Odense, the home turf of Umbraco HQ.
Odense, the third biggest city in Denmark. Probably most well-known worldwide as the birthplace of the renowned fairy tale author, Hans Christian Andersen. And to Umbracians, of course Umbraco and Codegarden 😉
But Odense is also on its way to be known for something else - the tech hub of Europe. Sounds ambitious? It is. But not at all far off, as the transformation from being one of Denmark’s industrial centres to instead being an international center for IT, Drone and Robot technology is already well on its way. The Guardian has even written an article about this humble, “hyggelige”, yet ambitious city and its recent development.
Ever been to Umbraco HQ?
Our offices here in Odense actually visualises the post-industrial transformation quite well. A building that’s been more or less completely renovated from an old diesel power plant to an office building - a very hipster office building that is.
Umbraco HQ, Haubergsvej 1 in Odense. Also known as Unicorn Square.
As you can see, the diesel engine is still here and even though we joke about it powering our laptops or our email system, it is now completely inactive. Well, not completely, as it is now part of a local museum telling the story of what previously powered Odense - literally and metaphorically.
Until 2012, Odense was also the center for shipping and for building huge container vessels for the Maersk group. If you take a stroll down by the harbour today, you won’t notice much industrial activity as such. This place also visualises the big transformation of the city, as now you’ll find big office buildings, new apartments as well as a free harbour bath, an indoor football field and an outdoor fitness area. Not to forget DOK5000 - the Codegarden venue. All of which has brought new life to this area of Odense.
Odense harbour. Go for a swim in the free harbour bath and see if you can spot Hans Christian Andersen taking a dip.
Proud to be part of “the hub”.
The development that’s been happening in Odense during the past few years makes us even prouder to be part of it all. The development does not just mean that Odense is growing and has become more attractive to both live and work in, it also means that it is easier for us to attract new full-time employees, student assistants and interns. It’s creating a whole ecosystem that brings value to so many people and businesses in Odense - especially tech-businesses like ours.
The entire tech-hub investment is four-legged: IT, robot technology, welfare tech and drone technology. Even Facebook has decided that Odense is the perfect place to built their new data center. And with 2500 already working in the robot and automation industry and with 220 IT-companies placed around Odense, the ambition of becoming an international hi-tech-hub is not that far fetched at all. Especially since it’s supported across local businesses, the private sector and the local educational institutions, making sure there’s synergy between job opportunities and educational programs.
Umbraco and the hi-tech-ecosystem
But how specifically do we, Umbraco, benefit from being in Odense? Well, if you look at our support team, part of it is made out of support heros who are or have been educated locally in web development at EAL (Lillebælt Academy - University of applied sciences). We’ve even grown such a close relationship to EAL that as of September this year, everyone doing a degree in web development will take the Umbraco Fundamentals training as part of their educational program. This means that new web developers won’t just discover Umbraco, they’ll also get an official Umbraco certification and simply get to know something about .net which they don’t teach at the university atm.
Gabriel is one of our support heros currently working as a student assistant while studying web development at EAL. In July we have the pleasure of having him as a full-time intern.
And with organisations like Technology Denmark who actively match the right tech-talents with the right businesses and thus, create positive awareness about the great opportunities that you find in Odense, we’re sure that this hi-tech-ecosystem will only keep growing.
It is no secret that throughout the next years, we want both Umbraco HQ and Codegarden to expand for the even better, and with the high ambitions and interesting prospects in Odense we’re confident that this home-turf is a keeper.