** CLICK HERE to watch the virtual conVenture on YouTube **

The event was kicked off with organizers and attendees introducing each other in the chat while live acoustic music was playing, proceeded by an opening statement and greeting from Flensburg-born Finn Age Hänsel, CEO/Founder of Sanity Group (e.g. VAAY).
(YouTube video time stamp: 26:55 min)

Dr. Bernd Buchholz - Schleswig-Holstein’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Transport, Employment, Technology and Tourism (YouTube video time stamp: 43:54 min): “We need innovation and creative ideas in Schleswig-Holstein and therefore we need start-ups.”

He praised the work of programs, like the VentureWærft, for connecting entrepreneurs, students and business owners across the German-Danish border and giving them a platform for exchange.
Also, in the past couple of months the number of university founded start-ups went down in the rest of Germany, but in Schleswig-Holstein the number rose, as “our” young founders are apparently not afraid to face uncertainty, which he believes is impressive.

Benny Engelbrecht – Danish Minister of Transport (YouTube video time stamp: 46:10 min): “I don’t know what ideas you’ll come up with, but I hope it will be something that we can be proud of and that can elaborate and strengthen the collaboration across the border.”

Engelbrecht talked about Danish projects to make transport more innovative and sustainable, from small ones, like building e-motorbikes, to big ones, like offshore wind farms in the North Sea to power those electric vehicles.
In his opening statement, he emphasized the importance of a future in clean energy and the necessity of Germany and Denmark working together in the border region.

Start-Up Talk (YouTube video time stamp: 48:10 min):
Daniel Desler (Founder/CEO of CheckmyNext - Flensburg)
Peter Dubgaard (Founder/CEO of SWNX - Sønderborg)
Finn Age Hänsel (Founder/CEO of Sanity Group and VAAY)

Each founder pitched their respective start-up, Peter Dubgaard, a former teacher, started off by pitching his red dot design award-winning foot swing, an innovative product to help restless children.

Daniel Desler proceeded to talk about his start-up, an online platform helping prospective car buyers to quality-check used cars from home.

Last but not least, Finn Age Hänsel presented his innovative brand VAAY, selling CBD products for stress relief, recovery and better sleep.

The three entrepreneurs started a discussion about how they got their business ideas and how they found their start as entrepreneurs.
Dubgaard shared some challenges that he faced, like creating a supply chain and getting into new markets and e-commerce retailers, like Amazon.
Financing and growth stories are always different with each start-up, Hänsel summed up.
Desler also elaborated on his experience of founding a start-up in Flensburg, the obstacles he faced and what support he received, for example from the Dock1 team of VentureWerft, and ultimately, the reasons why he decided to stay in Flensburg with his business.
In the contrary, Dubgaard compared the start-up cultures in Copenhagen and Sønderborg and that he decided to stay in the region, because of the great support he received from Sønderborg Iværksætter Service (Dock5 VentureWerft) and the closeness to Germany, among others.

Hänsel even revealed, that he would like to found a business in his hometown Flensburg in the near future, as opposed to Berlin, where he founded his company Sanity Group.

After a Q&A session, the start-up talk on the main stage came to an end.

Finn Age Hänsel

Daniel Desler, Finn Age Hänsel and Peter Dubgaard.

conVenture Sessions (not recorded):

We also had very interesting conVenture Sessions, giving attendees the chance to learn about entrepreneurship and start-ups in a more intimate, workshop-like, setting:

  • Lara Rossi (Dock1 VentureWærft): “Start-Up & Corporate Collaborations and their Effects”
  • Franziska Schmitt (EUF Flensburg/FU Berlin): Pitch Training for Founders & Leaders“
  • Nele Schmidt (FabLab/Hochschule Flensburg: “Prototype, learn, repeat.“
  • Su-Hyun Berg (EUF Flensburg): “Entrepreneutial Ecosystems in German-Danish Border Regions“
  • Kirsten Mikkelsen (EUF Flensburg) & Silke Tegtmeier (University of Southern Denmark):
    “We Ask Men to Win and Women Not to Lose“


We very much enjoyed hosting the first-ever virtual conVenture and we hope you enjoyed attending it!
Hopefully, we can host the next conVenture in person, because there is nothing like bringing students, entrepreneurs, experts and start-up rookies all together in person!

Until then, thank you/mange tak/Dankeschön for your interest and (hopefully) see you soon,
your VentureWærft-Team

A part of this project is also supported by the project Grenzland INNOVATIV Schleswig-Holstein, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz. Dr. Bernd Buchholz

This very special 2020-edition of conVenture is also partly supported through Staatskanzlei Schleswig-Holstein as part of the initiative "100 Jahre Volksabstimmungen - Gemeinsam über Grenzen" ["100 Years of Referendums - Together across Borders"].


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