Startup Weekend Challenge – 1

Danske Bank have one of the challenges for the upcoming Startup Weekend:

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe’s economy, representing 99% of all businesses in the EU, which also holds true for the Nordics. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU (

As time passes, SMEs are faced with increased globalisation, digitalisation, advances in technologies and so on. These factors, combined with a lack of resources (financial, human, time, etc.) create a challenging environment for such a diverse and heterogeneous segment.

Despite their economic importance, SMEs have been widely underserved by banks for a long time. Things are starting to change now and banks are slowly providing help, focusing primarily on increasing access to capital (micro loans, working capital, etc.). However, SMEs have a great demand for a different array of services and products. They want to spend less time on administrative tasks and focus more on their core business. So, how can we all help?

How can we make it easier for SMEs to run their business, lowering admin work and providing additional insights into their business through value added tools and services that utilize multiple data points (transactions, accounting, salaries, sales, etc.)? 

Summary & additional points:

  • SMEs are the backbone of our economy and they are facing many challenges
  • SMEs have been underserved and need more tools to run efficiently
  • Danske Bank has the dedicated goal to support this segment in their growth journey
  • Danske Bank’s new Developer Portal will make it easier for Third Party Providers (TPPs) to create new solutions for SMEs using our APIs and multiple data points.

Get Your Ticket here.

Get a fast start with the right API


NRP (Ny Realkredit Platform) is a REST API in working progress designed to support Totalkredit’s* lending procedures. A subset of this API will be available for you to use with a limited set of test data.

Learn more about the API at or shorturl (Swagger/OpenAPI specifications).
The Swagger specifications contain detailed information for each API.

Customer API

Mortgage customers, lookup information about customers such as name and address.

Mortgage Loan API

A customer’s active mortgage loan information provides details such as:

  • instalment schedule
  • list of borrowers
  • funding information
  • real properties (collateral)

Real Property API

This information includes both basic information regarding the real property, such as address
and usage category, as well as selected information from appraisals.

Good luck!

We are very excited to see how you make use of the API, in the context of existing borrowers
(self-service), apps for people browsing the real estate market or new uses of our data together
with other publicly available information.

*Totalkredit A/S is a mortgage lending institution in Denmark that provides residential mortgage loans,
offered through partner mortgage brokers from local and national banks.



Geomatic API

During the Hackathon you will have access to information provided by Geomatic (a danish data provider) through their API. The API will provide you with unique and rich data sources, including:

  • Addressed and property specific data on “Property Data (BBR & ESR)”
  • Anonymize profile data at the address level from the “Danish Demographical Universe”, with predictions on demographic and social economic status.

You can read more about Geomatic’s API at the following link – including technical details on
the API and an account of the specific variables the data source provides: (only available in Danish, sorry!)

We hope you will find this data source highly useful and inspiring, and are looking forward to
see what applications you can come up with.

Please note that specific terms and conditions are attached to the use of Geomatic data –
specifically, when using the Geomatic API for this Hackathon you are agreeing to only retrieve
data on the addresses provided by Nykredit, and you furthermore agree to delete any data
retrieved though the Geomatic API by the end of the Hackathon.

And one more


Challenges from Nykredit

For the upcoming Techstars Startup Weekend Fintech Copenhagen, we have two challenges that we are bringing to the attendees. They are brought together with Nykredit, who is also hosting Startup Weekend. Each Challenge have a separate jury, who will be judging the teams applicable for the challenges.

Challenge 1:
The future of home ownership?

Powered by Totalkredit

Today 7 out of 10 Danes will become home owners at some point in their lifetime. 

If more people wish to become home owners, how can we make that possible?

And how can we facilitate owning a home earlier in life? 

For many people becoming a home owner is one of the larger decisions in life. Understanding a set of complex financial products as well as the financial obligations connected to home ownership is making the decision process a nerve wrecking experience for many. 

Nykredit has existed in over 165 years as an important partner in helping Danes making the dream of becoming homeowners come true. It is our ambition that through a close partnership with Totalkredit we will continue to be an attractive financial partner for homeowners in the future. We will secure this position by developing new services which meets the customers’ needs and by continuously challenging the market.

That’s why the challenge is: How can we make buying a home more accessible ?

For inspiration and considering 

  • Sharing economy 
  • Micro segmenting 
  • Creating sustainable communities by digitization for rural areas 
  • New use of buildings/adaptation of buildings for new purposes
  • Crowdfunding or crowdinvestment
  • Partnerships across sectors


Challenge 2:
Business banking services for the future

Powered by BEC

The business banking space is ripe for disruption – small and medium sized businesses customers (SMB’s) are setting higher expectations towards hassle free digital solutions, that can support the success of their business. At the same time, new competition is entering the market with digitally nimble fintech offerings such as low-cost international transfers, billing automation or financing solutions, etc.

The accelerating wave of digital innovations includes new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and robotics that enables the development of new products and services to meet the changing expectations of the SMB customer. In parallel the new Payment Service Directive (PSD2) forces banks to provide access to customer account data and payment initiation via API’s, which opens new opportunities for third parties to develop customer facing app’s or partner with banks.

So how can we help SMB’s with their financial needs, by utilizing the future of digital business banking services.

  • What are the customer expectations of today’s SMB customer, towards their financial service provider?
  • How can we make one or more unique concepts for today’s SMB customers?
  • How can we use technology to help the SMB customer in their day to day business?
  • You must consider the PSD2 and open banking trend, where multiple accounts and payments can be tied together and data can be extracted across banks

What you need to know about validating your idea with Facebook on a budget

Plenty of first-time entrepreneurs I had a chance to meet at Startup Weekends and while facilitating corporate hackathons, fall short when it comes to validation of their market assumptions. There are so many unsuccessful business ideas but yours does not have to be one of them.

Most startup teams proceed straight from their idea to the production phase without validation of their target audience, product, or idea. This is a major problem, as the business will not know whether their idea is indeed a requirement in the market. To add, I see many “nice to have” ideas instead of “need to have”. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify the problem your team is solving.

Any novel business idea is good but building something does not necessarily mean it will bring in the market. Take the time to validate your market assumptions and the product and it will save you plenty of energy, money, and time.

In this post, I’m writing about how to use Facebook as a validation tool as one of the ways how to test the waters.

What you should know about Facebook Ads

You can validate market assumptions and the product using several ways and Facebook is by far one of the cheapest options as you can even do it on a budget.

Facebook can be used to develop targeted ads for a specific audience that you feel would be your main audience. You will be able to gain feedback on your business on items such as proposition value, the product offering, the core messaging, and the main audience.

The knowledge of such information will be essential to the implementation of a stable content strategy for the business. It will also enable you to gain knowledge on how to connect your audience to your content depending on the consumers’ individual journeys.

Why Facebook Ads?

Facebook Ads are the cheapest alternative and they enable you to target a specific audience on a micro level. You can send text messages to a particular group initially and later extend within a larger segment of your audience. With Facebook, you can establish your maximum budget based on the intended lifetime of your ads and allow running of the test then narrow the demographics down to the target audience.

Another advantage of using Facebook is that it is very easy and you do not need substantial tech expertise to run the campaign. Ensure, however, that you read on the best practices to take and monitor your efforts closely. I would really recommend taking a look Neil Patel’s blog post on running Facebook Ads.

Create a Facebook page

If you are validating an idea or starting up a business, there is no need to spend too much time creating content to add to the business page. You will simply need to go straight to the point while making sure it is short and clear without losing track. Create the page, put up extra information about the business, and finally add the cover picture and the logo.

Make an event

After building an audience actively from your site’s visitors, you can create an Facebook event later and promote it to them to increase potential first sale gradually. But first step first – create interest and test the waters if there is a demand for your service. Don’t wait, do it and figure things along the way.

You will notice that while creatin a Facebook event page, there is an URL section. In case you don’t have a website yet and you want a landing page for some reason, you can try using Typeform for instance.

In late April 2017, when Aleksander, Geza and I launched Startup Weekend MEGA concept in Copenhagen (the event took place in November 2017), we did not have a website. Therefore, we had to be creative.

We decided to set up a Typeform as our main landing page and through this form, potential attendees were able to claim their early bird ticket once the Eventbrite page will be set up. It was a pretty quick and inexpensive solution that worked brilliantly for us. We kept it simple by asking:

  1. Name
  2. Email
  3. What role describes you the best? (designer, developer, engineer, business, marketer, etc)
  4. Do you have an idea, you want to pitch for the weekend?

Join Groups and Post

One of the keys to making use of Facebook groups is exposing yourself to a potential audience so you can listen to what they have to say and find solutions for them.

Engagement and connection to the audience is the goal as opposed to forcefully pushing your idea or product down their throats. Certain entrepreneurship and business groups can have allowances for promotions but you have to confirm the group rules and follow them accordingly. Post helpful, motivational, and inspirational content to your specific audience and lend a hand where your abilities see fit.

Facebook groups are great in that they allow you to get in touch with an audience sharing the same interests, as you be it productivity, books, travel, crafts, business, or otherwise.

Ask questions and answer

Part of connecting and engaging with the audience is through asking questions and answering them. Ask definitive questions concerning issues other people have that are connected to the work you do so you can obtain insight. It is also beneficial to help when questions are directed to you and you are able to assist.

Choose certain groups that interest you currently and select the ideal ones to concentrate on when you have spent enough time gauging people’s connection and response to you.

Ever since building Community Canvas over the summer together with Aleksander and Geza, I shifted my focus heavily to community building. Moreover, I joined many Facebook groups and conversations that address building communities as a result.

By asking questions and engaging with the relevant groups, you can gain quite a lot of insights. In the Facebook post (pic above) in one of the community building groups, I managed to get 11 really relevant answers to my questions from community builders around the world.

Consider what your customers would find interesting and these interests will help take you to special groups with these customers. Join these groups and initiate conversations with group members related to your knowledge or area of expertise.

Create an ad

Develop a message your potential clients could identify with. This could be easy for you if you have talked to other business owners or potential customers to find out what is needed. Establish a campaign to obtain likes for your website using the ad.

Move over, ensure you address the problem faced by prospective customers and mention a probable solution. Identify and use a hook in order to get more people to click to become fans enabling you to directly message them.

It has never been cheaper to test an idea

Try using Facebook Ads next time you have an idea or when you are about to do a market validation. To add, Facebook even gives you a rough number of how many people your targeting and your potential market size. Go and try to create an ad. You will be able to get some stats for your potential market.

It’s pretty cheap and easy not to test before investing time and money building something. The next step is to figure out exactly how you are going to solve the problem you found, and that’s the epic part.


Thank you for reading! Click Like to say “thank you” and help others discover this post.

Feel free to reach out via LinkedIn, send me a tweet @Jernej or follow me on Instagram.


The 4 people, 1 pizza team startup setup

Most managers are of the view that their employees should communicate more with each other for the best results.
Thus, they stack them up in a single group and push for all of them to work together. This forces people who have nothing in common or people who have a rubbed shoulders in the past to work together.
Increasing your group members does seem like it will directly yield positive results with respect to keeping time and providing good quality work.
Jeff Bezos, who is the founder and CEO of Amazon, was the opposing idea. He did not value communication within the workplace and followed this up by creating a two-pizza team rule.
This rule has upgraded into a philosophy that requires the ideal team to be the size of a family that shares a family-style pizza. Just as the saying goes, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”.
The rationales behind the four-people pizza team plan:
  • Communication is the main issue. As groups increase in size and number, the communication deteriorates. Experts attribute this deterioration to the links within the group. A group of six people already has about fifteen links. For each person to communicate, it may take a lot of time, energy, and the difference in opinions might even cause conflict. To coordinate such a large group in the performance of a single task will lower the general productivity of the entire team.
  • Frustration and stress. Experts are of the view that people in teams tend to be more stressed and frustrated. Taking into account the number of links within the team, there is bound to be one individual who may feel left out or underappreciated.
The need to get the approval of the rest of the members deteriorates the situation even further by reducing their focus from the task. In addition to this, as the team increases the feeling of support diminishes leading to frustration, stress, and reduced communication between the links.
Smaller teams are supportive of each member’s needs and want. The team members supplement each other to achieve the best.

Tips to Selecting A for Pizza Team Startup

  1. Set the standard magic number- This four people pizza rule was coined by Bob Sutton, who is a Navy Seal. He supports this by stating that single digits work better. He equates the number to that needed during combat. Thus, if you have large teams start splitting them into sub-groups of four people.
  2. Cheers rule- This rule aims at bringing the members closer. This rule is a form of team building. Creating tasks that the members can perform together. The idea is to make the four people tight-knit in that they will feel the need to support each other gradually through tasks.
  3. Transparency as the secret ingredient-The teams needs to come up with systems that will help them access data and forecasts more openly with the aim of managing their work. Miscommunication and misinformation are very common in groups that have more linkages. Smaller groups tend to accommodate “self-service transparency”. This is the type of transparency that distributes information and power via tools, processes, and systems, which help people move forward as a team
This is enough to make managers divide their teams into smaller groups that can perform more tasks in a shorter period. Larger teams make people overconfident, which reduce the quality of the work done. It also makes the team members underestimate the cost and time taken to complete the task. This leads to overdue deadlines with pathetic input.

Stipulated Tasks for the Four People Pizza Team Startup

  • Hustler– This team member works to convince the prospective customers to purchase their goods or subscribe to their services. The hustler should be very convincing by simply using their words to wheel in the buyers.
  • Visual wizard– This member is responsible for creating the brand of the team. The wizard should be creative and innovative enough to come up with ideas and bring them to life. The wizard should be able to come up with ideas from scratch.
  • Technical magician– This is the programmer of the team. He or she should be well versed with technology as it advances. They are responsible for creating the team system that will cater to the work transparency, security of ideas and finances, among other things. They should also be exceptional coders, who are able to spellbind different APIs.
  • Growth hacker– This member is responsible for the online image of the brand. They should work with the hustler to make sure that they market their brand properly to attract the highest number of clientele base. They should strategize plans with the hustler to come up with ways of handling digital channels and social media platforms.

What you need to know about working with lifetime value and customer acquisition cost

Do you know and understand what drives your business?
Are you aware of the health of your business?
Do you know how to measure the return on your marketing investments and sales?

Numerous underlying values and factors affect how your business runs. Very few business owners are able to predict the state of their business in the near future. The idea is to move away from the usual growth rates, revenue, user engagement numbers, total user figures, and EBITDA, among others. Relying on this limits the health prediction to its current state instead of the future. This is a leeway for future losses. Secure your business by applying the LTV: CAC ratio.

What Is The LTV: CAC Ratio?

This ratio will help you work out your return and predict your future return. Subscription companies popularly use this ratio. It works out the connection between the customer’s Lifetime Value (LTV) and the Cost of Acquiring the customer (CAC). Most companies and businesses are faced with a lack of knowledge of the right amount to spend on the customer. These two concepts need to be appreciated one at a time in order to achieve successful results for your business. 

What Is The Lifetime Value?

You need to have some insight on the time and value that an average customer places on your services and products. This period has a close relation to the value that the customer brings to the business; the longer the period the more the value. Below are a few steps to knowing the lifetime value of your customers.

  1. Churn rate– This is the rate at which customers cancel subscriptions within a period. This period is calculated in months. For example, if your business has five hundred customers and in a span of one month, twenty of them cancel their subscription then the rate will be four percent monthly churn. Working out this equation in an inverted position helps to work out the period that customers will stick around for your services.
  2. Gross margin– This margin is measured in percentages. It is the residual profit percentage after paying service and product costs.
  3. Average monthly payment for each customer– This record is also necessary to determine the lifetime value. Just as the name suggests, it is the average subscription payment made by each customer per month.

Thus, all the above values play a part in determining the lifetime value. The equation for determining this is as follows:

Average Monthly Subscription value per customer X (1/Monthly Churn) X Gross percentage margin

The lifetime value is dependent on the level of the business. At the beginning of the business, this value is very minute. In fact, it is lifetime value of the business increases with the growth.

How to Calculate the Customer Acquisition Cost

Calculating this is much easier and direct in comparison to the lifetime value. It includes the entire marketing and sales budget divided by the total new customers within a particular period. This calculation works well for enterprises with a short marketing and sales budget.

This ratio helps enterprises to maintain their numbers with respect to their return in a certain period. Experts advise on recovering the CAC within the first year or so of the business. Therefore, the ratio should technically be LTV: CAC= 3:1. This means that a customer’s value should be substantial enough for an enterprise to acquire the customer. This means that if this ratio gets to 1:1, then the enterprise is spending too much on customer acquisition and will most likely not be able to recover this amount within the stipulated time. It would be beneficial to note that this value does not include fixed costs such as rent, infrastructure or even company salaries. It specifically sticks to 

How Does The Cost Affect Business Operation Costs?

Entrepreneurs are bold and confident about their services and products. This makes some of them believe strongly that they do not have to pay a cent in the acquisition of customers. They assume that customers will hunt them down for their services and goods. However, this is far from the real approach. This mentality makes entrepreneurs fail at the onset of their business startups, which is why they have to start appreciating the beauty of investing and reaping from their efforts after the customers make their purchases and service requests. 

These values are handy for business owners who own enterprises that have a direct connection between the growth of users and revenue. This means that people who own advertising businesses are not likely to benefit from such calculations. Thus, the business that should use these calculations should be able to market to their customers in order for them to get the services and products. The aim of the calculation is to create a new plan that will make the future project of your enterprise more sustainable.

Fintech Accelerators

Fintech has rapidly exploded over the past couple of years. Several Fintech startups have emerged to feed and develop the trend. Fintech has been seen to revolutionize how we approach banking and many people are moving from the old banking ways to more tech-savvy ones. This has led to the rise of Fintech accelerators throughout the world.

Since my last LinkedIn post “Reinventing The Banking Sector” I started to dig deeper into a fact that more banks want to explore accelerator and incubator model to accelerate their business.

Let’s start at the very beginning

Startup accelerators assist entrepreneurs in their journey toward building and running successful companies. The work accelerator and incubator have been used interchangeably to mean the same thing in various forums. However, the main difference between the two is the time they take with entrepreneurs. Accelerators usually take entrepreneurs through programs lasting from three-four months with some company ownership structure while incubator programs generally last more than accelerator model and months with much less strict KPI’s and goals for your company.

Below are a few of the Fintech accelerators and incubators you may come across.

Fintech Innovation Lab

Located in New York, London, and Asia Pacific, this fintech incubator offers a twelve-week mentorship program. Created by Accenture, the program gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and prove themselves alongside the world’s leading banks.

Startup Bootcamp Fintech

This accelerator claims to be the world’s leading accelerator focused on financial innovation. Their 3-month program helps entrepreneurs with free office space, mentorship, global network access, and funding. They also offer money for the team to relocate, partner services and in return, ask for equity stake in the entrepreneur’s business. Startup Bootcamp has fintech programs in Singapore, Mumbai, New York, Amsterdam, Mexico City and London. Check out for current open applications.


Located in London, this fintech accelerator claims to be the largest in Europe for finance, cyber-security, and future cities technology. They have a tailored curriculum, expert mentors, and events aimed at supporting entrepreneurs. Level 39 is wholly owned by the Canary Wharf Group and was launched in 2013. It has had over 90,000 visitors and hosted over 1000 events since its inception.

Barclays Accelerator

Located in London, New York, Cape Town and Tel Aviv, the Barclays Accelerator focuses purely on Fintech startups. It has a 13-month program that is designed to give the enrolled entrepreneurs access to the bank’s network and mentorship from some of the smartest people in the Fintech world.

Citi Fintech Innovation Lab

Located in Tel Aviv, aims to accelerate innovation through comprehensive programs and partnerships for entrepreneurs. They started their accelerator program as a way to participate in the tech ecosystem and first launched in 2013. They have launched 3 classes so far, graduating 33 startups from their four-month program.

Copenhagen Fin Tech

In 2016, Denmark opened its own Fintech Hub as a joint initiative of the Danish Banker’s Association, the City of Denmark and Financial Services Union Denmark in a bid to spur innovation in the Nordic capital.

Copenhagen Fintech is a non-profit organization with partners from different sectors. It is member-driven and aims to connect its entrepreneurs with regulators, policy-makers, educators, researchers, policy-makers and Fintech companies both in Denmark and abroad.


With all these accelerators and incubators situated all over the world, Fintech is sure to grow and develop even more than we can imagine. For entrepreneurs with Fintech solutions but no funding and in need of mentorship, these Fintech accelerators are a good place to start their journey to build their successful businesses.

This blog post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Reinventing The Banking Sector

Over the last five years, financial technology, better known as fintech has exploded. We have seen a rise in very many fintech startups, many of which have proven a threat to the traditional banking sector. In Europe alone, VC-backed fintech deal rose 124% compare to 2012’s total invested money. Just in 2016, European fintech companies raised $1.2B among 179 deals in total.

More and more, we are seeing people moving away from the traditional finance models to a more peer-to-peer model including crowd funding and contact-less payments. This has not been driven by corporate financial giants but by startups such as Kickstarter and Funding Circle.

There are many changes that occurred when it comes to banking in recent years thanks to startups. However, there is one sector that I think has felt the biggest change: loans. The traditional model for giving loans by banks and other financial institutions involved offering loans to borrowers at a higher rate than that offered to savers, thus making a killing off it. Banks were thriving with this model. Then came these startups that were offering a different model peer-to-peer loans.

This meant that you could, through online applications, receive a loan at a much better rate than what the banks were offering. Not only that, while it would take you weeks, to get a bank to approve your loan request after they have thoroughly vetted you, now, these startups are offering you loans in less than 24 hours.

How do these startups do this, you ask? Well, the answer is simple: Data. Using data mining techniques, these companies can easily pull data about you from the internet to get a better understanding of your finances. From your eBay sales and ratings to your Facebook data. This was virtually impossible to do 10 years ago.

What does this mean for banks?

Banks have started to recognize the amount of talent these startups have, and short of hiring them to lead departments in the bank, some of them have started adopting fintech services.

With all this in mind, fintech companies are not about to completely eradicate traditional banks. This is an uphill climb with a lot of traction to overcome at the start. No Fintech product feels as safe as a current account at a bank. Some banks will also gain from the rise of these companies, for example, Square makes it easier for small businesses to receive card payments, thus boosting the bank’s transaction volumes.

However, the Fintech disrupters will change and reshape the finance industry in many ways. Here are three of them:

  • They will cut costs and improve the quality of financial services offered – fintech startups do not have the same regulations, restrictions, and legacy IT systems that banks face. Nor do they have the need to protect the existing business. While banks tend to operate within a specified period of time during the day, these startups function virtually all day every day.
  • They have the advantage of so much online data available to assess risk – They can evaluate your business through social media pages, checking your ratings and getting a general sense of how viable your company is. For banks, risk assessment takes a long time and sometimes, they do not have enough information to go on. Fintech startups can, however, trace your digital presence using data mining techniques
  • Fintech companies will create a more diverse and stable credit base. Banks tend to take in short-term liabilities such as deposits to turn into long-term assets like mortgages. Fintech companies, however, match savers and borrowers directly.

In conclusion, although banks have experienced some unsettling by Fintech companies, both can benefit from each other. One thing that Fintech companies definitely do not have yet, it the large client-base of banks. 42% of financial institution surveyed in Fintech Disruptors 2017 Report, want to explore potential partnerships with fintech startups.

A side note: Within the same report, we can find that 42% of surveyed banks, wants to set up a fintech incubator which honestly for me is quite a high number. Perhaps it is not really surprising data since there are so many corporates who are looking into an incubator model. My worry lies in how much bigger the incubator/accelerator market actually can be and how strong is the market need aka startups needs for such support. Will be interesting to see how “startup programs” for VC-backed and growing startups will develop over the next years.

This blog post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Top 10 Considerations when Starting your Own Company

This is a guest blog post by GenieBelt, Startup Weekend Copenhagen Alumni and now – one of the most promising ConTech startups in Europe, which was recently featured in TechCrunch.

GenieBelt are sharing the considerations that you will have when you are starting up. GenieBelt participated in Startup Weekend back in 2012 (then it was GenieInspect). 

According to recent reports, more and more people are looking forward to starting their own companies. In case you too are thinking of setting up your own company, it is essential to note that: the distance between the thought of starting up and finally being able to take action is usually extremely vast. In addition to this, there is the sad reality that majority of the people presently thinking of starting their own companies would never see through their plans. 

In case you are amongst those who are launching their businesses then welcome to the adventure. First off, it is essential to understand the fact that the odds are not in your favor but again that is precisely why you are doing it. In the event that you decide to bridge the gap and take the plunge know that you are definitely on the right track.  

 In addition to all of the above, below are the top 10 considerations when starting your own company. They include the fact that: 

1. Your business might fail.

In the process of planning to start your company, you should know that in case you fall in step with some of the finer details, chances are that your business will most definitely bite the dust. As a matter of fact, according to reports, the overall business failure rate is set at around 90%. These statistics factor in issues such as the industry type and failure time frame. In addition to the general fact that your business risks failure, it is essential to understand the fact that timing is equally of significant importance.  

2. You are bound to have competition.

In case you are thinking of starting your own company, do not think that you are the only one with that idea. Just so you know, at any given point and time, there are usually several others who are competing for the same customer base. As a matter of fact, some of your competitors may even be better than you. For instance, their branding may seem snazzier than yours; their marketing budgets may seem larger than yours etc

Since you can’t possibly avoid or get rid of the competition, the best thing to do not to be discouraged by it. Just so you know, without competition, you could easily become lazy and lose your edge. This being the case, it is strongly advised that you embrace the competition and improve because of it. 

3. You will need to embark on learning more than you already know.

According to reports, many entrepreneurs who set out to start companies do so because they have a detailed overview of the kind of business niche that they are venturing into. Having the talent alone and the expertise to accompany it does not necessarily serve as a guarantee for success when looking forward to setting up your company. Just so you know, you will need slightly more in terms of scalability, marketing, software, sales, laws and software in order to make the business a success. 

4. You will need a significant amount of money to spend

Companies can be bootstrapped (launched with nothing more than one’s existing cash or resources). What’s more, these same companies usually require a significant initial capital apart from good financial planning. One perfect place to get the initial capital for setting up a company is leveraging small business loans. Take note, you should prepare yourself to spend money and also protect it being the valuable resource that it is. 

5. You will not immediately succeed.

You will agree and support the fact that the title of business owners is usually in most cases associated with Bentleys and Rolexes. Take note, the harsh reality of the matter is starting a company is more of a soul sucking adventure rather than an income boosting experience. Take note, even though riches may be in your future, fact is, the path to achieving them will most definitely be long and hard. 

6. You will need to obey laws. 

Just so you know, in each and every country there are business regulations which you would need to comply with in case you are looking to start a company in any particular country. Taking this into consideration, it is strongly advised that you perform due diligence in order to have a clear idea of what compliance in the region you are looking to invest in entails. In the process of doing this, it is strongly advised that you closely pay attention the company registration, licenses as well as taxes. The last thing you need is finding yourself in legal mire as a result of your own laxity. 

7. You can never do it by yourself.

The lone ranger entrepreneur is usually such an extremely romantic image. Even though it may seem extremely economically provocative, it is not accurate. Just so you know, on average, startups with a single founder usually have such a high likelihood of failure because of the emotional pressure which startups are known to exert upon individuals. At the bare minimum, start your business with a founder or even three. In addition to this, employ several different independent contractors alongside your preferred service providers to supplement your knowledge, time, commitment and talent. 


8. Your target customers won’t immediately come flocking.

It is essential to understand the fact that regardless of how innovative your idea may be, it is not a guarantee that customers would immediately find you and start flocking your way. 

9. You would be tempted to quit.

In case you are looking forward to starting your own company, you should let this be the last course of action. Just so you know, at some point of time, expect to be tempted to quit, in fact, you will be racked with doubt forcing you to consider jumping ship. 

 10. Staff Classification 

You should also pay close attention to how you staff classification is done as this is the only way through which you would be able to make good of your idea once you plan is in motion. 

Everything taken into consideration, it is essential to understand the fact that it is only you who can make it happen for yourself. 

Don’t forget you can stay tuned with Startup Weekend Copenhagen, on social media with #CphSW

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#CphSW Challenge together with Nets

This is part of our challenges for the upcoming Startup Weekend. This challenge is provided by Nets. They will also be present during the weekend as mentor on Saturday, so the teams has a chance to talk about solutions and ideas.

Terminating Terminals

Payment terminals have been there forever. We experience them as solid, secure and trust worthy. Some years ago, everyone also had secure and trust worthy dial phones, that phone companies saw un-wired by GSM, wireless and ultimately mobile phones. Amazon recently launched the Amazon Go store where, using biometric and cognitive technologies, un-wired the traditional store, rendering payment terminals/cashiers, un-necessary.

Can you un-wire stores, but do it simpler than Amazon, un-wire the store without changing it?


  1. What underlying technologies are needed to replace terminals? Are these technologies readily available to all consumers/shops?
  2. Are these technologies secure/reliable enough? If not, how would you improve security/reliability? What technological advancements are needed for these technologies to be more secure/reliable?
  3. What kind of products/services/shops can be good candidates to replace their payment terminals? What would they require/have instead?
  4. When, if at all, will consumers find use for a terminal free world? What’s in it for a consumer? Consider:
    1. A millennial
    2. A busy parent on the way to making dinner
    3. A senior citizen
  1. When, if it all, will merchants find use for a terminal free world? What’s in it for the merchant? Consider:
    1. A big supermarket chain
    2. An independent clothes shop
    3. A restaurant/bar


Digital Fiat:

Blockchain, or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)  is advertised as a game changing technology. Its inherent properties: security, immutability, transparency, infinite audit trail , make it ideal for a range of financial use cases, as well as a disintermediating effect on many of traditional services by Banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges, clearing houses.

Today, exchange of value is done via Fiat currencies. The currencies we all agree on and are regulated by the national bank. To exchange value on DLT, one would need to augment the it with traditional fiat currency systems. Yes, thers’s Bitcoin, but it will take some time before we get our salaries in Bitcoin….

How can we transform DLT into a true value exchange, and not only value recording/management, system? What, if any, are the use cases for a digital currency? Consider:


  1. What is the scope? National, municipal, local neighbourhood?
  2. Who would be interested in such a currency, within the scope e.g. authorities, municipalities?
  3. Should it be issued by a central authority? If so, why? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  4. What can be pragmatic applications of such a digital currency, within the above assumptions? Consider:
    1. Sharing economy
    2. Crowdfunding
    3. Digital public sector
    4. B2B/interbank trading