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Digital Tech Startups

The future is digital, and a key goal for Denmark is to ensure that some of the next gen digital tech startups are created in Denmark.

In particular, our aim is to help create new digital startups in Denmark based on research that will give the startup a unique competitive advantage. 


What we want to achieve

1) Educate 100+ digital researchers in how to start a business

How do you start a business based on state-of-the-art research? How can you go from being a researcher to being an entrepreneur? What particular challenges are deep tech spin-out startups facing?  In DIREC, we want to train and prepare digital researchers in creating startup companies based on their research. We organize courses and collect best-practice to achieve the goal. 

2) Create 5+ startups based on DlREC projects

It can be difficult to consider when a research idea is ready to be transformed into a startup, but we want to give the researchers working in DIREC the best possible support and opportunities for creating startups based on their research.

3) Support the community around digital startups

In DIREC, we want to support the community around digital tech startups by providing meeting places for upcoming entrepreneurs. One example is the conference Digital Tech Summit which invites entrepreneurs from all Danish universities to attend and share their experiences.


Digital Tech Summit 2023 – AI Transforming Business

8 – 9 November 2023
DTS – AI Transforming Business is the largest deep tech conference in the Nordic countries and the annual meeting place for researchers from the universities in Denmark and their partners in Danish industry.

Young Researcher Entrepreneurship Academy

22-24 May 2022
Join the Young Researcher Entrepreneurship Academy PhD summer school to grow your entrepreneurial mindset and learn how that can benefit both your current research and future career.


Digital Entrepreneurship Guide​

The project will collect state-of-the-art knowledge and research results to promote digital entrepreneurship in general and at Danish universities. This will be done through document studies and a review of relevant research literature.

In order to gain insight into the barriers and opportunities for entrepreneurship for the individual researcher, a SWOT analysis is carried out to reveal the experience of this among scientific staff at the universities under the auspices of DIREC through a workshop. The result must complement insights gathered via document studies and literature reviews, etc. to point out opportunities to strengthen entrepreneurship in the individual researcher and at the university in general.

The results from the project are disseminated through a policy paper and a concise, research-oriented Digital Entrepreneurship Guide, and through presentations at e.g. seminars and conferences.

The project will contribute to:

  • Increase the scope of entrepreneurship. Prepare an entrepreneurship guide that can support the researchers’ incentive and opportunities to succeed as entrepreneurs in the digital field.
  • Gains for research. The project will focus on how entrepreneurship can strengthen research practice.
  • Gains for universities. Create input for universities with a focus on innovation efforts and strategies at institute level.
  • Increased insight into factors that can hinder or support digital entrepreneurship. This may include knowledge of how incentives for researchers can be strengthened, how institutes’ and universities’ innovation efforts can promote entrepreneurship, the importance of teaching researchers in entrepreneurship, and the importance of IP for the commercialization of research in the digital field.

Workstream manager

Mark Bernhard Riis

Head of Innovation

Technical University of Denmark
Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science
T: +45 61 39 63 54​

Contributing persons

Aalborg University
Department of Computer Science

Anders Pall Skött

Head of Business and Innovation

University of Copenhagen
Department of Computer Science

Kasper Hallenborg

Head of Department

University of Southern Denmark
The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute

Jørgen Villadsen

Associate Professor

Technical University of Denmark
DTU Compute

Peter Ibsen

Senior Business Unit Manager

IT University of Copenhagen
Open Entrepreneurship

Søren Poulsen

Special Consultant

Aarhus University
Department of Computer Science

Helle Zinner Henriksen

Head of Department

Copenhagen Business School
Department of Digitalization

Martin Møller

Chief Scientific Officer

The Alexandra Institute