New Accelerator programme for sustainable businesses to help 10 Nordic start-ups

On 11 October 2018, Danske Bank kick-started a 10-week training programme for 10 specifically selected Nordic start-ups. The aim is to help them fine-tune their business plan and increase their growth opportunities.

From October 2018 to January 2019, all 10 start-ups will have a temporary base at SingularityU in Copenhagen and take part in a programme targeted precisely at their type of business. Only start-ups with a publicly declared goal of contributing to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals were considered for participation in the programme.

The common characteristic of the 10 selected impact start-ups is that their products are designed to help solve environmental or social issues.
“It is Danske Bank’s ambition to help Nordic start-ups achieve a break-through and subsequent growth,” says Klavs Hjort, head of Business Innovation at Danske Bank.

“Our new Accelerator programme builds on the initiatives introduced in recent years, primarily the launch of the portals The Hub and +impact, which are virtual meeting rooms for tech start-ups and investors. It is our hope that a targeted effort over 10 weeks, including mentoring, training and networking, for these 10 businesses will multiply their chances of survival.”

In this way, we create jobs at businesses that strive to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Many of these businesses have a massive drive but lack the business understanding. Danske Bank can help them build competencies in terms of fine-tuning their business concept and focus and thus make them attractive to investors.

Klavs Hjorth

Head of Business Innovation 

Match for investors
The idea is that practice makes perfect. Establishing a viable business requires time to focus, high-quality input and lots of training in terms of fine-tuning what exactly you have to offer customers.

“What do you as start-up need to do to convince prospective investors that you have a viable business concept? That is the key question for these start-ups to answer, and over the course of the intensive 10 weeks, experts will at their disposal to help them focus on testing their message and product,” says Klavs Hjort.


World-class networking

The Finnish travel agency Arctos focuses on ‘sustainable tourism’ and is one of the 10 start-ups selected for the programme. CEO and founder Robert Nuorteva knows exactly what the main benefit of relocating business development to Copenhagen for 10 weeks will be: “First and foremost, we get access to world-class networking,” says Robert Nuorteva. “It is a unique opportunity for us to work side-by-side with other companies which are driven by the same ambition that the purpose of their business should be to strengthen sustainability and have experts test whether our product will perform in the market.”

Facts about the participating start-ups

  • 10 start-ups from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway take part in the +impact Accelerator programme running from October 2018 to January 2019
  • In total, the 10 start-ups support about nine of the UN’s 17 global Sustainable Development Goals
  • Participation in the programme is free of charge
  • Danske Bank and Norwegian company Katapult are responsible for the programme and accommodation. There is no requirement for Danske Bank to have invested in the selected start-ups or for the start-ups to be or become customers of Danske Bank

Facts about Katapult

Katapult is a Norwegian company specialising in spotting and arranging accelerator programmes for start-ups with a sustainability focus.

Read more about Katapult