Scale-Up Denmark

A national ecosystem to help businesses grow

Next Step Challenge has been a part of the Danish national initiative Scale-Up Denmark, supporting ambitious entrepreneurs and small enterprises in realizing the full growth potentials.

Scale-Up Denmark is defined by the 12 Danish strongholds as the 12 industries with special focus in Denmark. Three strongholds are cornerstones in Next Step Challenge: Energy Efficient Technologies, Offshore Industry and Experience Economy & Tourism.

At the same time Next Step Challenge was the administrator of the joint function, which governed the joint work of the national program.

The aim was to establish an elite of high-growth companies in Denmark.


Companies results 2 years after participation in Scale-Up Denmark


Increased turnover after the program


Increased export after the program


Increased job creation after the program

The national initiative Scale-Up Denmark was running from 2016-2020 with the purpose of promoting the danish business life for SME’s. Providing the opportunity for ambitious growth companies to be leveraged for scaling. The initiative was founded of, among others, the danish regions, and was subsequently led by the Danish Business Authority with support from the EU fond for regional development. In addition, it was founded as a cross-regional collaboration on the basis of regional business development strateges and some of Europes most competitive eco-systems.

The Scale-Up Denmark initiative was founded in the five Danish regions and was later managed by the Danish Business Authorities and supported by the EU Fund for Regional Developments.

SUDK is inspired by the best ecosystems for growth in the world. And the aim was, how Denmark could provide acces to a supportsystem in the danish businessworld, when SME’s make up such a huge part of business. This accomplishment was, among others, ment to happen through involving Dette skulle bl.a. opnås ved at involvere knowledgable persons from education institutions and industry experts from corporate businesses etc.

The ambitious business development program in collaboration with the public sector, sought to establish an elite of high growth companies in Denmark by incorporating strong competencies.

Businessdevelopment creating growth and jobs.

• Attract growth companies - danish and international.
• Engage and activate companies from the regional ecosystem.
• Create more growth and jobs in Denmark.

Elite supplier to the public sector

We are passionate about innovation and development, and feel a responsibility to the society we live in. That is why we work with the public Denmark to create collaboration and knowledgesharing between entrepeneurs, SME’s, large established corporate businesses, scientists, cluster organizations and investors as the key to growth, innovation and development for all parties in the ecosystem.

That means, we are now an Elite supplier to the public, which Udbudsvagten defines as follows: “NEXT STEP CHALLENGE A/S was among the 1% largest suppliers to the public sector in 2019. With a total invoice to the public of 11.113.112 DKR. they have placed themselves in the absolute elite of suppliers; an achievement that deserves all honor and respect.”