Key takeaways from Aarhus Investor Summit 2023

Connecting startups and investors for a thriving innovation ecosystem

Aarhus Investor Summit 2023 was held at Aarhus City Hall on October 5th and brought together over 200 participants, 110 investors, 26 exhibiting startups, and featured 11 pitch cases seeking funding. This year's summit marked a significant expansion, with a focus on cases and investments in the domains IT/tech, cleantech, health, and food. Notably, two new partners, Food & Bio Cluster Denmark and Agro Food Park, joined the event as partners, demonstrating Aarhus's commitment to foster innovation within its strongholds of health, cleantech and food.

The summit opened with a warm welcome from Søren Boel from the City of Aarhus, who initiated a conversation with Chat GPT. The AI tool highlighted Aarhus's thriving startup ecosystem, attributing its success to world-class education institutions like Aarhus University, a collaborative environment, and a robust network of mentors, industry experts, and entrepreneurs. On the investor front, Aarhus is lauded for its attractiveness to both local and international investors, with substantial growth in venture capital funding during the recent years.

The keynote speakers set the tone for the event. Alfred Spormann from CORC took the audience on a visionary journey into a future carbon economy. He emphasized the unique aspects of the green tech revolution, including its scale, speed, cost-effectiveness, and the need for cross-disciplinary expertise. Spormann identified the requirements for success, including new partnerships, revised risk and profit assessments, and an annual investment potential of $1.5 - $1.7 trillion. Market opportunities, he said, lie in decarbonization, energy, and the carbon economy.

The second keynote speaker, Ask Emil Løvschall-Jensen, CEO of Hyme, spoke about achieving large-scale, cost-efficient, and sustainable energy storage. He highlighted that most of the world's current energy comes from non-renewable sources, making the need for innovative energy storage solutions imperative. Hyme's molten salt technology, expected to reach a market value of 16 billion euros by 2031, is a promising step towards this goal.

The pitch session featured 11 startups actively seeking strategic partnerships and investments. These startups covered a wide range of industries, from quantum computing (Kvantify) to ocean energy (Crestwing), robotics (ROBOE), and healthcare (HĀTO Medical Technologies).

Following the pitches, the reverse pitch session brought together three investors who shared insights and opportunities: Rockstart, Angella Invest, and The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO). Their involvement showcased the diverse investor landscape available for startups.

“Aarhus has all the ingredients. That was ChatGPT's conclusion on the startup and investor environment in Aarhus, which was very visible when Aarhus Investor Summit gathered 200 investors and startups at Aarhus City Hall today. Great presentations from Novo Nordisk Foundation CO₂ Research Center (CORC) and Hyme as well as strong investor pitches from Rockstart, Angella Invest and Export and Investment Fund of Denmark. 11 pitches and 26 booths with very promising startups ranging from robotics to quantum technology, wave and wind energy to AI and artificial intelligence,” says Søren Boel, Manager at City of Aarhus.

The summit also featured the highly anticipated INCUBA Awards, recognizing outstanding startups and investors in the Aarhus ecosystem. Kvantify was awarded 'Startup of the Year 2023' for its revolutionary quantum computing technology, with the potential to make a global impact. Kvantify participated in the final together with three other startups: Battman Energy, PlanetDairy and SulfiLogger. Claus Hansen received the 'Investor of the Year 2023' award for his dedication and expertise in supporting knowledge-intensive startups in the healthcare space. Claus Hansen participated in the final together with Christian Vinther from Founderment and angel investor Pernille Lynggaard Frandsen.

“Aarhus Investor Summit is a must-do every year for any interested investor and also for the startup environment in Aarhus and in Denmark in general working with tech solutions,” he says. 

“Amazing community in Aarhus. I’m very proud of the journey in the financial ecosystem that the City of Aarhus has been building up over the last decades,” adds Theresa Blegvad from NewDeal Invest.

The summit concluded with networking opportunities and a celebration of the thriving Aarhus startup ecosystem. The summit’s partners Danske Bank, Export and Investment Fund of Denmark, DLA Piper, Aarhus University, Potter Clarkson, City of Aarhus, Danish Business Angels - DanBAN, Food & Bio Cluster Denmark, Agro Food Park played crucial roles in making the event a success.

“I am thrilled to say that Aarhus Investor Summit 2023 exceeded our expectations. It was a testament to the incredible talent, innovation, and dedication of our startups, the unwavering support of investors, and the invaluable partnerships with our collaborators. Thank you all for making this summit a resounding success, and for fueling the growth of our vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Aarhus. We look forward to even greater achievements in the years ahead," says Mai Louise Agerskov, CEO of INCUBA and adds:

“Aarhus Investor Summit has become a strong tradition and INCUBA is committed to making it even larger and more impactful in the years to come. Aarhus Investor Summit 2023 was a tribute to the city's commitment to foster innovation, but the potential is even bigger and requires even better access to investors. Our vision is for Aarhus Investor Summit to be investors’ easy access to the ecosystem for knowledge intensive cases within IT, cleantech, health and food and a way to ensure better connectivity, which will lead to more investments here in our area.”

Stay tuned for updates on Aarhus Investor Summit's LinkedIn page and newsletter, as it promises to be an exciting journey ahead.

25 October 2023

Pitch cases at Aarhus Investor Summit 2023:

  • Kvantify by Hans Henrik H. Knudsen, Co-founder and CEO: Revolutionizing data analytics with cutting-edge quantum computing.
  • Crestwing by Rune Pilgaard Bloom, CTO: Harnessing ocean energy for a sustainable future.
  • ROBOE by Andreas Stensig, Co-founder and COO: Pioneering robotics solutions for industry automation.
  • Clutch Nutrition by Martin Kilic, Co-founder and CMO: Award-winning functional beverage. Lower blood glucose rise, high in fibre, science backed ingredients, no caffeine.
  • TEGnology ApS by Hao Yin, CEO: Transforming the energy sector with advanced technology.
  • Radiobotics by Mads Jarner Brevadt, Co-founder and CEO: Radiology AI for faster and more accurate diagnoses.
  • Akson Robotics by Albert Sonne Olesen, Co-founder and CEO: Advancing the field of autonomous robotics.
  • Tempty Foods by Martina Lokajova, Co-founder and CEO: Creating sustainable food solutions for a changing world.
  • EMPTECH by Niels Kragh Blume Dahl, Founder and CEO: Empowering individuals with cutting-edge assistive technologies.
  • HĀTO Medical Technologies by Steffen Yndal, Co-founder and CEO: Innovating healthcare through groundbreaking medical devices.
  • Paperflow by Mads Rydahl, Co-founder & Geet Khosla, Co-founder: Simplifying document management with smart technology.
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