Exclusive: Lars Seier Christensen Featured on Startup TV Show

The co-founder and former CEO of Saxo Bank is advising enterpreneurs on Danish TV

The co-founder and former co-CEO of Saxo Bank Lars Seier Christensen is taking on a brand new challenge. He is featured on a Danish TV show called “Vejen Til Seier” (Road To Victory). The program is airing on the second largest local TV2 channel but is also available internationally on streaming service TV2 Play.

TV2 is one of the two big channels in Denmark. After the channel reached out to Saxo Bank’s co-founder with an offering to participate in a new show dedicated to capturing the spirit of entrepreneurship, Christensen accepted on the condition that he participates in the design of the concept.

“I agreed to participate on the condition that we designed our own concept. I did not want to be boxed into one of the very light entertainment international concepts like Shark Tank or The Apprentice. Here we try to show the real process of a seed/angel investment, the way I do it in real life,” Christensen exclusively commented to Finance Magnates.

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Company representatives who meet with Christensen in the show are submitting a pitch deck, deliver the pitch itself, and are being subjected to real-life tests of product market fit, team, market opportunity, legal/financial due diligence.

“Of course, we still had to make it not to heavy to be suitable for prime time TV, so after each programme, we launch our own web episode, where I meet one of the contestants for a deep dive and a discussion of some important aspect of the startup industry,” Christensen explained.

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Speaking with Finance Magnates, Christensen elaborated that his participation in the show is to give his own perspective on the startup industry and to give a more in depth explanation of the challenges, risks and opportunities along the way.

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“I think some of the big TV concepts in this area are far too glamourous and gung-ho. Not everyone is suited to be an entrepreneur and people should understand clearly the full implications of going down that route – including of course also all the great things such as freedom, self government, and the potential for substantial economic reward if you are persistent, smart…. and a bit lucky along the way,” Christensen elaborated.

Fintech & Retail Trading

Having the opportunity to speak to Christensen, Finance Magnates also asked about the challenges for the fintech industry and the retail broking space in particular. He thinks that fintech startups are not so different from the rest, except perhaps that the heavy regulatory burden is unusual and often totally underestimated by wannabe fintech entrepreneurs.

“One has to be very realistic that when critical mass is achieved the regulatory scrutiny will increase and impact heavily on costs and restrictions on the business development. Most of the business plans I see from this space are not professional enough in this area, so I would recommend to new fintech startups to get that right, and be realistic,… or it will come back with a vengeance at some point,” the co-founder and former co-CEO of Saxo Bank said.

As to the retail trading industry, Christensen thinks that it is very challenged as is visible from the listed companies’ market caps. The changes to the business model stemming from the regulatory tightening are changing the business as we know it.

While Christensen thinks that in some cases the new regulations are good and justified, in other cases, the new framework hurts both the interests of the brokers and the clients.

“The pendulum has swung too far, but I don’t see it mean reverting anytime soon, if ever. So business conditions will remain tough and you really need to be in it for the long term to succeed,” Christensen concluded.

The TV series with Lars Seier Christensen runs on Mondays at 8:45 CET. Readers who don’t speak Danish, can keep track on Christensen’s personal profile on LinkedIn for subtitled tidbits from the show.

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