Presenting: The first Danish `Slush Kamp´ for startups
Deep inside the city center in Aarhus, people who normally walk around in spacious offices with big windows and plenty of light have entered a hidden and dark arena. Four startups have for the very first time put themselves in the boxing ring. The very first Danish `Slush Kamp´ for startups begins.
At the end of the room, Hans Høite Augustenborg, stands in the dark next to an illuminated stage. He fidgets with his hands whilst looking inattentively at the stage, where another brave founder has entered the ring.
In just a minute, he is the one on stage.
250 people are glued together in the murky room and make every effort to find a free spot between the many heads. All eyes stare stubbornly toward the stage, and only the light from cannons of purple, blue, and red is allowed to brighten the room.
“Let’s give a great welcome to Canairi!” Shouts Louise Bech Junge, one of the co-hosts of ´Slush Kamp´ suddenly from stage.
Hans quickly runs his auburn hair behind his ear and jumps up on stage. In just one minute, Hans steps out of the shadows and into the light. Naturally and confidently, he pitches his startup, makes the audience laugh, and gets the judges to tune in.
The idea behind ´Slush Kamp´
`Slush Kamp´ for startups is held in Filmbyen Aarhus on the 13th of October as a part of Aarhus Slush’D 2022. Aarhus Slush’D 2022 is a conference for founders and investors held for the very first time in Denmark.
Lars Louring, Investor Relations Manager at Danish Business Angels and one of the organizers behind ´Slush Kamp´, explains, that the idea came from wanting to create a different pitch format.
“Instead of pitches lasting only two minutes and then being over with, the startup should fight each other for three rounds whilst getting questions from the three judges after each round. Lastly to find a winner between the four startups.”
From lounge to a boxing ring
In less than an hour, the room has changed from a spacious and quiet lounge with a seating area into a gritty boxing arena with a standing audience.
The modern black lounge furniture is used as dirty beer crates to stand on, and the otherwise popular talking subjects such as investments, talent attraction, and internationalisation have long been replaced by an intense interest in the four impressive, pitching startups.
Among the crowd is Sisse Melsen, COO of Danish Business Angels, one of the companies behind `Slush Kamp´.
“It is great to see so many people at the ´Slush Kamp´. People are really supporting the four startups and to my surprise, they've all packed their phones away.” Sisse Melsen smiles and continues
“I think it’s important to point out, that the ´Slush Kamp´ is a way to acknowledge the four startups. They can be role models for other founders and simultaneously get noticed by investors in different lighting.”
After third and last round, Hans gets off stage.
He wraps his arm around his co-founder and childhood friend, Andreas Kofoed Sørensen. They glance out at the audience and turn their attention toward each other again, and smile.
Hans explains that it is crazy to be acknowledged in the international Slush’D-setting.
“It has been a pleasure to pitch at ´Slush Kamp´” Hans says and continues “It was a cool and different format to pitch in. We’re not used to this light and stage show and the almost concert-looking kind of setting.”
With their startup, Canairi, which is a fresh air monitor improving your indoor climate and health, Hans Høite Augustenborg and Andreas Kofoed Sørensen win the ´Slush Kamp´ and take home the prize of 15.000 DKK.
And before you know it the arena is empty
The black lounge furniture is left with blurry footprints and the heavy fog of unmovable eyes and unbreakable attention slowly leaches. The arena is left with the sweet scent of beer, but the many laughs continued throughout the night.