This Monday, the award show Ivækstprisen took place in Copenhagen. Six startup prizes and one jury prize were presented to an array of new companies ranging from new bubbly beverages to research tools – but mostly beverages.
It is the beginning of the Global Entrepreneurship Week. And what better way to begin a full seven days in the name of entrepreneurship than to host an award show?
Six startup prizes were handed out at Ivækstprisen and in keeping with tradition one jury prize. But not everything was exactly like the year prior. The award for This Year’s Female Entrepreneur was discontinued and instead was replaced by the award This Year’s Pattern Breaker. Not because there are too few women but because the ones that have won the award earlier have been ambivalent about the gendered label.
The award show was held at Ase Headquarters, a union targeting self-employed, in Copenhagen. Here, Ivækst treated the guests to cocktails, sandwiches, and snacks; serial entrepreneur and angel investor Tommy Ahlers was responsible for the keynote; and during the break, Royal Feet Factory played a couple of songs before the final prizes were presented.
But let’s get to it; Ivækstprisen 2017:
This Year’s Idealist
The Apple Girl
Hannah Michaud upcycles food waste into fashion. To put it more directly she turns apples into leather. She’s inspired by nature and in her own words, The Apple Girl is always experimenting, focusing on understanding, learning from, and emulating strategies used by living things, with the intention of creating a 100 percent biodegradable material comparable to conventional animal leather.
This Year’s Special Prize
Washa and Berendsen
(This prize is always matched according to the theme of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, and this year it is the startup/corporate collab of 2017)
Washa is an online laundry and dry cleaning service. Washa picks up, washes, and deliver your laundry straight to your door within 48 hours. They tend to both privates and companies and the three childhood friends behind Washa; Karim Ben M’Barek, Jannick Christensen, and Max Børglum Stripp, quickly got backed by the large textile maintenance services Berendsen.
This collaboration has given Washa access to Berendsen’s laundries and led to an exponential growth of almost 40 employees, 40.000 active customers, and a monthly revenue of 1,2 million Danish crowns.
This Year’s Daredevil
Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Company
Behind Sparkling Tea Company are award-winning sommelier Jacob Kochemba and senior businessman Bo Sten Hansen. Together they have set out to build a company founded on Nordic innovation and Asian Tea traditions and serve it from a Champagne bottle, as Bo Sten Hansen puts it. The result is a new category of unique bubbly beverages with or without alcohol. A refreshing drink that Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury hotels, and wine shops in all of Scandinavia have already adopted.
This Year’s Pattern Breaker
Maybe it has to do with Dane’s love of alcohol and “hygge,” but This Year’s Pattern Breaker is also a company within the beverage business. Nohrlund produces organic cocktails. As the first premixed Cocktail ever, this spring Nohrlund won both silver, gold, and a double gold medal for their concoctions at the World’s largest spirit competition in San Francisco. From being the brainchild of founder Anders Houman, Norhlund today consists of six employees and a 1500 KVM production facility that can produce 1700 cocktails an hour.
This Year’s Young Hope
At the age of 14, Carl Kronika decided to become an entrepreneur. Today he is 18 and the founder of Copus, a PR and digital communication business that he has built from scratch with his young, ambitious team. They already compete with the big bureaus and have brought Carlsberg Group (again with the alcohol!) into their fold.
This Year’s Growth Adventurer
Yes, you’ve guessed it. This year’s startup that has seen great growth is of course in the business of alcohol. WineFamly was started by Thomas Pedersen not long ago as a wine club where sommelier – amateurs as well as experienced – can order win and other specialties at cost price directly from the wine farmer. Early on, WineFamly was backed by Thomas Herman, Morten Strunge, and Rasmus Jensen and now, a little less than a year later WineFamly has more than 7000 members.
The Jury Prize
Each year, Ivækst praises one private individual’s contribution to the startup scene in Denmark. This year, André Rogaczewski, the CEO of Netcompany got the honor. Netcompany is one of those rare Danish companies with more than 1000 employees. They deliver business critical IT solutions and consultancy to their customers and help them manage and operate IT solutions and achieve business benefits in the digital world.