Million-DKK investment is in place: Sound Hub Denmark is ready to create jobs and the entrepreneurs of the future
April 30, 2018
With a total investment of DKK 50 million, Sound Hub Denmark has now secured its financing and can get ready to open up to a new international sound development environment in Struer, Denmark. Sound Hub Denmark will host entrepreneurs, researchers and established sound and acoustic companies.
The partners in Sound Hub Denmark include leading global key players within the international audio industry Bang & Olufsen and Harman Lifestyle, owned by Samsung. They open up to share knowledge, competences and unique test facilities with companies, entrepreneurs and institutions to create an inspiring foundation for innovators, growth and jobs.
Aalborg University, Danish Sound Network, Accelerace, Struer Municipality with the Vald. Birn Holding and the Faerch Foundation are also on the list of founding partners. Martin Vang Hansen, Director of the Faerch Foundation states: ‘With this unique sound incubation environment, we expect we will be able to attract ambitious companies and partners in the audio industry from around the world. Partners that will be able to create the world’s leading sound development centre in Struer, already known as the City of Sound, support creation of new jobs, develop the entrepreneurs of the future, and expand the Danish position in sound and acoustics even further’.
The director of Sound Hub Denmark is Peter Petersen, former Director of Technology at Bang & Olufsen, and during the past several years head of two business incubators BusinessPark Struer and Nupark in Holstebro.
With this financing in place, we have reached an important milestone in the project. At the same time, we now have two global sound brands and Aalborg University, internationally acknowledged for research and education in acoustics and signal processing. This is an incredibly strong starting point to create a world leading hub for sound innovation,
states Peter Petersen.
Accelerace will be in charge of recruiting exceptionally talented entrepreneurs from around the globe, who will be invited to Struer participate in a specialised accelerator programme, that will enable them to scale their businesses and attract investors. Accelerace has had positive experience in recruiting international sound start-ups to Denmark through the Next Step Challenge 2016, a collaboration with Bang & Olufsen, where more than 100 audio companies from around the world applied for a spot in an audio challenge.
Sound Hub Denmark also has top political attention from among others the Danish Finance Minister, Kristian Jensen, who has followed the project on the sideline:
The Danish sound and acoustic industry has proud traditions and Struer has been a natural focus point. I’m very pleased with this initiative to strengthen the cooperation to develop our excellences in acoustics. When knowledge is transformed into products and solutions that are competitive internationally, it is not just Struer but all of Denmark that benefits.
In addition to entrepreneurs, Sound Hub Denmark will also work to attract teams or departments from existing audio companies, that can benefit from being a part of this centre for innovation, competences and emerging talents. Danish Sound Network will join in as well and contribute with seminars for specialists, conferences, hackathons and collaborative projects with universities, companies and organisations in Denmark and abroad.
Prior to the opening later in 2018, offices, equipment and facilities will be furnished to match the ambition to further develop a strong innovative sound hub in an area, that already is the home of a number of companies, subcontractors and spin-offs in the field of audio and electronics.
Bang & Olufsen
Bang & Olufsen is founded in Struer, where the company for now more than 92 years has developed iconic, innovative audio and video products based on core competences in acoustics, design and craftsmanship. Bang & Olufsen is joining in on Sound Hub Denmark with an ambition to strengthen the regional development environment in sound and acoustics. We expect that the combination of researchers, entrepreneurs and established companies will ensure a strong competence platform which will benefit the entire audio business in the long term.
HARMAN (harman.com) develops audio products for the car industry, consumer industry and professional sound experts all over the world. It is therefore a great pleasure that will be involved in a local Sound Hub Denmark initiative to strengthen our R&D centre’s global reach. With leading audio brands such as AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is appreciated by audiophiles and musicians wherever they are, and more than 50 million cars on the roads today have a HARMAN developed sound and connected car system inside. In March 2017, HARMAN became a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Danish Sound Network
Sound Hub Denmark is a solid contribution to the sound sector, which for a long time has been a strong position for Denmark with more than 1% of the BNP and 28,000 employees. For Danish Sound Network, Sound Hub Denmark is a timely investment in a Denmark that is becoming an increasingly stronger player in the field of acoustics. We look forward to joining in on a continued and increasing focus on increasing innovation capacity and exploit the unique sound solutions that Denmark has to offer.
Accelerace is one of the world’s top 10 seed accelerators. Since 2008, Accelerace has found, trained and invested in more than 500 of the most promising Danish and international entrepreneurs and growth companies. 88% of the companies are still in the market today. As part of the national Scale-Up Denmark initiative, Accelerace is scaling start-ups within technology, food industry, cleantech, life science og welfare innovations through assistance from experienced series innovator, camps and networks. As part of Sound Hub Denmark, Accelerace gets the opportunity to become part of a highly specialised development environment with own test facilities and access to experts in sound and acoustics. A couple of years ago, Accelerace was behind the Next Step Challenge programme in a cooperation with Bang & Olufsen. It is the success of this project that has led to the cooperation between Sound Hub Denmark and Accelerace.
Aalborg University (AAU) was founded in 1974 and has three campuses: Aalborg, Esbjerg and Copenhagen. There are approximately 20,700 ordinary students (Bachelor’s and Master’s) and around 850 PhD students. AAU is known for an innovative problem- and project-based approach to learning (PBL) where students solve real problems in conjunction with businesses and organizations in team-based projects. AAU is widely known for partnering with industry, and has a strong focus on research and research-based teaching in sound and acoustics, including the latest techniques in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, the Internet of Things, etc. AAU is taking part in Sound Hub Denmark with the expectation that it can strengthen cooperation with industry, increase the number of start-up companies based on innovative Master’s and PhD projects, provide access to new laboratories and large amounts of measurement data from real-world systems, and inspire new, challenging, societally relevant issues that can be included AAU’s teaching and research.
Struer, City of Sound
Struer has over the past five years developed the concept the City of Sound as a development platform for the entire council. We are continuing the heritage from the innovators which once had this great idea and dedication to carry it out and ensure global impact. Sound and acoustics is a great part of the development of Struer and we want this to continue to be the case – therefore Sound Hub Denmark is a project that the city council has high expectations for support wholeheartedly. The Struer Council wants to create optimum local conditions for a world class, international incubator environment for sound and acoustics in Struer, and become attractive to companies that stand out in this area – to make Denmark first movers now and in the future.
The Faerch Foundation
Founded in 1984 by Kirsten og Jørgen Færch. The foundation is a business directed foundation based in Holstebro. Its vision is to make a difference in the North Western part of Jutland by supporting innovation, growth and other initiatives and develop businesses, innovation, cultural and educational activities in the area. The Foundation has invested in Nupark Innovation A/S in Holstebro, the business development programme Accelerace, and the Social Capital Foundation Invest K/S.