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Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship

Developing start-up companies

The Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship is a mentoring programme targeting promising early-stage projects and start-up companies within the life sciences in Denmark and the other Nordic countries. The objective is to help to test whether their ideas have international potential.

The ambition is to develop a network of the highest international quality that can position Denmark and the other Nordic countries as a leading region for commercializing research discoveries and successfully establishing and developing start-up companies within the life sciences.

Who are the mentors?

The Network comprises volunteers who are highly qualified specialists from leading environments within the life sciences, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.

Mentors are selected based on their expertise within life-science commercialization and consultancy and their business experience. The mentors will have different backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, investors, clinicians and representatives from major companies within the life sciences.

Among other roles, the mentors will help projects and start-up companies to develop and grow, establish strategies and achieve their business targets.

Five-year initiative

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded almost DKK 20 million (€2.68 million) to Accelerace to develop the Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship. Accelerace is a business development organization that focuses on start-up companies based in the Symbion science park in Copenhagen.

The initiative covers 5 years and builds on the latest and best international experience and major initiatives in the United States, especially from MIT. It combines high-quality mentoring with processes and methods for accelerating the commercialization, growth and sourcing funds for life-science start-ups.

Experience from Denmark and abroad shows that the survival rate for new companies and the likelihood of success in the long term increase if knowledge sharing and advice on business development are added at the initial stages.

“The Novo Nordisk Foundation aims in establishing the Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship to contribute to commercializing promising research discoveries made by researchers in the Nordic countries so they can develop into viable growth companies in the region. The initiative is based on the latest and best international expertise from institutions such as MIT in Boston and aims to ensure that the start-up companies can access the best possible guidance to achieve success,” says Birgitte Nauntofte, CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation.