Founders is our program helping your startup or spinout sharpen your business case and get off the ground.

How we work

When you join The Kitchen you’ll be assigned a business developer from our team to help you navigate as a startup and match you with the resources you need to grow.

At Founders you get access to personal advisory services, funding, office facilities, advanced workshops, and more.

Everything is aimed at helping your startup succeed.

Available workshops and grants


Your brand is your business.  
It is the sum of all the impressions you leave: it is you, your product, customer service, communication, appearance etc. In other words; every startup has a brand. Does yours do you any good 
In this workshop we will focus on your strengths and motivations and how they can be used strategically to grow your business. Being clear about your purpose, values and unique selling points is a powerful way to build meaningful communication that makes you stand out. This is how you create invaluable PR – PR that money can't buy. 
- Tools to turn your purpose and values into a business asset 
- Tools to build a strategic brand foundation 
- Tools for clear and efficient storytelling 

Brand Building - March
Sign up: here

Brand Building - May
Sign up: here

What talents and competencies does your team already hold, and how can you make the most out of your team – your most important resource? How can your team be further strengthened? How do you build a culture that matches your ambition and values?

This workshop aims to inspire your strategic thoughts about culture and your most valued equity - your Team.

You will learn how to proactivly develop a meaningful culture in which people thrive and perform well in an uncertain environment.

Please notice that you will benefit the most from this workshop,  if the full founder-team participates.

  • Tools for mapping existing and needed competencies in relation to your business or business idea
  • Tools to understand and develop a thriving and efficient team in an uncertain context
  • Inspiration to understand and further develop your work environment.

Creating a strong team - March
Sign up: here


We negotiate every day – even in situations where we don’t think we negotiate. We negotiate with supplyers and customers as well as with colleagues, family and friends. 

Knowing what you want and how to ask for it is a highly valuable skill needed to succeed in negotiations. But as an inexperienced entrepreneur you might find it surprisingly difficult to ask for what you want. Be it in relation to customers, investors or other people who engage with your startup.  

The goal of this workshop is to make you more efficient in “getting what you want” and at the same time maintaining good relationships. This will help you attract much needed resources such as practical help from other people and better deals with your suppliers.  


  • Become a better negotiator 
  • Learn about Thompson’s 10 pie-slizing strategies
  • Hands-on exercises

NB! Also check out the other Negotiation workshop “Realize win-win potentials in negotiations”

Get what you want in negotiations - March
Sign up: here


The best negotiations are not about give and take, but rather about creating a better deal for both parties. The workshop tunes in on how both you and your counterpart(s) can create win-win situations, and you will learn how you can take the lead in such negotiations processes. 
The goal of this workshop is to make you a more successful negotiator. This will help you get better deals and develop your business smoother and more efficiently.    


  • Become a better negotiator
  • Learn about the Harvard Method
  • Hands-on exercises  

NB! Also check out the other Negotiation workshop “Get what you want in negotiations” 

Realize win-win potentials in negotiations
Sign up: here


Looking for private investors? The goal of this workshop is to prepare you to confidently take the lead in the investment process. 

In this workshop you will learn how to credibly “sell” your startup to investors. You will also learn what investors look for and understand how they think and act, both before and after investment. 

You will be introduced to what a Cap Table is and why it is important to know how a cap table develops over several rounds of investment.  


  • An introduction to basic investment terminology
  • An understanding of how you can move forward in your investment process
  • A spreadsheet in which you can plot your first cap table

NB! If you are looking for other types of funding sources, check out the workshop “Introduction to various funding opportunities”

Investor Readiness - March
Sign up: here


Most people think of patents as the only way to protect an idea.  The truth is that trademark, copyright, design protection and trade secrets can also be used to protect a company’s assets. 

The workshop will introduce you to all the major protection strategies, including patents, and help you choose the right strategy for your startup. 


  • An overview of the various ways to protect your idea
  • Criteria for the various protection strategies
  • An understanding of how you can protect your idea 

The workshop is delivered in collaboration between the Technology Transfer Office at AU and The Kitchen

Protect your idea
Sign up: here


Will your startup become profitable? When will you run out of cash? When will you need additional money?

Financially sound operations are key to any startup that wants to be in the market for the long run. At the same time it is very tricky to credibly forecast a startup’s future financial situation.

While your cash flow statement tells you if/when you run out of cash, the financial forecast tells you whether you will become profitable in the future.

In this workshop you will learn how to set up your own cash flow statement and how to forecast your financial situations.

This workshop is for you who are a bit further than the initial idea phase.

Basic knowledge in Excel is an advantage, as we will work with Excel in the workshop.

You will get

  • A Financial forecast Excel spreadsheet where you can forecast your startups financial situation
  • A Cash flow Excel spreadsheet so you know when/if you run out of money.

NB! You might also be interested in the workshop “Introduction to the financial ecosystem for startups”

Financial forecasting and Cash flow - March
Sign up: here


You probably already have an idea about your personal strengths and weaknesses, what kind of person it is easy to collaborate with and who it can be a little more challenging to work with. But have you ever reflected on the reasons behind this – and how it might impact your entrepreneurial journey? 

 In this workshop we apply a tool called JTI (Jungs Type Indicator) used for profiling personality types. Through 4 reflective and engaging exercises you will become more aware of your strong suits and how to utilise these even better, especially in the entrepreneurial processes. 

Find out how different personalities interact, how the diversity of profiles can complement each other and what areas you could benefit from developing further.


  • Knowledge about how your personal strengths and weaknesses might affect your take on the entrepreneurial process 
  • Insights into the characteristics of you and your teammates
  • Inspiration to leverage existing strengths and to compensate for existing weaknesses.

Capitalize on your greatest strengths - April
Sign up: here


Do you want to understand the pros and cons. of the various funding sources?

Join our workshop and get an understanding of what various cash providers require in terms of deliveries and ownership in your startup. We will focus on easy understandable terms; hence anyone can join.

The goal of the workshop is that you are able to navigate the funding landscape and make a plan for your funding journey.

We will cover sources such as:


  • Bootstrapping
  • FFF (friends, family and fools)
  • Case competitions
  • Soft funding
  • Grants for science-backed projects
  • Accelerators and incubators
  • Business angel networks
  • Banks
  • Crowdfunding
  • Sales and customer cooperation’s as a financial driver
  • Venture Capital


  • An overview of the various funding sources
  • An understanding of the pros and cons. for each funding source
  • A “funding journey” for your startup

NB! You might also be interested in the workshop “Financial forecasting and Cash flow”

Introduction to the financial ecosystem for startups - March
Sign up: here

This 3-part workshop series will help you develop your idea through a deeper understanding of the problem you are solving, the solution you provide and how you differentiate from your competitors. 

Throughout the workshops you will use/learn hands-on tools on prototyping, pitching and how your network can be your strongest asset. 

Workshop 1/3 - Talk to Your Customers: Learn how to get early feedback from your (potential) customers to understand the needs and problems you address 

Workshop 2/3 – Test your idea: Learn how to get out there to validate your idea by testing your solution with potential customers. 

Workshop 3/3 – Looking at the world around you: Who are your competitors, what is your internal strength and unique advantage, and how do you communicate your position in the market. 


  • Tools to help you validate your business idea 
  • Tools and inspiration to utilise your network 
  • Hands on prototyping experience 
  •  A "Go do" attitude  




Workshop 1: February 1 from 9.00-12.00
Workshop 2: February 9 from 13.00-16.00
Workshop 3: February 21 from 13.00-16.00

Sign up: here


Workshop 1: March 22 from 13.00-16.00
Workshop 2: March 28 from 13.00-16.00
Workshop 3: April 13 from 9.00-12.00 

Sign up: here


Workshop 1: May 9 from 9.00-12.00
Workshop 2: May 17 from 13.00-16-00
Workshop 3: May 25 from 9.00-12.00 

Sign up: here

NB: Startup Essentials is mandatory if you want to apply for Early Cash. We expect a significant part of the founder team to participate in all 3 workshops.  

Join our Community Sessions to give and get qualified feedback from other startups in The Kitchen.

Our Community Sessions is where you on a monthly basis get together with like-minded startups for sparring and knowledge sharing.

The Kitchen is home to many different startups with many different challenges – and with valuable experiences worth sharing.

Our Community Sessions are for all startups and spinouts enrolled in The Kitchen.

Read more about our sessions and sign up here

Having a well-tuned pitch deck is necessary for any startup that will communicate with the surrounding ecosystem such as public soft funding (Innofounder, Innobooster, Vækstfonden etc), private investors, and anyone else who is interested in your startup. 
Pitch Week is an intense week-long work zone where you and your team will get in contact with relevant peopleand conduct desktop research to improve your data and build a clear and convincing pitch deck. 
Throughout the week your team meets with business developers from The Kitchen and other startups for mutualfeedback. We experience that all pitches improve dramatically over the course of the week. Not only does your pitch improve, but so does your entire business case.  
The intense week ends on Friday afternoon with you pitching in front of a panel of investors, and other entrepreneurs. 

- A convincing 10 min. pitch deck 
- Experience pitching to investors and other stakeholders 
- A more solid business case 

(May be subject to minor changes)
Monday 10-12: Kick-off 
Tuesday 14-16: Feedback session 
Thursday 9-12: Pitch rehearsal and feedback 
Friday 12-15: Pitch presentation 


Pitch Week - January/February
January 31 - February 3, 2023

Sign up: here

Pitch Week - April
April 17 - April 21, 2023

Sign up: here

NB: Pitch Week is only open to startups that are part of The Kitchen. Consult your startup advisor prior to sign-up to Pitch Week. 

Interning in your own startup is a unique possibility to concentrate on starting or developing your own business, and at the same time use your professional knowledge in practice.

If you intern in your own startup, you will follow The Kitchen’s internship program where you, together with students from the entire university, participate in entrepreneurial workshops, biweekly peer to peer sessions, inspirational talks and networking activities.

Read more about the Internship Program here


Are you applying for the Innofounder program? 

Join our workshop and get some of the do’s and don’ts of writing a good application and what to watch out for. 

Content of the workshop:  

The workshop will have three parts: 

  • Overview of structure and succes criteria 
  • Introduction to “How to write successful applications” 
  • One of the Kitchen startups shares their experience from applying for the Innofounder program. 

Preparation for the workshop:  

You need to have started your application at the time of the workshop.  

Read more about the Innofounder program here


Innofounder application workshop
March 14, 13.00-16.00

Sign up: here

EarlyCash is a grant of DKK 25,000 for students and researchers at Aarhus University who want to take their startup idea one step closer towards a commercial product or service. The grant is targeted early stage startups, who have not received any major financial support/investment.

It is a requirement to have participated in Startup Essentials to apply for EarlyCash.

EarlyCash has four annual deadlines:

  • 1 March
  • 1 June
  • 1 September
  • 1 November

Read more about the EarlyCash Grant and how to apply here

AU Launch is a grant for startup or spinout projects based on academia from Aarhus University to help them demonstrate the commercial potential of their research or idea.

It is possible to apply for up to DKK 500,000.

The 2022 application deadlines are:.

  • September 20
  • November 20 (conditional on available funds).

The deadlines are at midnight (CET) between the 20th and the 21st.

Read more about AU Launch and how to apply here

BII Futures Grant Program is a grant for Master and PhD students at Aarhus University to help them explore the potential of business ideas within life science and food tech.

It is possible to apply for a maximum of DKK 50,000 per year in 2 consecutive years (i.e., up to DKK 100,000 for 2 years in total).

The application deadline is 14 November 2022.

Read more about the BII Futures Grant Program and how to apply here

The Merck Life Science Grant is for students and PhDs at Aarhus University to support development of life science
business ideas with prototyping, market exploration and de-risking a project. The grant is for early-stage business ideas, that have not yet generated a revenue or obtained major
external funding.

There are two grants of DKK 25,000 each.

The application deadline is October 24.

Read more about the Merck Life Science Grant and how to apply here

*For students at Aarhus University only

What’s included

Workspace access in public zone
Preparatory Workshops
Monthly Open Desk advisory: legal, financial, marketing
Apply for private office up to 12 months
Access to meeting rooms
Access to business development advise
Advanced Workshops
Access to grants

What’s required

Motivation and drive
An identified problem and customer segment
A defined value proposition

How to join

Once a month we admit new cases to The Kitchen. Sign up by submitting a one-pager that will be evaluated by our Founders committee.