Answers to your ?


Looking for answers to questions about the Energy Efficient Technologies center? Then this is the place to be.

We’ve tried to answer the most relevant questions below, but don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help!


All 10 startups who qualify for the five-month program, receive a business development package worth approximately EUR 33,000. And the opportunity to win the title as Scale-Up Denmark company of the year. You might say that you win even if you don’t??

All Next Step Challenge participants are enrolled in an extensive five month business development program that guarantees:

Five months on site at SE Next Step/SE, Greentech Center Vejle & Sønderborg

Individual coaching by your program manager, business experts, direct cooperation with industry keypersons from SE, Kamstrup & Grundfos etc.

180 hours of personal business training from experienced consultants – Camps and milestone meetings where you will get intensive training designed to maximize your business potential – The opportunity to test technology on +270,000 households using one of the world’s most advanced digital infrastructures & Smart Grid.

Support to find housing for international participants in the region during the 5 month relocation period. – Rich opportunity to qualify for further financing from investors, funds etc. – A Founders pack with free resources and tools to help scale your company

The benefit of a collaborative business environment featuring ambitious companies like your own – And much more …


Scale-Up Denmark powered Next Step Challenge is an international program for companies working within the fields of next-generation Energy Efficient Technologies/Experience Economy & Tourism/Offshore Industry.

Next Step Challenge offers businesses the opportunity to take full advantage of a unique digital infrastructure. We provide you with access to over 270,000 real customers using one of the world’s most advanced digital infrastructures built on fiber broadband and the smart grid.



If your idea is unrelated to the above industries but you still think your company could benefit from the Next Step Challenge program, then don’t hesitate to apply – we are willing to consider all great business ideas.

Please note:

International participants must relocate to SE, Esbjerg, Greentech Center Vejle or Sønderborg in DK for 5 months to take part in the Challenge. Office space and grants for housing will be provided.

Danish participants have the option of relocating to SE, Greentech Center Vejle & Sønderborg

International participants must relocate minimum 2 people from the management team.

Participants from outside the EU must be able to obtain all necessary permits and travel documents.

Since the coaching and mentoring is in English, it is required that participants have the language skills needed to receive the full benefit of the training sessions.

Note that all companies must participate on site in Camps, Milestone meetings etc.

Danish companies are not required to move permanently to the Next Step Challenge sites.


Taking part in Next Step Challenge takes a strong idea and the will to make it happen.

Your company must have a maximum of 250 employees and most importantly have a vast growth potential. Your annual turnover must not exceed 50 million EUR or a yearly balance that doesn’t exceed 43 million EUR.

Your ambitions should reach the sky & you must be willing to commit 100 % to the program – relocating (international participants only), investing the necessary resources & having a connection to the energy efficient industry.

We are looking for scale-ups and people with true business courage. Scale-ups should be ready to disrupt the market and aspire to change the lives of the people they reach – or even to change the world.

To enter Next Step Challenge, candidates must have the right product, the right team and the ability to meet our eligibility requirements.


It has to be more than just an idea. Think of it as a qualified pitch presentation to get investors interested in your startup. You must have a proof-of-concept or a MVP (minimum viable product), but we strongly prefer if you already have a product on the market.


Participating companies must have several full-time employees that are 100% focused on the core idea. They must be able to receive coaching and mentoring in English and stay committed to realizing their business goals. We are looking for visionary entrepreneurs with ambitions to change the future.


Part of the Challenge program requires that a minimum of two members from the management team relocate to SE in Esbjerg, Greentech Center in Vejle or Sønderborg for a minimum of 5-6 months. Note that this only concerns international participants!

Foreign company representatives must have valid passports and non-EU residents must be able to obtain the necessary travel documents. We will, however, facilitate the relocation process and support your housing as well as free office space.

Since the coaching and mentoring is in English, it is required that you have the language skills needed to get the full benefit of the training sessions.

As a participant in the program you will work closely with corporate keypersons within your industry. This means open doors and insights into one of DK’s largest Energy & Telecom suppliers, a close connection to corporate keypersons and unique industry insights. FYI – We require no ownership! – open innovation and sparring to ensure your scale-up the leanest way to success is the reason why we engage our corporation in Next Step Challenge & Scale-Up Denmark.

What Are The Program Elements?

The Next Step Challenge program is made up of three different content elements: Mentor meetings, Camps and Coaches

Milestone meetings

Are intensive meetings with your personal program manager, business mentors, and a skilled group of industry specific coaches who’ll review your company’s business model. The milestone meetings also helps decide your company’s critical assumptions and specific challenges that you are facing. Finally the milestone meetings functions as the driver to plan and individualize the work done with your company during the program.


Are developed to inspire as well as teach the most current entrepreneurship and business development methods and tools. The camps focus on specific tools that your company can use in order to develop your full potential. For some camps we gather all companies from both branches, so that they can also function as a great opportunity to reach out and build a network. Other camps are individual & designed specific for your industry.

Advisory board

Consisting of business developers & experts etc. connected to your specific industry. We aim to gather a relevant advisory board based on your company profile & needs.

What Are The Program Details?

Below you will find a more detailed overview of the Scale-up Denmark powered by Next Step Challenge process, along with some practical information.

All applications must be submitted no later than midnight CET October 15th, 2017 for international companies & midnight CET November 1st 2017 for Danish companies!

Qualified applicants will be contacted after a thorough initial screening process. Selection is carried out by an expert board.

The program kicks off on January 15th 2018 and spans 5 months. To be able to benefit extra from the program, international participants are required to move to the Next Step Challenge sites. For Danish participants this is optional.

The program is intensive and consists of:

Daily one-to-one sparring with on-site business developers, industry keypersons & experts.

Five Milestone meetings – from January – June:

Milestone meetings where the advisory board = team, business developers, industry experts & business experts meet and “crunch” the case Focus on: Key hypotheses, how to test, learning and actions??

Six expert boot camps:

Experts present their take on the latest trends, industry related policy, pitching, high performance, marketing etc. and provide useful methods for succeeding as an entrepreneur.

Coaching – day-to-day individual sparring for your startup from the business developers and our industry/business manager corps & your advisory board.

Lean Canvas Focus on Business Insights Growthplans – Value proposition, pricing, revenue streams – 100 % market driven Strong industry insights Well connected


Event where we announce the finalist from each of our 3 branches – Energy Efficient Technologies, Experience Economy & Offshore Industry and send the 3 winners to the Grand Finale in Scale-Up Denmark.

Grand finale

Scale-up Denmark hosts an annual national Grand finale where one finalist from each of the 12 hubs competes for the title as Scale-Up Denmark Company of the year.

The final event is not only a Grand Finale but an opportunity for the scale-ups to create a vital network and get contacts within the investment community.


If you are selected to participate in the Next Step Challenge program you will be located in close connection to our hubs.

If you are located to the hub in Esbjerg you will be situated in the office building of SE Next Step right next to SE’s headquarter. SE Next Step is part of SE, one of Denmarks largest energy and telecom suppliers and a cooperative with more than 270.000 owners.

Our ambition is to create an international living lab for businesses working with next generation energy that utilizes the unique qualities of the region’s digital infrastructure.

SE’s headquarter is the biggest Energy+ building in Denmark.

SE/SE Next Step offers access to a full-scale test laboratory with +270,000 connected consumers on the power grid, the most advanced fibre broadband infrastructure in Europe (perhaps even the world).

If you are connected to the hub in Vejle, you will be situated at the Green Tech Center

If you are connected to the hub in Sønderborg you will be situated at – info will follow.

Your business will work alongside experts on CO2 neutral buildings and renewable energy, and you will have access to the expertise of leading Danish universities.

We run one program pr. year starting January 15tht, each program runs for 5-6 months.