Innovation and Entrepreneurship students to develop tourism and industry in Thy and Hirtshals

65 Danish and 35 international students will be coming up with ideas for how the North Sea cities of Hanstholm and Hirtshals can generate growth and create more jobs.

50 sharp brains from our Bachelor top-up programme in Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be occupying the little fishing town of Hanstholm on the North Sea coast from Tuesday 8 - Thursday the 10 of September. They will be making proposals for Hanstholm’s future tourism and business industries.

Later this month, the Academy will then head for Hirtshals, where another 50 students will find out how the town can attract and retain some of the two million passengers that annually arrive by ferry.

48-hour brainstorming session at hotel

The 48-hour camp will take place at Montra Hotel, Hanstholm, where the 50 students and three lecturers will be residing. The students will be divided into eight teams who, under expert guidance and prodding from their teachers, will focus on developing new ideas for growth initiatives in Thy, which, among other things, includes the coastline ‘Cold Hawaii’ which is one of Europe’s best surf spots.

‘I am so looking forward to it,’ says hotel manager Søren Plet from Montra Hotel Hanstholm and adds:

‘We see this as a huge opportunity to get some new, outside ideas for our challenges. In Thy, we are used to having to create everything ourselves and that there is always resistance. Despite this, there are many good, local capacities who are working to develop the area. We also have several great jobs and local growth companies. But we need more of them, and then we also need to be even better to work together to develop Thy.’

From strong individualists to a joint strategy

Business Consultant Tommy Møllgaard Siim from the Thy Business Forum is looking forward to the visit.

‘We are have a challenge in being able to attract and retain qualified workers for the area’s many exciting companies. Therefore, we must, among other things, make businesses more visible and reinforce our spouse scheme. There are a lot of good, local initiatives underway in the area, but something that Thy should be even better at is solving challenges together. Therefore, I hope that the students can devise achievable proposals on how we can create even more cooperation and synergy in Thy,’ he says.  

Mayor to crown best idea

On the last day, Montra Hotel Hanstholm and Thy Business Forum will host a conference with the participation of, among others, MP and Liberal Party business spokesman Torsten Schack Pedersen, VisitThy’s Tourism Manager Ole Riis, Event Manager Morten Manaa, President of DI-Thy-Mors Tage Odgaard Nielsen and CEO Francois Grimal from Dolle A/S in Frøstrup, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of loft stairs. The eight teams will present their ideas and they will be evaluated at a workshop. The three best ideas will receive awards from Thisted municipality’s Mayor Lene Kjelgaard Jensen.

From transit town to destination town

When an additional 50 students and three lecturers takeover Hirtshals the following week, the 15 - 17 September, it is in order to brainstorm their way to new suggestions on how this port city can attract and retain some of the many thousands of ferry customers, who each week dock and leave without seeing the city.

This innovation camp will also end in Hirtshals with a conference, attended by among others, Hjørring’s Mayor Arne Boelt who will award a prize to the winners.

Well-tried concept

This is the fourth year in a row that Business Academy Aarhus, with several partners, is organising the innovation camp as a compulsory part of the students’ programme. Previously, similar innovation camps have been very successful in Øster Hurup, Varde, Odder and Ebeltoft with companies, organisations and municipalities as the clients.

‘The concept is tried and tested and we dare guarantee that the students will come up with something useful,’ says Associate Professor Jesper Nørskov from Business Academy Aarhus.