Last week an idea helping women in Kenya who cant afford tampons won Denmark’s most prestigious startup competition, Venture Cup. This was unexpected by many since the jury in Venture Cup historically have favored high tech product, in particular in bio tech and software. So what does that mean?
I think it means entrepreneurship in Denmark is coming of age. We’re not ready not only to recognize, but to salute unusual ideas if there is hard core execution behind them (the idea is not new but the implementation is phenomenal, the three girls behind is have all relocated to Kenya). The startup/ VC industry tends to favor consumer software built for the western world, but here a totally different approach. Its very much for profit, although it helps a social problem at the same time.
It also means we’re getting beyond stereotypes. The jury consists predominantly of men in suits, as most other jurys (full list here). So not the core audience for a female hygiene product lead by a purely female team you could fear? But wrong, they could obviously see beyond this and were impressed by the traction and implementation. And as far as I hear the pitch was world-class.
I am not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination, and I come from the tech world myself, but nonetheless, I think its a good thing that Ruby Cup won.
More info (in danish) here in Business.dk
Venture Cup runs startup training and competitions. They’ve been a part of the creation of hundreds of startups and the creation of thousands of jobs in Denmark. List of recent winners here