Lærke Ullerup, the driving force behind TEDx Copenhagen this year
Head of upcoming TEDx Copenhagen and freshly nominated “One We Believe In” by New Media Days, it wasn’t hard to choose to sit down with Lærke Ullerup, to hear her take on being an entrepreneur.
Although she is at the moment employed at Wemind in Vestergade, a consultancy working with involvement and social media, she started out her career at 23 as an media-science graduate student come independent entrepreneur by launching the leadership-consulting company “What is Pink” with founder Niko Grönfeld. Having the space, economically and professionally as a student, to try different things out, to fail and succeed without risking more than a student loan, she sees as one of her most important lessons in her professional life, and a big help in getting her to where she is today.
After her graduation Lærke decided to take on consulting on her own, and through a number of assignments ended up with the like-minded (and complementary-minded) people at Wemind. First as an associated freelancer sharing the office, and about a year ago as a full-time employee.
Suddenly getting a fixed pay didn’t make her loose her entrepreneurial approach though, and she had to employ everything she learned as a “iværksætter” when she took over a project called TEDx Copenhagen. In less than 5 weeks she managed to build up the conference, with more than a hundred participants and 12 speakers.
This year TEDx Copenhagen has increased in size, but Lærke’s ambition with the conference stays the same – to open people’s eyes to the inspirational potential of the TED talks, and have the participants at the conference, who has been selected to get as broad a representation of people as possible, inspire and talk to each other to start new ideas, organizations and businesses.
It is the networking element, where people meet and share ideas and visions, that seems to be the drive in Lærke’s work. In such a field I’d guess it doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur one day and an employee the next. To be able to initiate and facilitate the groups, projects, spaces and processes that are needed to let people grow through learning from and sharing with each other, you must be an entrepreneur every day. That is also the way that Lærke first and foremost thinks of her professional self, and encourages as many people as possible to try it out for themselves.
She is especially calling out to students to try to start their own things while the experience in many ways is still “free”.