Dear HelloScience Collaborators and Friends, 

I was delighted to be asked by HelloScience to share my thoughts with you on why these are the perfect times for green entrepreneurship and collaboration. 

Like the financial crisis, the corona crisis has been devastating to many companies and individuals, but times of crisis are also an opportunity to rewire. “The great pause” – as some people have referred to the lockdown we have experienced – has given us time to reflect on how we want the post-corona society to be like. 

In Denmark, we have created a handful of startups, which today would be called “Unicorns” as they are valued at over $1billion. These include Trustpilot, Tradeshift, Zendesk. Many of these unicorns were established around the financial crisis. And in Finland, when their national crown jewel, Nokia, closed, this initially seemed like a disaster. But although many highly skilled people lost their jobs, some of them went on to form new tech startups. One example is Rovio, the company that created Angry Birds – a video game that managed to attract 50 million users in just over a month. 

On many levels, a green transformation across economies is something that many people have been wanting for years. But at the same time, not everyone has had faith in our capabilities to go through such a large change in our society. The crisis has shown us that we are capable of adapting, and we are capable of transforming society way faster than we could have ever imagined. This is why I believe that we should seize this crisis as an opportunity to create new green startups that within the next ten years will grow and create – not only profit – but also a more sustainable world. 

Through my daily work, I meet many entrepreneurs with extraordinary business ideas that can help reduce CO2-emissions and drive sustainable development. I have given myself the task of ensuring that green startups in Denmark have the world’s best framework conditions to grow. I have recently made an analysis of green startups in Denmark, which shows that in order to help green startups grow we need better access to finance, talent, public data, research and better opportunities for partnering with the public sector. These are now political agendas that the Danish Chamber of Commerce is pushing forward to the government. 

See document here

As Head of Entrepreneurship at The Chamber of Commerce, I have been given the role as secretary for the 14th Climate Partnership for Green Entrepreneurship. This is a group established by the Danish politician and former entrepreneur, Tommy Ahlers, with Mette Lykke, the CEO of Too Good To Go, as Chair and has some 12 green entrepreneurs and experts, including Søren Riis, co-founder of GoMore and board member of the Collaboratorium. 

The panel is due to deliver a set of policy recommendations that will show that startups can play an important role in creating new green solutions to the world, if we can create a good environment for green startups to grow and better framework conditions for green entrepreneurship in Denmark. 

But creating a good environment for green startups to grow is not just a matter of politics. It is a matter of collaboration between politics, businesses, research institutions and civil society. This is why I am proud that The Chamber of Commerce is now exploring ways in which we can collaborate with HelloScience. 

The Danish Chamber of Commerce sees HelloScience as a unique tool that enables startups to broadcast their projects and connect with new partners and mentors. I believe the platform has a great potential for startups to attract funding in a new way, since it gives startups the opportunity to display their journey step-by-step, which is validated by linking the steps of the journey to renowned partners, such as larger corporations, government institutions and other investors. 

Another crucial potential for the platform – that I hope we can develop even further – is to create a space where research from universities and companies can be shared and create value in new partnerships or as inspiration for others. It is important that we continue to respect the unique openness of the platform, which is aligned with our Nordic values of knowledge sharing and collaboration. I am looking forward to a very bright future together. 

Best regards,

Jasmina Pless