Meeting a Canadian Entrepreneurship Delegation in Copenhagen

Last year, a diverse group from Montreal visited Tech BBQ to learn about business practices in Denmark and create connections to the Danish Startup Ecosystem.

The delegation had 9 individuals from La base entrepreneuriale HEC Montréal, Mouvement des Accélérateurs d’Innovation du Québec (MAIN), and Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal (Montreal’s Young Chamber of commerce) and traveled to Copenhagen from September 10 to 17, 2023 as part of an economic mission focusing on entrepreneurship and sustainable development. The group had representatives of Quebec’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and entrepreneurs whose business model has a social or environmental impact (Elance, Off the Grid, Boréalie, Retournzy). Their first goal is to exchange and learn from the best business practices in sustainable development and entrepreneurship. Secondly, they are interested in creating meaningful connections with Danish organizations for future opportunities for networking and hosting delegations in Canada.

 

The delegation from Montreal, Canada at Tech BBQ

 

The team discovered that the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Denmark and Montreal share similarities in geographical location and lifestyle. And just like Denmark is a gateway to the Nordic Market in Europe, Montreal is also a great gateway to the North American market. They also learned that both regions share challenges in attracting talent and bridging the gap between research and commercialization of innovations.

In contrast to Denmark, Montreal is stronger on diversity and inclusion due to its history and immigration policies. Women and minority entrepreneurship get stronger support through organizations like Evol or Entreprendre Ici. Montreal also has a vast ecosystem with support from ideation to growth, often free of charge.

 

The delegation enjoyed learning about the Danish ecosystem in the informal get-togethers at Tech BBQ

 

On the other hand, the team also found out that for an international company expanding to Denmark, it is crucial to develop collaboration with Danish partners to make the business viable and that there is a strong sense of solidarity with Scandinavian companies. The players here prioritize the challenge of keeping local companies in their markets to continue creating value. The environment is taken into account right from the company’s inception. The team also observed the key role that Universities play in the Danish entrepreneurial ecosystem and there is a much better work-life balance. Trust and solidarity are values that are reflected in professional attitudes.

 

Tech BBQ as seen by the Canadian visitors

 

The team had a great time at the family-sized environment of Tech BBQ with the informal get-togethers. They found a high quality of companies participating in a vibrant and well-organized atmosphere. They enjoyed attending the open programming on gender issues and diversity but wish those topics were discussed in more depth. The famous BBQ was smaller than expected and hidden :).

It was a great pleasure to meet this delegation from Montreal and learn about their ambition to explore and develop connections with the Danish Entrepreneurial ecosystem. It was insightful to hear how they see the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Denmark and learn about how it is in Montreal. If you wish to expand your business to Canada you should start with some of the institutions they represent: La base entrepreneuriale HEC Montréal, Mouvement des Accélérateurs d’Innovation du Québec (MAIN), or Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal.

 

Author by: Nicolae Mariuta, Journalist, Danish Startup Group (DSG)

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