Leadership in Startups

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Founder to Leader is a national partnership between Copenhagen Business School and The Danish Industry Foundation with the purpose to strengthen leadership competencies among founders in Danish startups. The project aims to build awareness of good practices around leadership, high-performance teams, organizations and sustainable company cultures.

Startup founders beyond their first hires will be offered leadership development in the form of offsites and individual coaching in a program designed specifically for founder leaders with 5+ employees in their company. 

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Leadership and personal development in startups have long been an overlooked focus. Yet leadership, personal development, and team-related challenges are the third most common reason why startups fail (Kulicke & Kripp, 2013; CB Insights, 2019). 

Poor cultures in startups are still dominating challenges for new founder leaders, resulting in poor performance, stress, dysfunctional team dynamics, excessive work, lack of diversity, and good internal communication. 

Attracting and retaining the right talented employees and building a high-performance culture among their team to effectively build a sustainable business is today's key for any business and leader to succeed.  

This program has been launched based on the practical experience of founder leaders in startups and the existing leadership and organizational research on high-performing teams and organizations.  



The leadership development program for startup founders is designed specifically for founder leaders. It is designed in close collaboration with leading organizational psychology and leadership researchers and practitioners. 

It entails both intensive offsites with a focus on the exploration of personal leadership and relevant models and frameworks together with other founders facing the same challenges being at the same maturity level, as well as individual coaching sessions with a leadership coach offered to all participants 

The first round of startups will start in early 2023 with an uptake three times a year.  

If you are interested in participating or want to be the first to know when we open for applications, make sure to let us know below, and receive news about when the program is launched. 


If you are interested in participating or want to be the first to know when we open for applications, make sure to let us know and receive news about when the program is launched


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In the project, we collaborate with a variety of leadership researchers, experts, industry partners and ecosystem partners to create the best possible program and harness the existing research and knowledge in the field. 

The knowledge collected in the project will be transformed into relevant activities and content for the benefit of a wider group of relevant people being both other founders, ecosystem players and other stakeholders with the interest in putting leadership development in startups high on the agenda to help startups succeed and overcome their challenges. 

Knowledge, research and collaborative activities are supported through a startup leadership conference, articles, different analyses, a startup leadership book and different other relevant events and collaborations. 

For questions or collaborations please contact Mia Jung, Head of Leadership Development at mj.cse@cbs.dk