Frontpage News 2015 ”Don’t just sit ba...

”Don’t just sit back and enjoy the money.”

25 September 2015

The American dream is now one step closer for 16 young entrepreneurs, who met with more than 100 investors from the Danish business community at the American ambassador, Rufus Gifford’s residence.

The American ambassadorial residence served as a backdrop for one of the year’s biggest events for entrepreneurs, the Student Startup Investor Ball. 16 businesses, created by students from Denmark’s higher education programmes, had a unique opportunity to share their business ideas and network with more than 100 professional investors, including Denmark’s top entrepreneurs, Christian Stadil, Jesper Buch, Moonis Kamil and Tommy Ahlers.

"You need to think big from the very beginning,” Tommy Ahlers said to the hopeful entrepreneurs.


Tommy Ahlers, the man behind successful entrepreneurial exits such as Podio and Zyb, opened the ball with a motivational speech that had the young hopeful entrepreneurs on the edge of their seats.

”Being an entrepreneur is the best job. I’ve started several companies and I’ve sold them – and I’ll do it again. For me, it’s all about building lots of companies and investing in new businesses. If you want to sell your companies, don’t just sit back and enjoy the money. Use it to start new businesses – that’s how we build a sustainable ecosystem. You can take a backseat and play investor, when you’re 60 years old,” Tommy Ahlers enthusiastically roared, and continued:

”You need to think big from the very beginning. When you start a company, you should do it because you want to change the world. Dare to be ambitious, otherwise you won’t get anywhere.”

Tommy Ahlers passed the baton on to the 16 businesses, which each received two minutes to attract attention and investment from the visiting business people. Business ideas varied widely, from a newly developed face cream against acne to comfortable high heeled shoes for women and new game apps.

The air was teeming with hopes and dreams in the two reception rooms where networking activities took place. Business cards were exchanged, good advice was sought out and ideas for business development were revealed across the high café tables. Opportunities were discussed in loud voices, while others whispered intensely about money and shares.

The day’s host, Rufus Gifford, gives some good advice.


”We’re almost on American soil and all of the presentations were in English -this somehow raises everything to the next level. All entrepreneurs share a dream of breaking the US,” Tommy Ahlers said in the run up to the scheduled highlight of the day: selecting the company, which the investors liked best overall.

The winner was a company called Daybuilder, which created a web-based platform that helps patients with faster diagnoses and prevents readmissions with the help of sensors and self-reporting. 

”Participating today has been a great experience and huge opportunity. We have received lots of good feedback and we also made some really good contacts today – we actually met more people than we had time to speak with. It was exactly what we had hoped for and now we can start planning meetings with all of the interested investors,” said Lasse Benn Nørregaard and Peter Zaykov, who are the brains behind Daybuilder, together with Philip Kaare Løventoft.

The Student Startup Investor Ball was held in cooperation with the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship, the Embassy of the United States of America and the Danish Bankers Association, with additional support from Nordea, Dana, Keystones, Warpigs, Beringer and CA Wines.

We gather statistics by using cookies. If you continue using the site, you automatically agree to this. Reject here