TechVelopment Denmark – pushing for innovation and entrepreneurship in the development agenda

Welcome to TechVelopment Denmark: a new association of Danish startups and SMEs that aims to improve the visibility of innovative, technology-based approaches to creating impact in the global South.

What started as an informal network in 2018 is now an official association of entrepreneurs, startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises developing sustainable, innovative, tech-based solutions targeting people and communities in low- and middle-income countries. 

The 15 members of TechVelopment Denmark are all purpose-driven and delivering products and services that help tackle global challenges and improve the lives of people in the Global South – and thus realising the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This includes solutions within housing, access to safe drinking water, energy, education, health, food, and financial inclusion. 

Innovation and green technology in focus

TechVelopment Denmark aims to put innovation and ‘green’ technology on the Danish development agenda, and highlight the importance of sustainability in global development cooperation.

“Denmark is world-leading within innovation and green technology, and we need to bring this advantage with us into the global development scene and add a Danish fingerprint to global sustainable development issues. That requires that we make it an integral part of the Danish development agenda – and that we create an ecosystem that works actively to use Danish expertise, innovation, and entrepreneurship to create sustainable development for people and communities in the world”, says Thorben Sander, chairman of TechVelopment Denmark.

Techvelopment Denmark was established by a handful of its current members out of a concern that the potential of their market- and solutions-based approach to development issues was overlooked in the Danish development agenda. “We decided to create the ecosystem that many of us had been missing in Denmark,” says Thorben Sander, who works with the rest of the board to establish TechVelopment Denmark in the Danish tech, innovation and development scene.

Innovation during COVID-19

This past year, throughout the pandemic, members of TechVelopment Denmark have demonstrated the necessity of innovation and technology in conflict or crisis, preserving the agenda of “leaving no one behind”.

To give an example, early in the pandemic, Maternity Foundation developed digital teaching material about Covid-19 for health workers through its Safe Delivery App., who normally enables financial inclusion for Ethiopian women through their digital savings solution, used their platform and digital competence to spread information about Covid-19. And furthermore, CanopyLab made their digital teaching material available for students across the world, who were unable to go to school.

These are the sort of impact stories and solutions that TechVelopment Denmark wants to shed light on.

Strengthening collaboration across sectors

In the long-run, TechVelopment Denmark’s ambition is to enable partnerships across the private sector, the public sector and civil society to approach development issues as a collective challenge.

“We believe that multi-stakeholder partnerships between civil society, public institutions and authorities, private companies, educational institutions, and UN entities can create better and more sustainable solutions and results for everyone. We are thrilled to play our part and collaborate across sectors to create as strong a base for Denmark’s development cooperation as possible,” says Thorben Sander. 


The 15 members of TechVelopment Denmark are BlueTown, 4Life Solutions (formerly known as SolarSack), JamiiOne, Hive Online, Lulu Lab, Maternity Foundation, Life Shelter, SkyGarden, CanopyLab, Africa Reframed, Unumed, Peshito, SoilSense, Linkaiders og X-SOLAR.