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Alumni in growth adventure

IT Minds made headlines last summer when the company, just four years old at the time, was sold to the IT group, EG. During its short life, IT Minds had experienced a growth rate of 898 per cent, and the sale of the company was spurred on by ambitions of further growth and development.

2015.12.02 | SUSIE MUNK JENSEN

The plan has always been to turn IT Minds into a large company and also to conquer foreign markets - preferably fast.  Last year, these ambitions prompted the two founders and Aarhus BSS alumni, Jonas Vognsen (MSc, '11) and Morten Astrup Christensen (MSc, '11), to sell their company.

“Even though IT Minds has of course been very special to us, we have always seen it first and foremost as a business, and we have never planned to own the company forever. But the sale was never about cash and about making a quick buck. It was about expanding the organisation by adding competences to help us reach our goals and increase the possibilities for our employees in the future,”  Jonas Vognsen explains. Both he and Morten Astrup Christensen have remained in the company as partners after the sale. 

Indeed, the whole idea behind IT Minds has been to create a business which gives young people a good start to their career and the possibility of applying theory to practice.

“To us, the fact that our company has a lot of large and professional customers and has grown so fast is a pat on the back to all the young talents who have joined us along the way.  Our salespeople and project managers were all university students when they started working for us. Our two new art directors also both recently graduated from Aarhus BSS,” says Morten Astrup Christensen.

Strategic partner
IT Minds spoke with several players in the field before they found the perfect partner in the leading IT group, EG, whose annual turnover exceeds DKK 1.5 billion. Afterwards, they spent a lot of time balancing their mutual expectations and discussing the future collaboration.

“We were very structured in the process of finding a buyer, and when it came to the final decision, we trusted our gut feeling. EG believed in us and in what we did. They were not interested in making our decisions for us,” Morten Astrup Christensen explains.

IT Minds were not required to adopt the guidelines and procedures of the EG group, but both partners agreed that they could if they wanted to. That is why IT Minds still have their own premises and own management, but are able to draw on the competences of the EG group whenever there is a need.

“Gaining access to strategic sparring  has been a great advantage - both on a day-to-day basis and from a professional board of directors. From a business perspective, we have gained a lot from the takeover, and we are now able to focus on the business and on creating growth,” says Jonas Vognsen.

Get the paperwork in order  
Both Jonas Vognsen and Morten Astrup Christensen have studied finance and international business at Aarhus BSS,  and they were able to use their own knowledge in negotiations. To ensure the right foundation, however, they decided to supplement their own knowledge with talented people from outside the company. This has proven to be well worth the time and the money.

“All our preparatory work has paid off today. We are now in a comfortable position which offers us every opportunity to continue running our business. It is a happy marriage. We are supported by a strong and experienced organisation, and we have someone to consult with. They are such a great help to us,” Morten Astrup Christensen concludes.

 

About IT Minds

IT Minds works within the field of software development and primarily employs students and newly graduated talents from Denmark’s IT universities. Jonas Vognsen and Morten Astrup Christensen have kept their titles from before the sale and are both partners in IT Minds along with the third party, Kristian W. Larsen.  IT Minds is located in Aarhus and Copenhagen and is in the process of opening a branch in Oslo. 

Learn more about entrepreneurship when we focus on the subject through different activities in 2016.

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Tags: IT Minds, Alumni, entrepreneurship, Jonas Vognsen, Morten Astrup Christensen, growth, development