Being a founder of a hardware company is no easy task. We asked four founders to share their insights, so others in the same position can pick up on their learnings.

Jun. 4, 2024 / 5 min. read

In 2023, TechBBQ teamed up with the Novo Nordisk Foundation to launch the Life Science Project, an initiative designed to bridge the gap between startups with investors in Denmark.

This project aims to create opportunities for startups to achieve their potential. As we enter the second year of the Life Science Project, we will place a special emphasis on planetary and human health.

So, what is the value of participating in the Life Science Project? From the feedback of startups that joined last year, we’ve pinpointed three significant advantages:

Alcolase came to life in the fall of 2020 when founders Mads, Mikkel, and Jeppe gathered to tackle a pressing question: 

“How can we use our Life Science expertise to address an unmet need?” 

This discussion sparked the creation of Alcolase. By July 2021, they had officially established Alcolase as an ApS. Since then, they have been part of the InnoFounder Graduate program, engaged with innovation hubs at Copenhagen University (UCPH) and Technical University of Denmark (DTU), and experienced numerous highlights on our startup journey. 

Alcolase giving a presentation at TechBBQ 2023
Mikkel Holstener Precht, CEO of Alcolase, presenting at TechBBQ 2023 on the Life Science stage. Photo: PR / Alcolase

"Since TechBBQ 2023, we have raised 431,000 euros from Danish and Nordic investors. We have scaled up our laboratory, bringing enzyme-protection technology to the point where we are ready for in-vivo proof-of-concept experiments."

Participation within the Life Science track
was pivotal for Alcolase for two reasons:

networking and publicity

Networking with other founders through the Life Science track and Life Science pitch competition enabled Alcolase to form a robust network with peers in the industry. 

“Building a strong network among founders in the same field is extremely important since many of us are first-time founders with nascent networks,” says Mikkel Holstener Precht, the CEO of Alcolase.

“Being able to assist each other with industry tips and tricks is incredible!”

In terms of publicity, the Summit allowed the young startup, focused on solving alcohol-related intolerance, to engage with like-minded individuals and secure investment

“The Life Science area attracted visitors with a keen interest in health, and one such conversation led to an angel investment at the start of 2024,” adds Precht.

In just a year, Alcolase has raised 431,000 euros from Danish and Nordic investors. Additionally, they have scaled up their laboratory technology, bringing their enzyme-protection technology to the point where they are ready for in-vivo proof-of-concept experiments.

For Life Science startups looking to establish themselves, Alcolase highly recommends TechBBQ. 

“When you have something to showcase and share with the world, TechBBQ is one of the best places to be. Everyone is there because they are passionate about startups, whether as founders, investors, or simply supporters,” Precht exclaims.

SUPPLEME was born out of frustration with traditional supplements – pills, capsules, and messy powders. Supplements should be cool, easy, and effective, catering to the modern, busy lifestyle. After dedicating three years to development and approvals, SUPPLEME created the first on-the-go daily liquid supplement shot in a 30ml sachet, utilizing advanced liposome technology for optimal absorption.

SUPPLME at TechBBQ 2023
The SUPPLME team at TechBBQ 2023. Photo: PR / SUPPLEME

"Our presence at TechBBQ helped us establish a name in Copenhagen, making it easier to secure our first investment round. The motivation and confidence we gained led us to commit to SUPPLME full-time shortly after the event."

Attendance at the Summit helped
SUPPLME establish a name in Copenhagen
and secure first round of investments

When SUPPLME first participated in TechBBQ in 2023, they were a small startup that had just launched their flagship product, a comprehensive liquid supplement shot featuring liposome technology. 

“Having our company at one of the biggest tech conferences alongside other prominent companies was a fantastic motivator, seeing so many people passionate and interested in our field” says Nicklas Vang, Co-Founder of SUPPLME.

“The Life Science track was particularly unique, recognizing smaller companies within the industry and creating a great vibe.”

TechBBQ played a crucial role in helping SUPPLEME achieve significant milestones. They secured partnerships with several large B2B companies, providing supplements for healthier workplaces, and successfully secured their first investment round.

“Our presence at TechBBQ helped us establish a name in Copenhagen, making it easier to secure our first investment round. The motivation and confidence we gained led us to commit to SUPPLME full-time shortly after the event,” notes Vang.

Since securing their first investment round in March, 2024, SUPPLME has successfully launched their brand and gained traction with their direct-to-consumer webshop subscription service, now offering shipping across the EU. They are also formulating their next product, an on-the-go electrolyte supplement, which they plan to launch this summer. The founders were able to go full-time in November 2023, shortly after attending TechBBQ.

Additionally, SUPPLEME’s products are now available in Meny, SuperBrugsen, Spar, COOP, Soho House, Nordic Strong, and many smaller outlets. Starting July 2024, SUPPLME will be available at 7-Eleven and Matas.

The ASAI project, part of the Bio Studio Program at the BioInnovation Institute (BII), aims to deliver a transformative approach to early diagnostics and monitoring of diseases.

The cost-effective diagnostic platform will provide artificial intelligence (AI)-based evaluation of molecular fingerprints to inform clinical decisions to help slow disease progression and improve treatment plans.


Bio Studio
Per Barfod Andersen (to the right) is the Entrepreneur in Residence for the ASAI project. Photo: PR / ASAI project

"TechBBQ offers a broader range of contacts compared to other conferences. If we want the Nordics to be a startup powerhouse, events like the TechBBQ Summit are vital."

As winners of the Life Science Pitch Competition 2023 the ASAI project completed their first successful proof-of-concept study

Bio Studio projects integrate into BII, establishing teams that work within BII’s office and lab spaces, alongside other Bio Studio initiatives and startups in various BII programs. These projects benefit from a tailored program designed to enhance their entrepreneurial and commercial competencies, supported by dedicated BII anchors who guide project development.

For the ASAI-BioInnovation Studio, a part of the Bio Studio Program, TechBBQ 2023 was a pivotal milestone, highlighting the significance of their program. 

“It gave us confidence in our mission and revolutionized our diagnostic approach, which is currently unsustainable,” says Per Barfod Andersen, Entrepreneur in Residence for the ASAI project at BioInnovation Institute.

The event attracted interest from investors and partners, putting the ASAI project and Bio Studio on the map and connecting them with high-value partners essential to their mission.

After TechBBQ, the ASAI project completed a successful proof-of-concept study with clinical samples from several hospitals. They are now preparing for clinical validation, involving key opinion leaders within their selected indication. ASAI-BioInnovation Studio has shown the ability to create a “disease fingerprint” for conditions that were previously challenging to diagnose.

Additionally, they have partnered with a global nanoscale chip provider, ensuring a high-quality supply of critical components that will transform diagnostics.

For startups considering going to the upcoming TechBBQ summit in September, Andersen underscores the event’s value in updating partnerships and connecting with new vendors and potential investors. 

“TechBBQ offers a broader range of contacts compared to other conferences,” Andersen explained. 

“If we want the Nordics to be a startup powerhouse, events like the TechBBQ Summit are vital.”

In conclusion, the ASAI project as part of the Bio Studio Program at TechBBQ 2023 validated their mission and advanced their progress significantly, showcasing the importance of networking and collaboration in driving innovation.