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Next Step Challenge finale i Musikhuset Esbjerg 2019

Ready to take your business to the Next Step?

Do you have ambitions to scale? Are you willing to invest what it takes to create change?

Gain new knowledge, transform your company and become a scale-up.
Explore the opportunity to see your company from a helicopter perspective in collaboration with industry experts
from some the largest companies in your industry.

Fill in the application form to be considered as participant – we will contact you with more information on how to reach your goals – together.

What the 2019 finalists gained from the program

Next Step Challenge in numbers




Screened companies


Nationality of applicants


Contact us or fill in the form under ‘Apply’, with some basic information on your company. Afterwards we will contact you with more information, before we analyze, interview and select all applicating companies, according to growth potentials.

All 3 programs runs from January to June with a finale event in May and in 2019 we also have a program from October 2019!

We give you more than 180 hours of support thoughout 5 months and we expect you to be on location at our camps and meetings. In between you can work with your new learning in your company.

Your company must have at least 2 full-time employees and max. 250 employees. Your annual turnover must not exceed 50 million EUR or a yearly balance that doesn’t exceed 43 million EUR. Applicants should have a vast growth potential a proof-of-business in the market.

You must operate within Energy Efficient Technologies, Offshore Industry or Experience Economy & Tourism to apply. If your company operates in other industries, please contact us for more information on our possibilities.

We welcome companies from all countries if the requirements to participate are met.

International companies must relocate min. 2 key persons to Denmark for 5 months. Office space will be provided, though travel expences and housing is not included.

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


Participating companies are selected by a panel of experienced serial entrepreneurs, industry experts and program organizers on the basis of the product, the team, and the potential to scale internationally.

After the application deadline, each potential participant will be interviewed and tested during the Pre-Program. The main program runs from January – June and in 2019 also from October!

All 3 programs runs from January to June with a finale event in May and in 2019 we also have a program from October!

Apply all year and we will contact you with start dates.

As a corporate business you know the importance of sharing in order to receive and reach the full growth potential. That is what we give the participating scaleups.

Be part of our advisory boards, gain access to new knowledge & expand your own network.
Get in the helicopter & put a new perspective on the journey towards growth & success for our participants.
Ensure that you are in sync with the innovative solutions for your industry.
The opportunity to create new partnerships & collaboration for the future.
Give your key employees the opportunity to develop & share their experience.
Put your signature on the growth we aim to create.

During the 5 months you will work towards a final 5-year growth plan; called the Next Step Roadmap.

In the program you will have 5 dedicated and customized advisory board meetings and 5 professional workshops for a 360° review of your business. Furthermore you compete to win a spot in the national Scale-Up Denmark finale.
The Next Step Challenge program hosts our own finale for our 3 centers, here we announce the 3 candidates for the Scale-Up Denmark national finale, where you will compete against 11 other companies.

After the program you still have the possibility of attending a network with other alumnis, industry corporates and business experts in order to keep developing your growth plan.

Next Step Challenge and its sponsors do not take any equity or shares in your business at any point during the course of the program.

An advisory board consists of a combination of business experts, your dedicated business developer and program manager along with your corporate partners, represented by key persons from leading Danish enterprizes within your industry.

The advisory board assists your company during the program in a wide variety of fields, with a main focus on making your company succeed both in sales, strategy, communications, leadership and team development.

We do our best to create an advisory board, tailormade for the specific focus and challenges in your company and industry.

The Next Step Challenge program hosts our own finale for our 3 centers, here you compeed with the appr. 10 other companies within your center.

To be considered for the finale, an independent, external panel will select the winners, based on a number of parameters within growth potentials etc.

The national finale of Scale-Up Denmark on 11 September is your chance to become the Scale-Up Denmark Company of the Year! It is an award show across the 12 Scale-Up Denmark Elite Centers and the local winners of each center has a chance to run away with the big titel of being selected as the high-growth Scale-Up Company of the year.

During the 5-month program, you will attend camps and meetings in either Esbjerg, Horsens, Vejle or Sønderborg. We also have the possibility to plan meetings on either your location or at our corporate partners location, in order to get to know you better, and share the knowledge from corporates in their environment.

International participants has the opportunity to relocate to Esbjerg.

We strongly encourage international teams to remain at our locations after participating. Maintaining a presence in Denmark will allow your company to benefit from the business environment surrounding our locations, as well as provide better access to the consultants, fellow participants, and investors you have met during your time in the program.

The language will be in English if you wish so. And all materials will be in English for international participants.
For Danish participants we will have Danish materials and Danish meeting, when possible. There will be materials and meetings in English, though.

The basic elements in the program (in Danish)