In our ongoing “What are they doing today?” series, we caught up with Søren Therkelsen, who was an intern at ICDK in 2011. Søren has helped co-found ICDK’s highly successful SCALEit program and is currently CEO at uLabsventures while studying E-Business at IT-University of Copenhagen.
Søren recently returned to Silicon Valley to participate in Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program, a 10-week program over the summer, which he won a full scholarship for through the competition Danske Idéer (red.: Danish Ideas) with his idea Crowd Care a system to summon via smartphones people with first aid skills in case of emergencies such as a heart attack.
Why did you work at ICDK in Silicon Valley back then?
I had for 10+ years been attracted by Silicon Valley, and with an opportunity to join the ICT team focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation, I thought I would be in the perfect place for an internship. Luckily I was right!
What did you achieve during your internship at ICDK?
I learned to understand the power of Silicon Valley and I learned how to operate in the Bay Area. This led me to co-found SCALEit with ICDK’s deputy director Lene Sjørselv Schulze, which has since been an amazing and very learnful experience. Working with ICDK and building SCALEit with the team drove me to live in San Francisco for another 18 months after my ICDK internship. On a personal level this gave me a great network in both Silicon Valley and Denmark, while professionally helping companies succeed. As of today more than 70 Danish companies have been through SCALEit. I feel honored by having had that opportunity.
I encourage every Danish graduate student I ever met since my experiences at ICDK to consider applying for an internship there. I have a preference for the innovation team, but that ties closely to my personal interest and experiences.
What do you do today?
I love the independence and the power of entrepreneurship – this is what I love to do. I would argue that my internship at ICDK in many ways helped me grow into new opportunities. I have co-founded and currently lead a team of 8 people in uLabsventures, a Swedish/American company in the recruitment space. This summer I am also studying at Singularity University in Silicon Valley, having an amazing time with 80 amazing people from 35 different countries, whom all are on the quest of hopefully launching the next big thing.
Follow Søren and his adventures at Singularity University in his and fellow student Sara Nasari’s weekly postcards for dr.dk/viden (only in Danish). Read their latest postcard “REJSEBREV Advarsel: Robotter tager dit arbejde!”