Canute – helping start-ups to scale in the UK

Canute is a three-day intensive programme taking place every year across different international hubs – London, New York, Stockholm and Berlin. From pitching sessions to networking with fellow entrepreneurs, the programme is designed to give Danish scale ups a kick-start in their journey to international markets.

Once again, Goodwille was invited to be a part of the program. Our CEO Alexander Goodwille, joined other market experts in the “Legal and Financial Setup in the UK” session, giving his advice on what the startups should focus on – their core value and market entry strategy.

For this years’ edition, eight tech startups ranging from various industries including everything from fashion to health tech, participated in the programme. “It is always interesting to see what new businesses are coming through and the problems they are trying to solve. In turn, they are coming across secondary problems that give me valuable insights into services and solutions we can provide through Goodwille – some we do already, and others we can create in the future”, says CEO Alexander Goodwille.

Canute programme was first launched in 2017 and since then, over 50 Danish tech companies have taken part in it. The comprehensive three-day programme gives attending startups a well-rounded picture of the UK market including fundraising, accelerator programmes, storytelling and best practices as well as possible challenges when breaking into the UK market. A truly valuable part of the programme is to hear first-hand experiences, advice and success stories from seasoned Danish entrepreneurs who have successfully launched their company in the UK.

Apart from Canute, Goodwille partners with numerous initiatives supporting European startups, including SUP46 and the Nordic Startup Awards. At Goodwille, we take pride in the complete stack of professional services, experience and expertise we can offer to the startup community when setting up their business in the UK.

Meet Marie Themsen

Starting out as paper “boy” at the age of thirteen, Marie Themsen decided she needed international experience and now, seven years later, joined the Danish PIU (Praktik i Udlandedet) program and came to London, spending her gap year at Goodwille as our very appreciated Financial Trainee.  Marie helps our clients with managing both their purchase and sales invoices, doing bank reconciliation, processing expenses for our clients, setting up their payments, doing their credit controls and supporting the financial controllers with daily ad hoc tasks.

Marie spared us a few seconds to tell us more about moving abroad at the age of 20, her London favourites and the advantages she believes PIU will give her in the future.

Why did you choose England for your gap year?

I wanted to develop my English skills and London is such an exciting city, both workwise and when it comes to things to do in your spare time. There is always something happening and new places to explore.

One thing you hate, and one thing you love about London?

There is not much I hate but I really don’t know why people always ask me “How are you?” As being from the Nordics it took a while to understand Brits actually didn’t care about my answer… If I can only pick one thing I love about London it would be the variation of the city. You can find everything here. It’s not only Oxford Street.

Something you miss from home?

Danish food! Especially Stegt flæsk med persillesovs (fried pork with parsley sauce).

How do you think others see you?

Friendly, mature and ambitious.

How was it both leaving home and moving to another country?

It’s definitely one of the biggest steps I’ve ever taken. Leaving home is a big thing in itself, moving to another country was scary but I’ve grown so much as a person! I moved in with people I’d never met before and there was so much practical stuff to sort. We didn’t have any furniture in the flat, I needed to open a bank account, register at a doctors and get a National Insurance number, among many other things. If you are shy to begin with it disappears really quickly.

What does a perfect weekend in London look like?

I prefer a quieter weekend so brunch with friends at my favourite place Muriel’s, we’d sit outside if the weather would allow it and after that go for a stroll in a park and visit one of London’s many amazing food or antique markets. I love Borough market!

What advantages do you think PIU will give you for the future?

Experience in “real life”, with the opportunity to compare practical experience from the theoretical side taught at university. Lectures at university will be in English and it will be much easier now when I’m used to speaking, reading and writing in English at all times.

You are leaving us in August, what will you do after Goodwille?

I’m considering staying in London for a bit longer or possibly moving to another country – USA or Germany would be exciting. Travel the world would not be so bad either! I’ve done some volunteering work here in London at a shelter, I’m interested in doing more of that too… So I’m not too sure as it stands!

What would you say to others your age who are considering a gap year?

See the world while you have the time! Learn languages and get new experiences. International experience is so important today to be able to get the job you want.

What do you like the most about Goodwille?

To work with so many different people and cultures – both amongst colleagues, but also with our many clients.