Universal Robots A/S wins growth award
Regional winner of Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 in Region Funen
Universal Robots has just been elected Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 in Region Funen. The presentation of the award was witnessed by more than 150 business people from the region who took part in the celebration of the growth engine at Odense Congress Center.
Yesterday Universal Robots won the title as Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 in Region Funen. An excellent performance in light of the fact that the competition this year has been particularly fierce with 80 qualified businesses. Last year, only 59 businesses in the region satisfied the award criteria.
’We have seen very positive progress on the island of Funen in the past two years where the number of growth businesses has risen by 100 per cent after some hard times. The field of competitors this year is really strong, so it has been a pleasure to give the award to Universal Robots, which will now proceed to the national award ceremony’, says Carsten Collin, Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year.
Funen businesses are growing
Ulla Brandt, Senior Consultant at the Danish Chamber of Commerce, also rejoices at the progress in the region. Businesses on Funen may benefit from focusing more on a close market such as Northern Germany, just as Public-Private Partnerships may pave the way for growth for many business enterprises.
’Even if there is still room for improvement in the region, which has been hit hard by the crisis, it is very gratifying that so many businesses here have qualified for Ernst & Young’s growth award. And it is impressive, not to say well-merited, that Universal Robots wins the award this year’, says Ulla Brandt, noticing that, after a capital injection from the Danish Fund for Industrial Growth in 2008, Universal Robots has managed to create growth based on their unique concept of flexible and small robots. ‘It has really been a lift to the company to be rubber-stamped by the Fund back in 2008’, Ulla Brandt explains.
Small and flexible robots brought about vertical growth curves
Universal Robots has found a niche market for the production and sale of small lightweight robots, which are easy to use and highly flexible. Where the traditional, large robots have to give up, the Funen robot arms easily find space. This is one of the reasons why the market has welcomed Universal Robots’ products.
The robot arms may easily be moved to new places, and the user-friendly software makes it easy for the production workers to adapt the robot to new tasks. When Enrico Krog Iversen, the entrepreneur behind Universal Robots, became CEO and partner in 2008, he immediately spotted the potential of the unique product and persuaded the Danish Fund for Industrial Growth to join in. That marked the starting signal for almost vertical growth curves for the robot manufacturer on Funen.
Global adventure gathering momentum in USA
Enrico Krog Iversen has managed to expand his network, which he has been cultivating since he worked at A.P. Moeller/Maersk, so as to improve Universal Robots’ market position. Today, Universal Robots has more than 100 distributors in more than 40 countries and is now entering the US market. A visit to a fair in USA alone has resulted in 500 contacts and expectations as to 20 new distributor agreements before Christmas.
Severe resistance from competitors
Universal Robots is not the only business on Funen that can demonstrate excellent growth rates. Among the other nominees, the following businesses all generate handsome growth:
Strøjer Tegl A/S offers a range of bricks spanning popular machine-moulded bricks over retro-inspired wire-cut bricks to the vital common bricks and special shape bricks.
Falck Schmidt Defence Systems A/S has more than 40 years’ experience and knowhow as chief supplier and supplier of land-based weapon system programs.
Hedal Kruse Brohus A/S has specialised in ambitious e-commerce solutions – also as mobile devices – product databases (PIM) and automatic catalogue production.
Team Online A/S is an IT company uniquely positioned in the market with very few competitors. Its two key products are: a social-technical IT system and a dialogue and case management system.
As regional winner in Region Funen, Universal Robots, proceeds to the national Entrepreneur Of The Year award ceremony in Bella Center on 22 November 2012.
‘This will be the 16th year in a row we elect Denmark’s best growth locomotive. The Entrepreneur Of The Year event on 22 November will be the culmination of an autumn full of interviews and interesting regional elections. This year, 1,049 entrepreneurs have satisfied the criteria for participation - a number we are proud to present in times like these where focus is all too often at what was and which is no longer possible. Growth locomotives and entrepreneurs are playing a still more crucial role to society, and they should be cheered and celebrated in the proper fashion – that is what the national award ceremony is all about’, Carsten Collin ends by saying.
Facts about Entrepreneur Of The Year
Entrepreneur Of The Year distinguishes itself from other growth competitions as its focus is both on the nominees’ ability to generate financial growth and on more ‘soft’ values such as the entrepreneurs’ social commitment and ability to inspirit and involve the organisation. Awards are given to winners in various sub-categories as well, including Cleantech, Life Sciences, Globalization, etc. The purpose of Entrepreneur Of The Year is to place the growth culture on the agenda.
The international award
Against the backdrop of the great support lent to the Entrepreneur Of The Year competition on a global scale, the national award ceremonies have since 2001 been extended so as to comprise a World Entrepreneur Of The Year where the national winners compete for the title as the world’s best growth locomotive. The worldwide competition, which takes place in Monte Carlo in Monaco, is a unique opportunity for the national winners to network and exchange experience and ideas on a cross-frontier basis.
Behind the award
The Entrepreneur Of The Year competition took place for the first time in USA in 1986, and the winners at the time counted Michael Dell, Dell Computer, Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems, Howard Schultz, Starbucks and Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com. In Denmark, the first Entrepreneur Of The Year was elected in 1997, and the list of Danish winners includes Jysk A/S, Dyrberg Kern A/S, Welltec A/S, Dinex A/S and – in 2011 – the pump manufacturer DESMI A/S.