Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship: Business Incubation in the Danish Context
(7 pages of text)
In 2015, the Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship (CSE), the largest business incubator in Denmark, was admitting 100–125 new start-ups each year and attracting external funding of US$33 million from both public and private sources—all with an annual budget of US$435,000, funded exclusively by the Copenhagen Business School. Like most business incubators, CSE worked to provide entrepreneurs with training, mentorship, and investors, and to enhance their visibility in the market. It required all admitted start-ups to participate in a screening/selection tool and a set of incubation activities over three specific stages. The school measured success in terms of the number of incubator participants who had both a business customer and a sustainable business model at the end of a nine-month incubation period. In 2015, CSE's success rate was 53 per cent. At this point, CSE's leaders recognized a need to question how they measured the benefits of the program. How should the 53 per cent success rate be compared to the Copenhagen Business School's investment? What changes could the CSE leadership make to create more value for Danish society?
This case could be used in a variety of courses, but it is especially relevant to courses on entrepreneurship and innovation practice at the MBA/postgraduate level. It is designed to convey a basic understanding of how incubators work and a more detailed sense of how this particular incubator works.
After working through an analysis of the case and the assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Understand the importance of entrepreneurial ecosystems and the roles that incubators can play in such ecosystems.
- Analyze the design of a business incubator, assess how it creates value, and measure how much value it creates.
Denmark, Small, 2015
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