Sound Hub recognized among Europe’s leading startup hubs

Financial Times has just published an analysis of Europe’s best incubators and accelerators.

Among 2600 hubs, Sound Hub Denmark has been recognized as the best ‘Office & Lab space’ in Europe, the best hub in Denmark, and overall, the 34th highest-ranked startup hub in Europe.

Financial Times has published a compiled ranking of ‘Europe’s Leading Start-Up Hubs 2024’. In this Sound Hub Denmark has been recognized for its pioneering work as an international incubator and accelerator for startups with sound. A recognition that cements the value of the international environment for sound innovation established in Struer, The City of Sound.

The Financial Times has analysed 2,600 hubs to find the 125 most recognized in Europe. The list includes everything from established universities to corporate incubators, to fully commercial accelerators.

The analysis is primarily based on statements from former incubator/accelerator participants within six categories. Independent experts, including angel investors, VCs, entrepreneurs and academics have also provided input.

If you dive into the published analysis, Sound Hub Denmark has achieved the below-listed rankings among the 125 most recognized startup hubs in Europe:

  • No. 1 – The highest-ranked Office & Lab space in Europe
  • No. 1 – The highest-ranked startup hub in Denmark
  • No. 4 – The 4th among startup hubs in Scandinavia & the Baltics
  • No. 18 – Best ranking among the surveyed former program participants (so-called: alumni)
  • No. 34 – In the overall ranking of the recognised 125 best hubs in Europe
  • No. 39 – Best ranking within networking
  • No. 51 – Best ranking within mentoring and training

Since its establishment in 2018, Sound Hub Denmark has developed and run Danish incubation programs and international accelerator programs, including the world’s only soundtech accelerator program. The persistent work of supporting talented startups using sound is now recognized in this European mapping.

An important recognition of sound innovation in Denmark

CEO of Sound Hub Denmark, Peter Petersen sees this as a great recognition:

We are honoured that our former program participants in this way recognize and value Sound Hub’s support on their growth journey.

And proud that our environment for sound innovation is now listed among the top third of all hubs in Europe.

At the same time, it emphasizes the importance of access to relevant workspaces, test facilities/labs and 1:1 advice from experts. In today’s business life with an ever-increasing number of virtual/hybrid connection points, it is still considered of high value for innovation and accelerator communities like ours; for the startups to have access to relevant coworking and lab facilities.

See link to Financial Times: Europe’s Leading Start-Up Hubs 2024

See Sound Hub Denmark’s announcement: On LinkedIn


About the SoundTech Accelerator Program
The SoundTech Accelerator Program is a 5-month growth program where selected innovative startups, where sound is part of the solution or problem, are supported on their growth journey within business development, market validation, target customers, technology, product development, go-to-market strategies, partnerships, investments, etc. Through the program, the talented startups gain new knowledge, methods, and competencies in supplement to access to relevant networks. The accelerator program is the only one of its kind in the world and attracts a large number of applicants every year. The program is owned by Sound Hub Denmark, which also houses the program’s physical camps. The program content is facilitated in partnership with experts and leading global players from the international sound industry. Learn more here.


SoundInvest: New progressive venture fund investing only in innovations with sound

The accelerator and incubator environment at Sound Hub Denmark is now further strengthened by the founding of SoundInvest.
A new venture fund for early preseed investments directly into the pool of talented soundtech startups from all over the world.

The fund’s search for additional co-investors has already begun.


The owners behind Sound Hub Denmark, Færchfonden and Vald. Birn Holding, has just founded SoundInvest, which through their fund will invest in the soundtech startups taking part in Sound Hub Denmark’s global SoundTech Accelerator Program.

A unique, progressive, and international venture fund

SoundInvest adds a unique investment leg for global entrepreneurs within sound to join Sound Hub. Michael Rohde Böwadt, appointed CEO at SoundInvest, describes the fund’s mandate as follows:

SoundInvest is unique. It is the first time that a venture fund focuses exclusively on investments in soundtech. This is made possible through the internationalization that characterizes the technology and business acceleration environment at Sound Hub Denmark, which means that a large part of our investments will be in international startups with global growth potential. An approach which also makes it interesting for larger and international industry players to co-invest.

          Photo: CEO of SoundInvest, Michael Rohde Böwadt
Self-reinforcing partnership for growth with sound

The investments in startups will be based on a close collaboration between SoundInvest and Sound Hub Denmark. The two companies have partnered up on talent recruitment and preseed investments, adding an early capital injection into the selected startups from the recognized and globally oriented SoundTech Accelerator Program. Peter Petersen, CEO of Sound Hub Denmark, looks forward to the collaboration with SoundInvest:

It is a huge growth opportunity for the participating startups in our SoundTech Accelerator Program that they are not only offered help on business development and technical innovation but now also secured a direct investment as an injection to their growth journey. Further, the collaboration will ensure a more long-term and financially sustainable model for the accelerator program.

 Photo: CEO of Sound Hub Denmark, Peter Petersen
Benefit to the sound innovation and accelerator environment of Denmark

Aside from making the SoundTech Accelerator Program financially sustainable, the added investment opportunity holds great development potential for Sound Hub Denmark as a whole:

Innovation and accelerator environments, such as Sound Hub Denmark, really gain momentum when financial players and major industry players become interested and start investing in the growth layer. That is why SoundInvest is a significant addition to Sound Hub Denmark. The presence of venture capital can also further increase Sound Hub Denmark’s appeal to international startups coming to Denmark when investment opportunities also become part of the offered package,

explains Tue Mantoni, former CEO of Bang & Olufsen and former chairman of The Danish Growth Fund.

Co-investments from the sound industry

The goal for SoundInvest’s first venture fund is to have a capital of DKK 22 million. Two-thirds of this amount has been raised already, mainly with investments from Vald. Birn Holding and Færchfonden. Kim Rishøj Holding and MIROBO Holding are also among the first investors. With this capital in place, the venture fund is now being launched and the search for potential co-investors (limited partners) intensified.

Michael Rohde Böwadt, who is at the forefront of getting more investors on board, explains:

Sound Hub Denmark has achieved international recognition in the sound and acoustic domain through its accelerator programs. Foreign and Danish international players are therefore already showing interest in the possibility of being a co-investor with venture capital to particularly innovative startups within soundtech.

The interest from foreign and Danish international players, also supports Michael Rohde Böwadt’s ambition for SoundInvest to launch an even bigger venture fund:

It is the ambition of SoundInvest to establish a second venture fund within a few years, where up to DKK 120 million will be raised for investment in soundtech startups. The potential of raising capital of that magnitude is present based on the interest among the international bigger players with whom we are in contact.

Expectations of market-compliant returns and growth in the region of Northwest Jutland

Claus Omann Jensen, CEO of Færchfonden explains, that it is expected that SoundInvest will provide both financial return and benefit the city and region of Northwest Jutland, where Sound Hub Denmark is located:

Based on our experiences with Sound Hub Denmark’s incubation environment, we are convinced that SoundInvest will generate a market-compliant return and as well contribute to increased growth in Struer and the rest of Northwest Jutland, i.e. because the startups see a benefit in establishing themselves here to stay close to the international powerhouse of Sound Hub Denmark.

The City of Sound welcomes the new investment opportunities

Struer already known as the “City of Sound”, due to the history of Bang & Olufsen, a division of Harman, Sound Hub Denmark and now also SoundInvest, welcomes the new initiative. The mayor Marianne Bredal concludes:

Struer Municipality has over the past five years been a significant partner in Sound Hub Denmark. The hub has created weight behind our place branding, as it has created jobs and business entities here. Struer Municipality is pleased that more risk-averse investors will look towards the City of Sound in Denmark for support of even more of the entrepreneurs and startups visiting and establishing themselves in our municipality.


About SoundInvest A/S

SoundInvest A/S is founded by Vald. Birn Holding A/S and Færchfonden. As a management company it will run the venture fund SoundInvest Fund I and cooperate with Sound Hub Denmark on, e.g., recruitment of startups for the SoundTech Accelerator Program. The venture fund will then invest in the startups selected. The goal of the venture fund is to raise a capital of DKK 22 million. A “first close” of SoundInvest Fund I has been completed so the venture fund can make its first investments during Autumn 2023, while the search continues for co-investors for a “second close” of the fund. For SoundInvest, it is the ambition to launch an additional venture fund, SoundInvest Fund II, with a three-digit million amount in venture capital within three years. The board of SoundInvest A/S consists of Henrik Lundum (CEO of NOVI A/S), as well as Claus Omann Jensen (CEO of Færchfonden) and Leif Jensen (CEO of Vald. Birn Holding A/S). Michael Rohde Böwadt is appointed CEO.

On a sound journey from India to Struer

Before the summer holiday, a selected group of entrepreneurs visited Sound Hub Denmark for the ambitious SoundTech Accelerator Program’s second camp. One of the participants was 27-year-old Navajith Karkera, who travelled from India to participate.

He will return to Struer again this week.

As a vibrant metropolis for companies, developers, and entrepreneurs – both local and global, all within the field of sound – Sound Hub Denmark has managed to appeal to startups from Asia, the US, and Europe with their SoundTech Accelerator. This year, Navajith Karkera and Jagath Biddappa from India took the longest journey.

The program targets entrepreneurs and start-ups using sound tech or sound design. Being the only one of its kind, the program offers acceleration support for both sound technology and business aspects, in which the participants receive sparring and tools to optimise their business potential. The interest is therefore high to get accepted.

A unique tech and business opportunity

One of the passionate entrepreneurs heading to Struer was 27-year-old Navajith Karkera from Rapture Innovation Labs. Together with his friend and co-founder Jagath Biddappa, he travelled from India to Struer to access the sound experts at Sound Hub Denmark.

Rapture is a ten-person company from Mangaluru, India. The company develops headphones under their brand name SonicLamb, which give users a unique and immersive sound experience. They achieve this by using their patented hybrid driver technology that reproduces the melodies through air conduction and bass using bone and skin conduction.

Thereby, you can feel the music throughout your body,

Navajith explains. The team is currently developing two models.

The co-founders had a clear goal in mind as they arrived in Struer by train late one evening; They wanted help optimising their product but were also seeking insight into how to improve their current business practices and market approach.

The great thing about coming to Sound Hub is that there are people who understand sound and can help us build a better product and improve its performance. For us, it’s mainly the expertise in sound and acoustics that is attractive about joining and we’re also keen to explore the market opportunity in Denmark.

One aspect is the technical side, developing and optimising the experience, and the other is the business and commercial potential. Since we are an audio company, what should we have in mind? How do we become effective in our market approach? How do we test in the market with the right target audience in mind?

It’s all part of the programme. Through the program it has helped us find our values, understand our customers better, and target the right market,

Navajith Karkera enthusiastically emphasises.

In June, the intense, three-day camp focused on how the selected 7 startups could optimise their marketing and business practices.

Similar to the other startups, Rapture obtained more skills and competencies during their stay – all useful tools and ideas to incorporate into their future marketing and business model.

Photo: Participants visiting Bang & Olufsen
First time in Europe

In addition to focusing on their businesses, all participants had the opportunity to experience a bit of Denmark, in particular Struer – the City of Sound. The camp included this time a Puch Maxi ride around Venø – a small island in the vicinity of Sound Hub. The ride allowed for time to visit the island’s oyster farm, Venø Seafood, and Denmark’s smallest church. A joyful ride for everyone, maybe even more for Navajith and Jagath as it was their first trip to Europe, where the long, bright summer evenings and nature left a strong impression.

Photo: Navajith Karkera at his Sound Hub workspace
The startups will return again this week

At Sound Hub Denmark, the team is delighted with the great interest the SoundTech Accelerator Programme has received. It’s the seventh cohort selected since 2019. Navajith and Jagath were made aware of the program by a previous participant recommending them to apply for the sound-focused and tailor-made program.

This week, the participants return to Struer to embark on the program’s last camp. The theme is sustainable business and focuses on how to build a versatile team using a personalised leadership style.

Ending with a pitch event

The camp also includes investor pitch training. The camp ends with a pitch event where the 7 participants from 6 different countries take the stage, hoping to bring home their first investor and maybe even their next business partner. This final event will also include exciting interviews, engaging debates, great food, and plenty of time to network with the country’s leading players in audio technology and business development.

The SOUND Pitch & Buzz event will take place on September 7th and is exclusively for investors.


About the SoundTech Accelerator Program

The SoundTech Accelerator Program is an intensive program for startups, entrepreneurs, product developers and others working in the sound field. The program runs over 5 months and consists of 3 individual camps, spanning 3 days each. During these camps, participants receive feedback and knowledge on value proposition optimisation, targeting, marketing, partnerships, investment plans, management styles, and pitch training.

Even before the SoundTech Accelerator’s official launch, the program had received international interest with applications from 47 international sound-focused start-ups from 22 countries.



Huge international interest in the Danish sound acceleration program

47 international sound startups from 22 different countries have applied for the SoundTech Accelerator Program initiated by Sound Hub Denmark – the international powerhouse for sound innovation in Denmark.
The interest has been overwhelming.

The applicants come from 22 different countries, mainly Europe, but also the US, Canada, Peru, India, Hong Kong, and Japan. The interest has been immense, as more than 400 startups have acquired material about the program during the last two-and-a-half month’s application period.

The diversity of sound solutions and application areas has also been impressive.

  • From revolutionary speaker driver technology to sound assistance for individuals with autism,
  • From low-energy voice IP core to sound identification of drones, and
  • From electronic music synthesizers to modular earmolds for children
  • and many more.

The SoundTech Accelerator Program is the only of its kind dedicated to sound technology and innovation.

The 5-month program is run by soundtech professionals and aims to help soundtech startups to reduce risk, save time and prepare to scale.

Through physical camps in Struer, Denmark, access to world-class sound & audio facilities, and an impressive network combined with deep dives lectures and 1:1 online dialogue, it provides tools and tailored guidance to assist startups to exploit their potential faster, through a focus on their individual challenges.

This unique program offers a balanced focus between product and business – a combination that is not seen in generic accelerator programs.

The interest has overwhelmed the CEO of Sound Hub Denmark, Peter Petersen, who explains:

We know that we have a unique program but are excited by the huge business interest to join, by the geographic spread and by the many diverse innovative applications of sound, which will benefit society and our quality of living.

The selection process is still ongoing. Of the 47 applying startups, 18 have been preselected for interviews and 10 of those will participate in the final selection in mid-April.

About the SoundTech Accelerator Program
The SoundTech Accelerator Program is offered in partnership with Danish Creative Industries (DCI), Accelerace, and realized with support from Bang & Olufsen, The Faerch Foundation, Vald. Birn Holding and the Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO). Learn more here.

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