Building Startups for Impact – by Design
Innofounder is Denmark’s most comprehensive, design-driven startup incubator. Innofounder helps early-stage entrepreneurs to build a solid business around innovative ideas that help solve society’s greatest challenges
This project is a part of our theme
The Results: What do our alumni say about the program?
“Innofounder takes away the stress of being a startup”
– Niels Fibæk, CEO & Co-founder, Matter
“It (developing a startup) is not always glamorous, and sometimes it feels like a rollercoaster ride and a marathon. Innofounder helps you stay sane while developing your business”
– Alina Engel, Co-Founder and COO, Hooves
The Challenge: How can we help the next generation of founders build sustainable businesses that are ready to grow?
Startups have tremendous potential to push boundaries, generate true impact, and transform the way we live – for the good of both people and the planet. Yet, up to 90% of startups fail.
Even in Denmark, a country with a solid infrastructure to support new businesses, the startup ecosystem has struggled to produce the same successes, as we have seen in other Nordic countries, especially Sweden & Finland.
That is why Innovation Fund Denmark has created Innofounder, a launch pad for early-stage startups. The Innofounder program provides financial support and access to the Innofounder incubator. The incubator is operated by consulting firm Second Foundation and Danish Design Center, and provides mentoring, networks and design competencies.
The Approach: Using strategic design to build good businesses from the start
Just like microbiological incubators in labs, startup incubators provide a safe environment that allows young businesses to flourish. Innofounder gives founders peace of mind by offering between 430.000 (1 founder) – 1.090.000 (3 founders) to finance salaries, while providing professional mentoring in business and design, including a range of workshops and masterclasses with highly skilled and experienced domain experts.
What sets Innofounder apart from other incubators is the program’s foundation in strategic design principles. The program focuses on creative problem-solving, always centering around the people who will be using the final product or service.
“Entrepreneurship is a creative act - charging into the unknown with imperfect information, trusting you’ll figure it out as you go. Designers face this kind of unknown every day. The approaches and tools we use are helping Innofounder entrepreneurs to be more agile at getting insight from customers, building, co-creating, testing, and learning - and getting better ideas to market faster”
Previous design mentor
Learning and analyzing come before development and implementation. We want to give the founders the tools to make informed choices about every step taken. That’s why we teach startups how to do user research right off the bat. How to identify and test their assumptions. How to prioritize stakeholders and activities. How to map user journeys to understand every touchpoint a user has with the product. How to build rapid prototypes to test on users, and how to quickly iterate on these and test again.
Can’t get enough of design and innovation? We hear you. And we have you covered.
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