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Science City-partners in deal to support University start-ups

Lighthouse Launch-funding for student start-ups include access to University of Copenhagen innovation centre KU-Lighthouse

Researchers and students may dream of starting their own business. Their likelihood of actually succeeding just multiplied in our innovation district. University of Copenhagen recently entered into agreement with Accelerace, which is one of Denmark’s’ most experienced start-up incubators. Both are Copenhagen Science City-partners. Thanks to their deal some 37,000 students and 5,000 researchers will gain access to top notch start-up support. By Jes Andersen.

A highly experienced start-up accelerator

Since the accelerators’ launch in 2008, Accelerace has helped over 900 start-ups realize their potential. The companies have gone on to raise millions of Euros in investments and with the collaboration, the university hopes to contribute to creating even more research-intensive growth companies in Denmark.

We have some of the world’s strongest research environments and a lot of young talent who are passionate about solving the world’s challenges. Now they get access to leading knowledge and training on how to create a successful business. Our ambition is for the University of Copenhagen to develop into one of the best universities in terms of research, education, and innovation in the coming years”, says David Dreyer Lassen, vice-chancellor for research and innovation, University of Copenhagen and Chairman of Copenhagen Science City.

More and better start-ups

University of Copenhagen recently adopted their first ever innovation strategy. One strategic goal is to increase the university’s collaboration with existing innovation ecosystem actors. The agreement with Accelerace is a concrete and important step in this direction. For Copenhagen Science City it is a welcome development.

An innovation ecosystem like ours grows stronger every time one or more partners increase collaboration. The university has a fine history of supporting spinouts and start-ups. The new arrangement with one of Europe’s most experienced deep tech accelerators can only make their efforts even more successful, and we in the innovation district look forward to welcoming more and better start-ups originating in the fine minds at University of Copenhagen”: Kristoffer Klebak, Head of Secretariat, Copenhagen Science City.

Potential for growth-companies

Accelerace was originally established by start-up community Symbion, which is another Copenhagen Science City-partner. They see great potential for creating more growth companies with origins at University of Copenhagen.

Accelerace stands on the shoulders of the more than 900 startups we have helped through the early stages. Knowledge has been built on top of knowledge for each company, and that is what we contribute, both to the companies we invest in and now also to students and researchers at the University of Copenhagen” – Peter Torstensen, CEO Accelerace & Symbion.

Learning from those that learned by doing

Using the new offer can make a big difference. Not least because entrepreneurs meet advisors and mentors who have themselves been through the process of building a business. The mentors are now sharing their insights with the next generation of entrepreneurs.’

Accelerace made a big difference to the first phase of our business. After seeing how much it meant to us to get that help, I also decided that I should be part of the mentor network”, says Mark Højgaard, founder of the company Coinify.

Offering opportunities for students and researchers

In years to come, University of Copenhagen will invite students and researchers to access knowledge-based tools and material from Accelerace on a digital platform. Teams with a good idea can also access Accelerace’s mentoring network through the university’s new innovation centre, KU Lighthouse, which is also open to companies, investors and experts. In the long term, the activities can have great significance for the University of Copenhagen.

The University of Copenhagen was created to carry out research, education and innovation. It is therefore also our ambition to be an open university that interacts with the outside world, so that our knowledge does the greatest possible good in society. It is natural that, as an internationally leading university, we offer our researchers and students good opportunities if they want to start a company”: David Dreyer Lassen, vice-chancellor for research and innovation and Chairman of Copenhagen Science City.

About Accelerace

Accelerace was created in 2008 by the entrepreneurial environment Symbion. This is an entrepreneurial environment for innovative startups and companies which also makes investments. More than 900 companies have gone through the Accelerace programmes. Collectively these companies have raised millions of euro from investors. The network of mentors and business advisors also act as business angels. The University of Copenhagen is a co-owner of Symbion. Read more at

About the collaboration with UCPH

The University of Copenhagen and Accelerace want to create a shared method for developing university startups. This is done by UCPH using material developed by Accelerace, including courses and teaching material, which are made available via a digital platform. The material, as well as access to mentors from Accelerace, will also be used in the annual courses and workshops offered in the UCPH innovation centre KU Lighthouse.

About Copenhagen Science City

Copenhagen Science City is a two square kilometre innovation district in the heart of the Danish capital. Here, University of Copenhagen, University Hospital Rigshospitalet and University College Copenhagen are working together with start-up community Symbion to create optimal conditions for students and researchers dreaming of starting a business, and for companies who need to develop, validate or test their products in collaboration with the knowledge institutions. Significant portions of the university’s research and training in science and health and medical sciences are located in the innovation district.