At the Nest, CIID's early-stage startup incubator, we apply people-centered design methods to entrepreneurship.

The Nest brings together a small group of talented entrepreneurs to build products and services that create value and are focused on a positive impact. Working alongside CIID's renowned design consultancy, research arm, and Interaction Design Programme (the #17 design school in the world), Nest entrepreneurs spend 4 to 12 months turning their ideas into viable companies with the help of Nest resources and expert advisors. The Nest is sector-agnostic and welcomes impact-driven startups from any sector.

The Nest is made possible through generous co-financing by the Danish Ministry of Business and Growth.

The Nest operates in three phases, separated by mandatory milestones unlocking further support and funding. Startups may join at any phase and stay for a duration of 4 - 12 months.


CIID Nest is built around the principles of design-driven entrepreneurship. True to the CIID philosophy, each company in the Nest is committed to a people-centered and iterative approach coupled with technology and business thinking. We've assembled the resources and network to give your startup the best possible chance to grow.


CIID Nest pairs each team with a specific mentor, chosen from a field of over 50 design and business experts from around the globe. Your mentor is selected based on your team’s focus and needs, and partners with you throughout your Nest residency, to help guide your development and provide feedback from start to finish.

Business Training

To ensure that your idea achieves the greatest possible reach, we’ve invited business professionals and veteran entrepreneurs to help refine your team’s business approach. They’ll work with your team as you create a business plan, define a product strategy, and prepare and deliver investor pitches.

Studio Space

Occupying the top floor of CIID’s building in the heart of Copenhagen, the Nest puts you in the midst of a constant ebb and flow of expertise: teachers and students from our IDP programme, visiting researchers from around the world, and in-house consultants.

The CIID Network

CIID draws on a vibrant extended network of designers, entrepreneurs, and forward-thinking businesses. During your time at the Nest, your team will connect and contribute to this network, enhancing your own work and inspiring others. Members of our network also attend organised Demo Days at the end of your five months, giving you a unique opportunity to pitch for potential investment.

Prototyping Lab

Build. Test. Repeat. Your team will have 24/7 access to a full suite of prototyping tools in our lab. From laser cutters, 3D printers and electronics benches, to modeling, woodworking, and video production – every possible way to make your idea real is at your fingertips, along with the expertise and advice to make it work. The CIID Prototyping lab is sponsored by Intel.


CIID Nest is the focal point for an unparalleled global network of design, business, and technology experts. It offers a unique combination of breadth, specialization, and practical experience. Whether as a dedicated mentor, subject matter expert, or business advisor, each member of this network is there to actively support your team every step of the way.

In-house Team

In addition to the daily support by the CIID staff, all teams will have regular contact with a small group of in-house advisors. They hail from some of the world’s most innovative entrepreneurial organizations, and offer the technical, logistical, and strategic support to make your idea a reality.

Simon Herzog
Strategy & Management, CIID Nest

Simon is a maker, designer, and consultant focused on the needs of young and emerging companies. He has advised dozens of entrepreneurs on their business plans, strategy, communications, and investor pitches.

After spending years in New York’s vibrant startup scene gaining deep insights into early-stage entrepreneurship and investment, Simon moved to Denmark to combine his experiences with a design approach. Since February 2015, Simon has developed the Nest from an early prototype to a focused incubator built around creating a real impact. Simon also acts as a business developer for CIID as a whole and frequently teaches design principles to students, designers, and executives around the world.

Simon holds a BA in sociology from Columbia University and is a graduate of CIID’s 2014 Interaction Design Programme.

Simona Maschi
Co-Founder and CEO, CIID

Simona is a co-founder and director of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Leading the overall organisation at CIID she heads a team that encompasses a world-class consultancy, education programme, and research lab.

Simona is an expert in service and scenario design and created a design culture at CIID that works in collaboration with academia and industry. She regularly speaks at conferences and events and is a part of a board of experts at the University of Macau in China. Simona has over 15 years of teaching experience at various institutions including Denmark’s Design School (DKDS), the Politecnico University in Milan, and the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.

Simona completed both her PhD in Industrial Design and Multimedia Communication (2002), and her MA in Architecture (1996) at the Polytechnic University of Milan.

Jan Krog Henningsen
Business and Strategy Advisor

Jan has joined the Nest as a permanent in-house mentor and advisor for Nest startups.

In his previous position at Aller Media Innovation as Head of Business Development, Jan built a department of 35 people that launched 4 successful global startups. In the process, he acquired substantial experience in advising and mentoring purpose-driven startups and gives concrete actionable feedback in every session, helping startups to break through in their market.

Jan has been working with startups since 1997 and has been pitched more than 400 business ideas, working with more than 50 of them, and launching 8.This has given him valuable insights as to how a startup is best pitched to both investors and partners.

Jan is a serial entrepreneur and holds a Master’s in Project Leadership at the Technical University of Denmark.


Join our team in a dynamic and challenging environment that rewards creativity, initiative, and ambition.
We are always open for new potential, so please feel free to send a cover letter and resume to contact@nest.ciid.dk.

Contact Us

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Toldbodgade 37B, 1253 Copenhagen K, Denmark

+45 3555 1100