InnoFounder is a programme that lasts 12 months with the aim to accelerate the development of your innovative business idea from early stages to the stage where you are ready to go to market or gain investment. The programme is open to any field of expertise as long as the idea is innovative and has potential to become a sustainable business.
InnoFounder has two tracks:
- InnoFounder - Graduate is relevant for you who have recently graduated from a higher education.
- InnoFounder – Experienced is relevant for you who have significant research or work experience.
For both tracks, you can apply individually or as a team of up to three founders. You can learn more about the two tracks below.
The idea must be in its early phases of development
InnoFounder finances the establishment and development of your business in its early phases. Your business idea must be in the early phases with extensive development remaining before the product, service or technology is complete and the business model in place. However, preliminary test sales may have taken place. It further entails that no major external funding has been obtained for the business idea and the forthcoming development.
We have requirements
We do not take any shares in your business nor require repayment of the funding – but we do require your full dedication. Further, the idea must be innovative, have business potential, and it must be likely that the idea can be implemented and sustained after the programme has finalised.
Current listings and application deadlines
|InnoFounder - Experienced (Autumn)||InnoFounder||/en/node/813||i-f|
|InnoFounder - Graduate (Autumn)||InnoFounder||/en/node/812||i-f|
InnoFounder - Graduate offers 12 months of:
- A monthly grant of DKK 15,000
- A special grant of DKK 35,000 to cover development costs
- A permanent and experienced mentor
- A desk at an awesome co-working space
- Monthly workshops featuring world-class domain experts
- Access to our community of investors, designers, startup and corporate professionals
Who can apply?
You are qualified to join InnoFounder if:
- You have graduated with a public tertiary degree, a PhD degree or accredited private degree (i.e. a degree carrying entitlement to a Danish student grant) no longer than 24 months ago, counted from the date of graduation to the application deadline.
- You are a student of such a degree, graduating no later than the start date of the InnoFounder course for which you apply.
You can apply as a single founder or as a team. For full information, make sure to read the guidelines.
The InnoFounder programme is based on creative problem solving. The first six months we focus on you designing “the right thing” – by understanding your users and the value you create for them. The last six months will focus on designing “the thing right” - or how your product/service and your business model will hit the spot.
Throughout the programme you will meet with your mentor every second week and participate in workshops approximately every second month. The programme will end with a demo day where you will have the opportunity to pitch in front of investors, potential partners etc.
We offer our InnoFounders access to co-working spaces in Denmark's largest cities.
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BLOXHUB STARTUP CAMPUS, COPENHAGEN
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SDU ENTREPRENEURSHIP LABS, ODENSE
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In the accurate moment the incubator hosts 128 different startups, most based in Odense and the rest spread with approximately 5-15 startups across our different campus cities in Slagelse, Esbjerg, Kolding and Sønderborg.
DTU SKYLAB, LYNGBY
DTU Skylab is the innovation hub located at Lyngby Campus at DTU, Technical University of Denmark. At DTU Skylab you will find prototype workshops, meeting rooms, work stations, event room, lounge and kitchen.
Head of Incubator
Head of Mentoring
Head of Programme
Head of Programme, Innovation Fund Denmark
Head of Operations & Communications
Programme Manager, The Danish Design Centre
Alexander Horten, Investment Manager, PreSeed Ventures
Christian Lund, Co-founder & CPO, Templafy
Jesper Theil Thomsen, Co-founder & CEO, SOUNDBOKS
Kirsten Drejer, Co-founder & CEO, Symphogen
Mattias Vilhelm Warnøe Nielsen, Lawyer, Partner, Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen
Sasja Dalgaard, Investment banker; Partner, Tofte & Company
Steve Bishop, Entrepreneur & advisor; Founder, Posit Design
Tommy Andersen, Managing Partner, byFounders; Business Angel; Co-founder & former CEO, Libratone, Embedit & TechPeople
As Denmark’s national design centre, it is the Danish Design Centre‘s mission to promote the use of design in business and industry and to help professionalise the design industry.
Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design is an international hub of creative minds. CIID encompasses world-renowned education, a cutting-edge research group, an award-winning consultancy and a startup incubator.
1.1 Who can apply to join InnoFounder - Graduate?
You can apply to become an InnoFounder if you have graduated no longer than 24 months before the application deadline with a public tertiary degree, a pHd degree or an accredited private degree (i.e. a degree carrying entitlement to a Danish student grant). The educational institution must be Danish.
1.2 I’m still a student. Can I apply?
You can apply if you are a student and will graduate no later than the starting date of the InnoFounder course which you are applying for.
1.3 I’m a foreign citizen. Can I apply?
Only foreign citizens who have obtained their degree at a Danish educational institution may apply for admission to the programme.
1.4 I’m studying an HD. Can I apply?
No. InnoFounder targets graduates from tertiary degrees.
1.4 I meet the requirements for applying, but I’m going to continue studying. Can I apply anyway?
Yes – but only if you will be able to work at least 37 hours per week on InnoFounder. This means that a full-time study is not possible.
1.5 I graduated more than 24 months ago but have been on maternity leave. Can I apply?
Yes. The time you spent on maternity leave does not count and can be subtracted from the 24 months.
1.6 I haven’t received my graduation certificate yet. What do I do?
If you haven’t received your certificate yet, you can attach another kind of documentation that you have finished or will soon finish your studies, e.g. a preliminary approval, an overview of your ECTS points so far or a written statement from your study administration.
1.7 How far ahead will I need to be with my business idea?
There are no specific requirements on this issue, but accepted ideas will typically have reached a certain state of maturity and been through initial tests, developed proof-of-concept or an early prototype, so that the InnoFounder course will build upon an existing fundament. Check out the assessment criteria in the guidelines point 4.
1.8 Is InnoFounder targeted specific kinds of businesses?
No, there is no limitations to what kind of ideas we support, as long as the idea is innovative and scalable. Check out the assessment criteria in the guidelines point 4.
1.9 I’ve already set up my business. Can I apply?
Yes, you can apply even if you are already CVR registered. But your company must be in the early stage where it still requires some development before the product, service or technology is ready to go to market – and external funding has not been granted to a large extent. If you’ve already set up your company you must be a founder and own at least 25%
1.10 I’m a co-founder, but I own less than 25% of the company. Can I apply?
As a general rule, no. However, if you own close to 25% and under special circumstances, we might make exceptions. Please contact us!
1.11 Must the application be written in Danish or English?
That’s up to you. There is both an English and a Danish version of the application form.
2.1 Can my startup apply as a team?
You can apply as a team of up to three people.
2.2 We are a team of three, and two of us are foreigners studying in Denmark. Can we all apply?
Yes, foreigners with a Danish education are welcome to apply, and you can apply in a team of up to three people. Be aware that non-European citizens need to apply for a special residence and work permit for entrepreneurs in Denmark.
2.3 We’re a team of three but only one of us live up to the requirements for applying. Can we all apply as a team?
No, if you want to apply as a team you must all live up to the qualifications. However, the one from your team who does live up the the qualifications are very welcome to apply on behalf of the team and its business idea.
2.4 Can my non-InnoFounder team members join meeting, workshops, the co-working space etc?
You are very welcome to bring your team member(s) to workshops and meetings. You team member(s) must pay for their spot at the co-working space but we have negotiated some very favorable prices.
3.1 Can I join even though I live far from Copenhagen?
Yes. You will, however, be required to travel to meet your mentor (who will be located in one of Denmark’s four biggest cities) at least every second week and be required to travel to Copenhagen approximately once a month for workshops.
3.2 How often do I have to travel to Copenhagen?
At a minimum once a month, depending on where your mentor lives. You will be responsible for arranging food and lodging for yourself.
3.3 How much of my time does the InnoFounder course take up?
InnoFounder is a full-time occupation. Participating in the InnoFounder program requires you to be able to work full-time (37 hours per week) on your startup during the 12 months of the program.
3.4 What if I am going on vacation?
Vacations are in accordance with the Annual Vacation Act (up to 25 days a year). Vacation can not collide with any InnoFounder activities.
3.5 Is attendance to InnoFounder activities (workshops, mentor meetings) mandatory?
Yes. If you are admitted, being an InnoFounder is your job. You must attend all InnoFounder activities, and do so with curiosity, willingness to learn and contribute, and in general with a positive attitude.
3.6 Will the programme be in English or Danish?
All communication from InnoFounder, including all workshops, is in English.
3.7 Will I meet investors?
Yes. Many of our domain experts who you will meet at the monthly workshops are investors. You will also meet investors at both the mini demo day and at the demo day. On top of this, your mentor will introduce you to the InnoFounder network of significant local business angels and local as well as international VCs.
4.1 If we apply as a team, will all of us get the monthly salary and the special grant?
Yes, you will each get both the monthly salary of DKK 15,000 and the special grant of DKK 35,000.
4.2 What can I spend the monthly salary of DKK 15,000 on?
The salary is for covering your living expenses. Consider it as you would a normal salary.
4.3 What can I spend the Special Grant of DKK 35,000 on?
The special grant can be spent on buying services, materials and transport relevant to developing your business idea. However, it cannot be spend on goods such as computers, phones, food and so on. You will need to account for how you spend the special grant. See the guidelines point 6.1.
4.4 Am I allowed to earn money on top of the funding I get from InnoFounder?
You are allowed to earn a maximum of DKK 10,000 a month on top of the money you get from InnoFounder. This includes salaries from your own company. You are not allowed to earn more than DKK 5,000 a month from part-time jobs not related to your own company.
4.5 Do I pay taxes of the money I get from InnoFounder?
The monthly salary must be reported as B-income.
The grant can be paid either to you as a private person or to your company. Grants paid to you as a person can cover VAT-expenses and is reported to SKAT as taxable B income through your CPR number. Grants paid to your company cannot cover VAT-expenses and is reported to SKAT through your company’s CVR number.
InnoFounder lasts 12 months and offers:
- A monthly grant of DKK 30,000.
- A special grant of DKK 100.000 to support the development of your business idea.
- Ongoing dialogue regarding experiences and needs throughout the InnoFounder programme.
Who can apply?
You can apply for InnoFounder if:
- You have extensive professional and/or research experience, which provides a solid basis for your idea and its development. As an example, this means that you should have extensive industry knowledge and market understanding.
- You have a higher education
InnoFounder - Experienced is initially launched in a version 1.0 with a view to develop and design the final version. The final version will, in addition to funding, include a series of accelerating activities such as mentoring, workshops, networking activities etc. You will therefore be followed closely and asked to give your input about experiences and needs along the way, in order that we may design the best possible programme with relevant activities based on your input.
The programme must be initiated at the latest four months after the investments has been granted .
- Who can apply to become part of the InnoFounder – Experienced?
You can apply for InnoFounder if you have extensive professional and/or research experience, which provides a solid basis for your idea and its development. As an example, this means that you should have extensive industry knowledge and market understanding. You should furthermore be able to describe how your experience is relevant for your idea.
- At what stage should my innovative business idea be?
Your business idea must be in the early phases with extensive development remaining before the product, service or technology is complete and the business model in place. This entails that there must not already be a significant revenue based on the idea. Preliminary test sales may, however, have taken place. It further entails that no major external funding has been obtained for the business idea and the forthcoming development.
On the other hand, accepted ideas must typically have reached a certain level of maturity and been through initial tests, have a developed proof-of-concept or an early prototype so the InnoFounder programme is built on a solid basis.
If a company is already established, it must be a new company primarily based on the innovative business idea and without any other products on the market. In addition, read the assessment criteria in Section 4 in the guidelines.
- Is InnoFounder aimed at certain types of businesses?
No, there is no limit on what types of ideas we invest in as long as the idea is innovative and has the potential to become a sustainable business. See the assessment criteria in Section 4 in the guidelines.
- I have already established my company. Can I apply?
Yes, you can apply although your company is CVR-registered. However, your company must still be in its early phases. If your company has already been established, you must be the founder and hold the majority of the ownership.
- Should the application be written in Danish or English?
That is your call. Danish and English versions of the application form are available.
- Can my start-up apply as a team?
You can apply as a team of up to three members.
- We are a team of three people but only one of us meets the requirements for the application. Can we apply as a team?
No, if you want to apply as a team, you all have to meet the requirements. However, the founder from the team who meets the requirements is very welcome to apply on the behalf of the team and the team’s business idea.
- If we apply as a team, will all of us receive the monthly grant and the special grant?
Yes, you will all receive the monthly grant of DKK 30,000 as well as the special grant of DKK 100,000.
- On what can I spend the monthly grant of DKK 30,000?
The funding is intended to cover your living costs. Regard it as a normal salary.
- On what can I spend the special grant of DKK 100,000?
The grant can be spent on special services, materials or transportation costs in relation to the development of your business idea. However, it cannot be used to purchase consumer goods such as computer, phone, meals etc. You have to submit final accounts for the special grant. See Section 6.1 in the guidelines.
- Do I pay taxes of the grant I receive through InnoFounder?
The monthly grant is reported to SKAT as taxable B-income.
The money will be disbursed to you personally or to your company. Money disbursed to you personally can cover VAT and should be reported to SKAT as taxable B-income via your CPR-number. Money disbursed to your company does not cover VAT and should be reported to SKAT by the company’s CVR-number.