Start up the engine on this boat and you could do ferry well!


Startup Weekend Oresund invites entrepreneurs to sea to compete among their peers for a coveted prize

Are you a developer, designer, PR guru, marketing genius or business whizz? Have you ever felt like running away to sea? If the answer to both is ‘yes’, then book your tickets for Startup Weekend Oresund from October 23-25.

Held on the MF Tycho Brahe ferry route between Helsingør and Helsingborg, it is expecting to welcome something in the region of 100 entrepreneurs keen to pitch and develop completely fresh ideas. Run essentially as a competition, budding entrepreneurs get support from established industry professionals as they pitch their ideas (all in English).

Big fish on board
Seven highly-rated professionals will step onboard to assess the participants’ ideas over the weekend. These include Mikael Bonde Nielsen, who is Coca-Cola Nordic’s public affairs and communications director, and Christian Walther Øyrabø, the chairman of the Danish Entrepreneurs Association, who is also a board member of the Danish Crowdfunding Association.

As well as judging the competitors’ efforts, Startup Weekend Oresund has involved eleven industry experts well-versed in finance, marketing, innovation and advertising to act as mentors and guide the entrepreneurs towards their goals.

Participants can also benefit from the networking opportunities provided by sharing a floating Silicon Valley together for three days with the mentors, in addition to their experience and industry knowledge.

The SoCal atmosphere might not be reflected in Scandinavia’s October sea conditions, but it certainly is in the quality of the panel – Friday evening includes keynote speeches by event facilitator Markus Schranner from Startup Germany, and Martin Miehe-Renard, the head of Startup Weekend Oresund.

A working weekend alright!

Friday will also see feverish pitches as each participant gets one minute to present their ideas to the other contributors. A vote on the best ideas will follow and Friday night closes once teams of participants form around the winning ideas to develop them.

Teams hunt around for the needs and expertise they require to develop their projects on Saturday morning before the mentors arrive and advise teams on aspects of their work. Project development is followed by dinner and a check-in and status report from all the teams, before the good ship Startup closes until the morning at midnight.

Playing for big bucks
Startup Weekend’s final day will be the inevitable mad scramble to finalise everything and talk with mentors before crunch time: each team gets five minutes on Sunday evening to present their weekend’s efforts to the judging panel.

Following a talk by Benedikte Kiær, the mayor of Helsingør Municipality, the judges will announce the winners and present awards.

The winning team this year will get a guaranteed place in THINK Accelerate’s 12-week global startup accelerator program. This will give them access to an international mentor network in addition to connections made during Startup Weekend Oresund, expertise and coaching, access to top investors and services from THINK Accelerate partners Microsoft, IBM, Amazon and more – a prize that is worth an estimated 275,000 US dollars.