Portrait Jes Broeng

10 top tips from research to business

Monday 16 Jan 23
by Tom Nervil


Jes Broeng
Director, Professor
DTU Entrepreneurship
+45 24 25 38 35
It can often be difficult for students to launch their own start-up or for researchers to bring their invention into the business world.

Director of DTU Entrepreneurship Jes Broeng has rounded up his top tips.

1. Think business

Evaluate the business opportunities and potential of your project at the earliest possible stage. The sooner researchers and students become aware of the possibility that their research can be brought to market, the smoother the process.

2. Use the university’s ecosystem

There is support to be had. DTU has established prototype workshops, scientific advice, funding opportunities, and research environments—together providing a unique environment centred on entrepreneurship. 

3. Involve external forces

Even if you have a great idea and are a great researcher, you aren’t necessarily great at marketing, finance, or human resources. Start-up success is driven by a whole ecosystem that includes investors and advisers.

4. Use mentors

A mentor from industry to help you and develop your business concept increases the chances of survival.

5. Exploit differences

A hacker, a hipster, and a hustler all have different connections and competences that can supplement the original idea and help to create unique innovations that make a difference.

6. Find investment

Money is crucial. Knowledge-intensive businesses and tech companies often need more money and over longer timeframes than in other sectors. Explore the funding opportunities available to you. There may be options open to you via Innoexplorer, Innovation Fund Denmark, the Danish Growth Fund, and so on.

7. Get a patent

Patents ensure that inventors can collaborate with others down the line without worrying that they will lose the rights to their invention. At DTU, the tech trans office can help you through the whole process.

8. Keep up momentum

Many researchers take their foot off the accelerator once they have the patent in the bag, but they actually need to stick to their conceptual guns and transform their research into a business proposition.

9. Use a professional board of directors

Data points from more than 2,000 DTU spin-outs show that appointing a professional board of directors from the get go increases the odds of success.

10. Trust each other

Any innovation project that is making its way to market requires all involved parties to trust each other. The inventor must trust the developer who must in turn trust their mentor who must trust the investor who must themselves trust the inventor. Trust is built on trust—and it is absolutely essential that it is in place.


DTU Innovation

DTU has one of the most well-developed and coherent ecosystems for innovation and entrepreneurship among technical universities in Europe. 

Read more:  Innovation Ecosystem (dtu.dk)