We want to make a difference for the family and for West Jutland
Rasmus Færch, Færchfonden

Next Step Challenge

 New competition for entrepreneurs in Sound and Home Integration


Next Step Challenge, Europe’s most ambitious entrepreneurial competition, is growing fast. The entrepreneurs’ race is now getting a new track in Struer/Hostebro in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen a/s. Færchfonden and Bang & Olufsen a/s have chosen to become partners in Next Step Challenge with Nupark development park as the physical setting, and this makes Holstebro/Struer the first place where a branch of Next Step Challenge is established outside its usual environment in Esbjerg.


Entrepreneurial businesses with good ideas within sound and home integration are invited to develop and test their products and knowledge of the market in collaboration with experts from e.g. Bang & Olufsen a/s. The deadline for applications for the competition is 1 December 2015.


But what makes Færchfonden and Bang & Olufsen a/s establish their own branch of Next Step Challenge?

Færchfonden is becoming a partner in the competition in order to support new activities in the area around

Struer/Holstebro and attract new businesses and jobs.


“Færchfonden is interested in supporting initiatives which contribute to the development of entrepreneurship and the strengthening of trade and industry in West Jutland. This is the very object of Next Step Challenge, and we believe that in the long term, the initiative will generate growth and jobs in the area”, says Martin Vang Hansen, Manager of Færchfonden.


Christian Iversen, Vice President of Bang & Olufsen a/s, adds: “Digitisation offers great opportunities for a company such as ours and opens up for new business models and partnerships. We possess strong development skills which we would like to develop further, and we look forward to being inspired by talents from all over the world, who can give innovation in the local area an extra boost.”


International inspiration will come to Holstebro when Nupark opens its doors to future finalists in sound and home integration on 1 April 2016. Nupark is where the future finalist businesses will be based, and as in Esbjerg, they will become part of a seething development environment. Initially, the Holstebro/Struer branch will involve 5-7 businesses.


Next Step Challenge – close collaboration is paramount

Europe’s most ambitious entrepreneurial competition has already been running for two years in Esbjerg with focus on smart energy and digitisation. Accelerace helps participating enterprises to grow in collaboration with SE’s innovation department, SE Next Step and Nupark.


The experience gained from the first two rounds forms the basis of the new initiative at Nupark and at Bang & Olufsen a/s, and especially the location close to a large Group offers finalist enterprises unique opportunities.


Openness internally in SE and now at Bang & Olufsen a/s is decisive, as is the established business network to which the hosts open their doors.


The value is great. It is clear that direct integration with big companies helps to raise the standard compared with other competitions and to increase the pace of development of the Next Step Challenge entrepreneurs. The synergy arising in the meeting between innovative talents and a competent company generates new inspiration and adds value for both parties”, explains Lisbeth Valther, managing director of SE Next Step.