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Mentoring Network Aims to Help Start-ups Succeed

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded almost DKK 20 million to Accelerace for a new mentoring program, the Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship.

The  Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship is 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.

“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.

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.


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 Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship will ensure that early-stage projects and start-up companies have access to mentors to help them quickly develop their business and test at an early stage whether their project has international potential. Part of this includes enabling the entrepreneurs behind the projects to travel to the United States and participate in a focused process in which they meet leading experts: investors, doctors, business developers and people from the life-science sector.

“Our ambition is that project groups returning to Denmark from these trips will have a detailed plan for how they can achieve international potential. They will also have access to a strong network of experts that can help the project in such ways as finding international investors and partners,” says Peter Torstensen, CEO, Accelerace.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation and Accelerace will launch the project on 29 March by inviting interested parties to an open event in Hellerup.

Read more about the initiative here.