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Growing Food: Take aways from a day of investment insights

April 20, 2018

Why do investors invest in start-ups? What does it mean to have an investor in your start-up? What characterizes different types of investors? These were some of the questions answered on 17 April when Growing Food CPH hosted a day of investment insights. 

Introduction to raising capital, by Tom Weidner, Investment Manager CAPNOVA:

Why capital? And why are people the most important thing for investors? The answers from Tom were that:

  • Capital is a means to accelerate your growth.
  • Although investors interfere in your business, they also give you access to – usually – indispensable capital, network, knowledge, sparring etc.
  • The most important thing for an investor is people! Because people make a company
  • And investors are always looking for a good team with the right qualifications, who are able to make a good pitch, who have a short an concise business plan etc.

Check out Tom’s presentation here (in Danish) to get all his advice and tips from the seminar. 

From having investors in my start-up to being an investor, by Louise Ertman Baunsgaard, Business Angel and founder of LETZ SUSHI:

Louise did not bring a presentation for the seminar. Instead she told her personal story and dished out tips for raising capital and having investors onboard – from both the start-up and investor perspective. Louise took a loan in her apartment to found LETZ SUSHI in 2003 and only later on did she take in investors. After selling her share of LETZ SUSHI in 2017, she joined the Danish Business Angels Association, and now invests her private money in start-ups.

Here are Louise’s key tips and insights:

  • Get a mentor or perhaps an advisory board – it’s important to have someone to spar with!
  • Investors will expect advantages if you expect them to commit their time to the project
  • Most investors want regular updates and see no news as bad news – make sure to align expectation when it comes to communication
  • Make a one-pager presentation about your start-up

CAPNOVA and the Danish Innovation Incubators (Innovationsmiljøerne), by Anders Holme, Investment Manager CAPNOVA:

Who are the Danish Innovation Incubators? CAPNOVA and the three other Innovation Incubators in Denmark, invest in early stage start-ups where the risk is typically too high for other investors. They only invest in innovative start-ups that have had revenues of max. DKK 50,000 or are younger than 18 months. The four Danish Innovation Incubators are: CAPNOVA, PreSeed Ventures, Borean Innovation and Syddansk Innovation. CAPNOVA is an active investor who helps portfolio companies in many ways, for example by:

  • Leveraging our network, including large companies such as Arla and FOSS
  • Consulting on soft funding and crowdfunding options
  • Sparring on business development

Learn more about the Investment Incubators and CAPNOVA, including how we invest and what we look for in a start-up, and see examples of CAPNOVA’s previous food-tech investments in Anders’ presentation here.

Danske Bank & The Hub, by Jeppe Moesgaard Jørgensen, Nordic Growth Advisor at Danske Bank Growth:

Danske Bank has a mission of becoming the preferred partner for start-ups in the Nordic region. In collaboration with Rainmaking Loft they have started The Hub, which is now the biggest recruitment platform for start-ups in the Nordic countries and offers free tools such a legal hotline and pitch deck templates. Although banks are often reluctant to grant start-ups a loan due to the high risk involved, Danske Bank offers a host of other services tailored to start-ups, such as:

  • A specialised growth advisor
  • International growth support
  • A network within the start-up ecosystem

See Jeppe’s presentation here.