February 8, 2016
My name is Søren, and I work as a chief consultant on entrepreneurship at the Danish Ministry of Business and Growth. What I do best is international negotiation, fundraising, crisis management and entrepreneurship education – and I am a true believer in the theories on supporting and developing entrepreneurial ecosystems. The latter is why my boss decided to send me to Milwaukee to follow the Scalerator program in detail for the next four weeks.
In Denmark, Scale Up Milwaukee has a very good reputation, so I am here to check up on you to see, if you are really as good, as I am told.
At my work in the ministry, I have been a project manager on several large projects where we face some of the same challenges as you. Three innovative and upscaled projects are worth mentioning:
- Early Warning is a crisis management tool where more than 100 volunteer business people every year help 600 danish companies in a severe crisis, often on the very edge of bankruptcy. Around two thirds of these companies are saved, and the program has received so much international attention during the last two years, that the European Commission recently decided to invest more than 4 million USD to replicate the program in four new European countries in 2016.
- Rethink Challenge is a 60-hour innovation contest inside the ministry where 100 civil servants develop from initial one minute pitch on Friday afternoon to final project presented to a professional jury on Sunday evening – all in less than 3 days.
- The Fund for Entrepreneurship is a nation-wide program to promote entrepreneurial teaching methods and help education institutions (from first grade in elementary school to PhD) to implement them. The focus is on changing the mindset away from ’a safe job mentality’ towards entrepreneurship, job creation and growth.
If I could make a wish for what to take back home to Denmark in the beginning of March, it would be mainly three things. First, I hope to see a program that has incorporated and implemented a lot of the theories about entrepreneurial ecosystems. Second, I would like a model for scaling that could be transferred to other clusters in Denmark. And third, I would be happy to see the interaction between the different parts of the ecosystem in Milwaukee and have intense conversations with some of the companies involved.
I will present my findings and reactions at the end of my 4 weeks here. More information to follow. I hope to see you there.
Off course work should not be your whole life, so I am also hoping to get very much acquainted with Milwaukee Bucks, Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Admirals, while I am here.
Entrepreneurial Bureaucrat and Chief Advisor
Danish Business Authority
Ministry of Business and Growth