Attractive conditions for entrepreneurs, the raising of capital for growing enterprises and door-opening for customers and partners is creating results. This is the conclusion about Odense, where they aggressively implement a policy of growth with less focus on reports, talk and advice and more focus on practical help, concrete results and more capital.
With Invest in Odense at the helm, the focus in 2016 has been to create visible results for new and expanding enterprises.
‘’Entrepreneurs and managers who own a growing enterprise do not need our help to run their businesses, but in a hectic phase of growth a practical hand to help to raise capital can be advantageous’’, Investment Manager at Invest in Odense, Michael Hansen, says.
Together with the consulting firm Converzion, Invest in Odense has in 2016 helped three expanding enterprises in providing a much-needed basis and access to growth capital – and the results are clear. 2-3 mill. Euros in capital growth ensures not only new employment, access to new markets and strong growth rates for these three companies, but it also helps to accentuate that Odense is a city in growth and an attractive environment for businesses and investors.
“Our aim is to secure investments in Odense for new companies and investors for different initiatives and project alike, but also in the form of investors that invest in existing companies”, Michael Hansen explains.
According to Invest in Odense there is a constant flow of new incoming businesses and the good investments follow, but capital for existing companies is often a faster and more powerful tool in order to create growth.
Companies TriVision, Sensohive and OnRobot, have had practical help and advice for 9 months from experienced business people to insure their business were ready for capital growth by creating optimal plans, budgeting and presentations, and opening the doors for investors.
Companies need capital to grow fast
Local businessman, Torben Frigaard Rasmussen, underlines that the competition for funds from banks, business angels, venture funds and government programs is harsh and ruthless, so one has to be well prepared when applying for money.
‘’Technologies and markets are evolving so quickly that you need to have capital for growth, and the banks’ cash credits are often not geared for these needs, especially in the software industry’’, Mr. Rasmussen explains.
Johnny Killerup Pedersen is originally from Odense, but is currently living in the United States. He can see how quickly, especially technology markets, are moving. According to, Johnny Killerup Pedersen, it creates a significant need for fast growth, to be adaptable and have the necessary capital. Many companies will claim that in order to grow, capital is required, but Johnny Killerup Pedersen thinks it is a bit like the chicken and the egg – which one comes first – capital or growth?
“You need to grow to get the capital, and you need to have capital to grow. The exercise consists in creating optimal growing conditions for as little money as possible and as secure capital for explosive growth, ” Johnny Killerup Pedersen explains.
Invest in Odense, together with Converzion helped TriVision, Sensohive and OnRobot in this process. ‘’Less talk and more action’’ has been the message.
As Mr. Rasmussen explains, “Business plans, budgets and investor pitches are important to be able to present a business, but every investor will see right through you if it is all thoughts and ideas with no weight behind. There need to be real customers, real revenue and you need to show that both business and organization are globally scalable. “
In the end, it has been an instructive and intensive process for all businesses. Casper Harlev, who is one of the co-founders of Sensohive is both happy and proud of their successful launch, but he also admits that it has been a demanding process.
“There are so many things to think about when starting a business that you actually do not have time to, effectively, take care of them all. The product must be finalized, supplier agreements, marketing and distribution channels must be in place …all while working with lack of funding and facilities, IT, law, accounting, etc., “ Casper Harlev explains.
According to Casper Harlev, it has been a great help to work with experienced business people who have tried it themselves. “We meet many people as start-up business, and there it is a clear advantage to work with people who know how to deal with hard priorities, the need for capital and the tools to get where we want to be.”
The same message comes from the COO of OnRobot, Bilge Christiansen: “In start-up companies, we often know what is missing and what to work with, but to have experts who can give specific recommendations and ensure focus is a big help. How one’s business is presented, what to emphasize and how to negotiate is not rocket science, but to have people who have been on both sides of the table is a huge advantage, and it has been essential to our process”.
Invest in Odense is extremely pleased with the capital raised and expect to produce more success stories in the near future.
“We aim to make Odense attractive, exciting and vibrant for both new companies and investors, because the creation of growth is just better when there are companies and capital to realize dreams and ambitions,” Investment Manager at Invest in Odense, Michael Hansen, says.
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