TechBBQ will probably reach up to 1000 guests and then it would be great to also reach out to Malmo and its neiboring areas. But even this time, all international guests were welcome to attend the celebration of Danish tech startup scene as the event was held in English.
The bottom line is that this is just a start for Danish startup ecosystem. Everybody wants to be an entrepreneur, everybody knows how to make an app. And the trend will persist.
“What I would really like along with all these developments is to have those who succeeded to come back and re-invest in the local community to provide it with knowledge and resources to grow even further in the future,” says Daniel.
As for now, we congratulate TrendsOnline with another excellent TechBBQ and already looking forward to the next year’s event. Find some of the event’s highlights here.
Image source: TrendsOnline