Steering four concepts on two wheels

In our ongoing feature series, The Local looks into a successful entrepreneur's life - the story behind their successes, major challenges and how being an entrepreneur changed them forever. This week, The Local talks to Kenneth Pinsker, founder of the first media bureau in Denmark to specialize in bicycle marketing.

Steering four concepts on two wheels
Kenneth Prisker is behind four different cycling-related concepts. Photo:
BikeMedia consists of four concepts: StudieCykel (student bikes), FirmaCykel (company bikes), TuristCykel (tourist bikes) and AalborgCykel (bike services in Denmark’s fourth-largest city). All four concepts were founded by Kenneth Pinsker and focus on responsible, sustainable marketing. Pinsker’s concepts have already created more than 100 campaigns in co-operation with various advertisers. 
Kenneth PinskerHow did you come up with this business idea?
For a long time, I wanted to start my own business. I actually had around 20 different ideas. At the time, I felt like was one with the most potential because of its newsworthiness and because of the social responsibility associated with sustainability and Denmark’s green profile, with an aim of helping Danish students and then also students in Third World countries by shipping these bikes to Sri Lanka after being used for four years in Denmark. 
What were the initial challenges? How did you overcome them?
The biggest initial challenge was, by far, financing the project. It actually happened more than once that I put away my idea because I could not get the capital I needed. Somehow I kept going and believed that my idea would become a reality. At last, I found a person who could see the potential and loaned me the money I needed to start it. For this, I am very grateful. 
Now I have private investors in my business, which also led to a name change (BikeMedia ApS) and four distinct concepts – all dealing with marketing on bicycles. This happened in the summer of 2014. So, it is still quite new. I learned the hard way to believe and keep working very hard. When you get an established business and investors, suddenly everything becomes a bit easier. When you get the first person to believe in you, others will follow. 
How has the journey been so far?
The journey has been very long and very rough. In the beginning, I was sure that my product was going to pretty much sell itself because I really thought it was a good concept. But that was not at all the reality. It took me a lot of long nights, meetings, presentations, etc. before I could feel this was going somewhere. The day I closed the deal that had us represented in the four biggest cities in Denmark was a very important milestone. I had been working so hard to accomplish precisely that! Another very important thing for my company was when I got private investors onboard and finally assembled the concepts in one overall company and BikeMedia ApS was founded. 
How has becoming an entrepreneur changed you, personally?
I do not really think starting my own business have had a big impact on my personality. I have that entrepreneur mindset and as far as I recall, I always wanted to become one and I knew that someday I would have my own business. For me, it is not about the money but rather knowing that the business is mine, that I created it and contributed to something new. I might even be bold enough to call it innovation. 
Any other personal reflections and/or messages to budding entrepreneurs?
The number one thing that is very important to succeed is to keep going and believe in yourself and your project even though it's most likely that around 90 percent of others do not. You have to find a way to overcome the days when you just feel like giving up and you have to be ready to work hard – every single day. 
Sparsh SharmaSparsh Sharma holds a Master's in business administration and a Bachelor's in electrical engineering. After having worked in top Indian media companies, he came to Denmark in the fall of 2012 to study at Aarhus University and later worked at Lego. A Danish green card holder, he is currently looking for marketing or consulting opportunities globally, while working as a freelance journalist for The Local Denmark and blogging about his experiences in Denmark. You can follow him on Twitter at @sparsh_s.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Danes show entrepreneurs how to ‘startup everywhere’

Looking to launch a startup in Copenhagen or Aarhus? It can seem tricky to navigate the startup scene, especially if you are new to the city or country.

Danes show entrepreneurs how to 'startup everywhere'
(L-R) Thomas Nymark Horsted, Sissel Hansen and Sofi Sitha Natarajah of Startup Everywhere.
This was the issue that Sissel Hansen, a 24-year-old Dane, faced when she moved to Berlin in 2014. So she decided to create a guide to the city’s startup scene. 
“When I moved to Berlin I relied on my Lonely Planet guide for where to sleep, eat, drink coffee and which activities not to miss, and I could see that a similar style of guide for startups would be invaluable to people moving to a new city and wanting to start a business,” she told The Local. 
She said it shouldn’t be “so damn hard to find relevant and in-depth information about your local city and the process of starting a business in it”.
Although she said many people questioned the wisdom in putting out a physical book in today’s digital world, Hansen’s guide to Berlin proved successful enough that she moved on to a second guide focusing on Aarhus’s start-up scene. 
Copenhagen was next and now Hansen and her team at Startup Everywhere have put out guides for nine European cities and sold around 14,000 copies. 
They have also just released an online and mobile app, Startup Guide Maps, as a navigational companion to the print guide featuring spaces, incubators, accelerators and cafes with wifi in cities including Copenhagen and Aarhus.
Thomas Nymark Horsted, who joined the company as COO six months after the release of the first book, said the global startup scene is changing rapidly. 
“Twenty years ago there were only a handful of cities where most of the world’s innovation happened in, such as Silicon Valley, Boston, New York and Tel Aviv. Now it’s a global phenomenon but in spite of this, the challenges that entrepreneurs face are local rather then global. That’s why the platforms that Startup Everywhere create makes perfect sense and it is great that people find value in this,” says Thomas Nymark Horsted, COO of the company. 
Startup Everywhere plans to release guides for 25 new cities in 2017 and over 50 more in 2018.