Once a fragmented underground society, the Danish startup tech ecosystem is now flourishing and extremely tight-knit. Here’s the story about the #CPHFTW journey. And the climax about to happen.
In December, Copenhagen streets are just about as dark and cold as they come. But on this cold December night in 2012, a warm fire was lit. Back then, 70 tech entrepreneurs in the same room was unthinkable. The community was fragmented, and tech startups in Denmark didn’t really know each other – much less helped each other.
Nevertheless, on that december night, we were all gathered: 70 key Danish tech entrepreneurs. We all knew that there was a need for change. There was a need for a common voice and a platform for every tech startup in Denmark. We weren’t a 100 percent sure about what we wanted to create, but we were fully aware that we wanted to create something new to the benefit of everyone in the community. And that a united effort could make everything possible.
The following hours, it was my task to mobilise the immense power of Danish tech’s brightest minds. I asked them to dream and envision the community they dreamt of. I even asked them to visualize it. Out of that, stories of hope and connectedness emerged. We debated. Voted. And that cold december night, #CPHFTW was born. Copenhagen For The Win.
Traditionally, startup initiatives are funded by public money, but at #CPHFTW the underlying philosophy was and has always been “by startups for startups.” We wanted to create something for everyone – not just for the few. That mindset has proved unique in the startup world.
In the beginning, #CPHFTW was just a hashtag on Twitter, but soon we started to grow. Today, #CPHFTW encompasses +140 member startups, and every 3 months +600 techies are gathered at our Townhall events in Copenhagen.
Brick by brick, the Danish startup tech community has become sustainable. And now it’s time to take the next step. With #CPHFTW, we responded to the needs of a fragmented community. The next step is to help a world-wide tech community. With Techfestival in Copenhagen September 5-10 we want to facilitate a progressive, human-centric debate on tech.
In the early 2000’s, everyone thought the internet was to the benefit of everyone. The democratic value of the internet was immensely positive. But I have found that to be a naive fairytale story. Because today, tech has changed radically.
Today, our use of the internet is controlled by the advanced business models of a few tech monoliths. And If we don’t discuss this, we will end up losing power of our lives.
Therefore, we invite everyone to take part in the debate. Head over to Techfestival and see what’s going down on September 5-10. We’ll bring 15.000+ people to Copenhagen for one week filled with 100+ meetups, summits, conferences, talks, dinners, exhibitions, concerts, afterparties, & much more.