DenmarkBridge Award 2017
DenmarkBridge – integrating innovative business
Being adaptable to change is crucial for corporations to survive in today’s business world, where new technologies and disruptive innovations persistently change the name of the game.
DenmarkBridge is a membership-driven initiative, consisting of Danish corporations with a shared interest in exploring the opportunities that flow from the ever-changing technological developments.
DenmarkBridge aims at bridging the gap between Danish companies and Silicon Valley, one of the world’s primary hotspots for technological innovations, by creating a community consisting of high-level strategic networking and knowledge sharing among like-minded business partners.
It is the network! The message is clear and war-stories are many to prove it. One of the overall success factors of Silicon Valley is the interconnectedness. Startups, academia, investors and seasoned executives are constantly discussing and sharing knowledge on opportunities and challenges in the business environment.
DenmarkBridge is a public-private non-profit initiative founded on the acknowledgement that strategic networking is a key ingredient in understanding, adapting and developing disruptive innovations. DenmarkBridge aims at bringing disruptive startups, investors and large corporations together across the Atlantic through strategic, high-level networking and knowledge sharing.
Many corporations have been blindsided by how quickly new technologies and innovations change their playing field. DenmarkBridge strives to knit close ties between Danish corporations and the disruptive environment of Silicon Valley with an eye to strengthening of Danish corporations’ ability to integrate emerging technologies into their business plans and scaling their businesses based on that. Moreover, DenmarkBridge aims at contributing to increased awareness in Silicon Valley of the Danish startup scene, supporting Danish startups and gaining access to international investors.
The foundation of DenmarkBridge is an inquisitive and collective mindset, where members seek to share experiences, learn from and connect with likeminded business partners. A.P. Møller – Maersk, Danske Bank, Dansk Industri (Confederation of Danish Industry), LEGO, Novo Nordisk and Vækstfonden (The Danish Growth Fund) established DenmarkBridge.
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DenmarkBridge is established by six founding members: A.P. Møller - Maersk, Danske Bank, Dansk Industri (Confederation of Danish Industry), LEGO, Novo Nordisk and Vækstfonden (The Danish Growth Fund).
DenmarkBridge is an important initiative that Danske Bank is proud to be a part of. It is crucial to explore and exploit the possibilities resulting from the technological developments we see these days in order to maintain and improve the competitiveness of the Danish business community
Thomas F. Borgen, Danske Bank
We continuously need to work on improving growth opportunities and overall competitiveness for Danish companies. We are on a good track, but we cannot afford to fall behind. A global outreach and network is a necessity if we are to provide the best corporate conditions for Danish companies and support increased growth in Denmark.
Karsten Dybvad, the Confederation of Danish industry
Ultimately, our goal is to reach all the world’s children because we know that learning through creative play advances essential skills that children will need in the future. This global ambition requires us to constantly be able to take our corporation one step further. This implies that we learn from others and let ourselves be inspired by new ways of doing things.
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, LEGO
Entrepreneurship and technological innovations is and always has been an integral part of the Maersk Group’s response to constant changing market conditions and opportunities. We operate in technology and innovation driven industries and are continuously searching for innovation that can create new business platforms and transform our business. In DenmarkBridge, we are entering a network that gives us and other Danish companies strategic insight to technological developments in Silicon Valley with potential to enhance the innovative force of Danish companies in general.
A.P. Møller - Maersk
We are happy to be a part of DenmarkBridge and look forward to cooperating with the other members to create stronger connections to the current developments in Silicon Valley. Innovation is essential to our long-term success. The DenmarkBridge network and its’ connections can contribute to expanding our work on these important agendas.
Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, Novo Nordisk
We can learn a lot from Silicon Valley about building a coherent ecosystem for development of new technology and aggressive business strategies in new and existing companies. Inherent in their culture and DNA is a strong will and ability to build corporations that quickly grow large and conquer the world. It is this culture and DNA we have to work on improving in Denmark.
Christian Motzfeldt, the Danish Growth Fund
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.
Board of directors
The founding members appoint the board of directors. The board of directors consists of members with extensive knowledge about investments and private equity, the Danish as well as the global business scene, and the global startup and investor culture.
As CEO of the Danish Growth Fund since 2001, Christian Motzfeldt has been instrumental in building the new Danish ecosystem of entrepreneurship. Within the Danish Growth Fund he has built one of the largest portfolios of venture- and small cap funds in the Nordics and has 2 bn. USD under management.
Ole Andersen has for more than 25 years held senior leadership positions in corporate finance and the PE industry, most recently as senior partner of EQT Partners A/S – a leading Nordic based PE firm. Since 2008, Ole Andersen has increasingly focused on board work in large listed companies and he is currently chairman of Danske Bank, Chr. Hansen and Bang & Olufsen. Ole Andersen thus has extensive experience in developing and growing businesses across industries and geographies.
After having done his own start up and then almost 14 years with eBay building business and doing deals in various geographies, Jacob – a Harvard MBA – has experienced the start-up culture up close and personal. He now spends his time transplanting those experiences in investing and advising new companies – especially in the US market.
Scott is a founding partner of GGV Capital - a Silicon Valley venture capital firm with more than $3.8 billion under management. Scott actively promotes innovation and business in Canada and was recently co-chair of C100, Canada's bridge to Silicon Valley, which has helped connect multiple Canadian startups as well as some of the largest Canadian companies to Silicon Valley and inspired the development DenmarkBridge. Scott also serves on the boards of Magna International, Scotiabank, and Loblaw and co-founded Intentional Capital. In all his efforts, the entrepreneur is at his heart and Scott deeply believes in the transformative power of innovation. Scott is based in Silicon Valley.
As Deputy Director General at Confederation of Danish Industry for more than 20 years, Thomas has worked on the agenda of entrepreneurs and internationalization of Danish companies. This work has also been shaped from his time at Harvard Business School. Promoting the best possible business conditions for growth of companies in Denmark has been at the forefront of all his efforts and he has helped many companies access new markets around the world.
Carl Erik Kjærsgaard
Carl Erik is a serial-entrepreneur in the media-advertising and marketing industry. Carl Erik is currently the founder and CEO of the innovative AI media analytics start-up company Blackwood Seven. Carl Erik holds several board positions and with those, he has successfully launched several Danish companies in the US market.
Carl M. Bilbo
Carl M. Bilbo is Corporate Vice President of Commercial Planning at Novo Nordisk A/S. Carl has been with Novo Nordisk since 1992 in various positions in the senior management spurred by his time at London Business School. Carl is passionate about using technology, innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset to change business models and create improvements and better futures for company as well as for customer.