Six hot insights from TechBBQ 2022


Since 2012, TechBBQ has become the place to be in Copenhagen for startups, investors, organizations, and companies to meet new people, explore opportunities and build new business relationships. This enormous event concentrated on 310 speakers, more than 600 Venture Capitalists and business angels, 1800 startup representatives, and 400 community partners this year.

In 2022, the event relocated to a new venue inside a locomotive workshop. This new place gave more space for stages, exhibitions, networking, and matchmaking areas. As you can imagine, TechBBQ conferences, fireside chats, panels, and presentations were simultaneously in different stages.

So, what did we learn from this edition? These are some of our learnings that may be insightful for you too:

Danish startups continue to struggle to get funds and the right talent

According to Innovation Centre Denmark, this country has since 2000 been the birthplace of 11 new unicorns. Seven of these have subsequently relocated their headquarters out of Denmark. However, the reasons still are the same: access to talent and access to finance. During the session “Politician's perspective: expanding the talent pool", Rubben Keene, Lars Lokke, Esben Gadsbøll, and Nicolaj Christensen discussed a harsh truth: the yearly net inflow of international talent to Denmark has stagnated.

The current number does not meet the demand of businesses in desperate need of talent. According to the participants, governments can take some actions to fight this problem, such as lower taxation on investments; motivating students to continue in Denmark after their studies; stop non-sense policies that are an obstacle for highly educated talents to work in Denmark. For that to happen, government officials need to establish a more robust and closer dialogue with startups.

Remote work can make startups more competitive compared to well-established companies

Leon van der Laan, startup advisor and founder of startup advisory REMODE, believes that if startups can adapt internal processes to the remote environment, this might give them a competitive edge in sourcing talents and expanding operations. “When companies work on‐site only, they are limited to local hires. However, when they transfer all operations online, the entire world becomes their talent pool”, he said.

Innovation Centre Denmark has identified different global tech trends that will dominate the future of business, such as green, industry, life science, space and mobility, tech, and quantum. Emerging industries are carbon removal, supply chain security quantum, web 3.0, and the metaverse. If you want to know more about them, you can check the full report here: https://globaltechtrends.techbbq.dk/

Sweden has risen in the ranking of the best countries for Startups

Sweden is now no.5 in the Annual Global Startup Ecosystem report produced by StartupBlink. According to this organization, Sweden has scaled five places in just two years, overpassing countries like Germany, France, and China.

Startups often fail to provide the correct information to investors that would help them decide to invest.

During the session “Why funding fails? - What we learned from 2000 funding applications”, Tuomas Pahlman from Finish company Hopohopo.io presented the core elements that investors consider before making a decision. It seems obvious, but many startups fail to deliver the basic information that makes investors say “Yes!”.

If you are part of the startup ecosystem, there is one thing you can do to support diversity and inclusion every day.

What is that? Nora Bavey (Unconventional ventures) revealed the advice during the session “Diversity isn't just about Gender and Ethnicity!”. She said that when one is in a meeting, one should always try to bring an additional person to the room. This simple practice can help the team get new perspectives, ideas, and others to feel listened to and included. This practice seems again obvious but very easy to forget.

Our team were glad to join the the Southern Sweden team at TechBBQ. We met many investors who were curious about tech ecosystem in Skåne region. For example, venture capitalist Tim Draper who visited the Southern Sweden booth and talked with colleagues from Almi. Investors are starting to look outside of the typical hot startup hub. The Skåne startup scence has reached a level of maturity where success breads success.