If you want a gold rush, then you have to build a mountain of opportunities
Thomas-Bo Huusmann er ny i Lyngby, men iværksætteri er ikke nyt for ham. Sammen med to partnere har han åbnet Lyngby Office Hub, et kontorfællesskab og udviklingsmiljø for iværksættere, der også er digitale optimister
To afford to run his business Thomas Bo Huusmann has made some pretty major sacrifices, including living alone in a trailer on the outskirts of Aarhus. He is the type of entrepreneur who is willing to put everything on the line in pursuit of his vision – no matter the cost.
Today, the trailer has been upgraded to an empty office building on Lyngby Hovedgade, where he has embarked on a new entrepreneurial adventure to enhance children’s literacy through digital platforms. When Huusmann first moved to Lyngby last year, there was no office community or spaces available for someone like him. He decided to take the matter into his own hands:
“First, I checked to see if there were any entrepreneurial environments in Lyngby. But it quickly became clear that what was on offer was tailored to students or entrepreneurs who have a relationship with DTU. There was not a vibrant entrepreneurial environment in the centre of the city to stimulate entrepreneurs who wanted to build something scalable.”
Although educated as an animator and producer, Huusmann is now the co-owner of a co-working space. He and 2 partners have dubbed it “Lyngby Office Hub.” At the time of publication, the space is equipped with 4 dedicated offices with tables and chairs. But in the long term, the office will house more entrepreneurs, and hopefully with the same ambitions as the team.
Lyngby must become known for its ability to create these opportunities for small businesses
Thomas Bo Huusmann
As Huusmann sees it: “It is important that we create a bond between business, the municipality, and the companies that want to move forward and scale their businesses. [Lyngby] must be attractive to those who provide solutions to major problems that can change people’s lives, and are maybe a bit idealistic in what they do. Lyngby must become known for its ability to create these opportunities for small businesses.”
Nobody has seized this opportunity
Given that Lyngby is located close to Copenhagen and its large international university, Huusmann was amazed that there weren’t any co-working spaces for like-minded entrepreneurs who were arm’s length from academia:
“Lyngby has a unique opportunity to create a community among entrepreneurs. With the natural allure of the City of Knowledge there are good conditions for it to be established; there just has to be someone who will take the lead. But it is also important for the initiative to come from us entrepreneurs and that we invest time in it.”
The Lyngby Office Hub currently has 155 square meters available and is planning to house 20 entrepreneurs.
In order for Lyngby to become an entrepreneurial city, it must focus on maintaining both Danish and foreign labour. Although Lyngby is attractive for young families – thanks to its safe environment and good daycare institutions – it is the opportunity to build its own companies that makes the difference for an entrepreneur like Huusmann.
In his own words: “Good opportunities are exciting collaborators and an environment where you can unfold, where you dare to say out loud that you want to build something that is bigger and better than the competition, or something nobody has seen before. For the talent to move here or stay here, there must be a carrot at the end of the stick that can be dangled. If you want to create this gold rush, you have to show that you can create a mountain of opportunity. Otherwise, you will not get those who have something to contribute to come out here. There are opportunities here. If there weren’t, then Microsoft, LIFE, and Novozymes would not have offices here. And DTU would not be one of the world’s leading universities if they were not sitting on a huge knowledge of the latest technologies.”