The company Volt has created a successful business
on leasing portable chargers for smartphones. It all began at Roskilde Festival where three students tested an idea.

Roskilde Festival is a playground. Not only for the partying and community-seeking participants, but also for students and young entrepreneurs who want to test a product among the 130,000 people who gather each year for the festival.

Today, the company Volt is leading on the Danish market within renting portable chargers for smartphones. In 2012, the founding year of the company, the revenue was about 250,000 Danish kroner. Two years later, it had grown to about 19 million.

It is a great benefit to be in partnership with Roskilde Festival

It all began as a good idea and a stall at Roskilde Festival. 

"It begins back in 2011 when, the three of us, who study at DTU, are at Roskilde Festival. We are tired of the long queues for recharging our phones and then we get the idea for the mobile power banks," explains Rune Schostag Nielsen, who is one of the founders of Volt.

The other two founders are the brothers Trygve and Tobias Aabye Dam.

Empowers talents and benefits participants

The following year, the three entrepreneurs entered into a partnership with Roskilde Festival and tested the portable chargers at the festival. The participants liked the product. After only two days, Volt had sold out their power banks.

Volt serves a wide range of festivals in Denmark and Europe - e.g. Sziget in Hungary, Womad in New Zealand and Melt Festival in Germany Photo: Volt

After that, Roskilde Festival offered to put a million Danish kroner into the project against getting an owner’s share of 15 percent.

"The fact that there were people in Roskilde who said it was a good idea had a lot to do with us daring to believe in it and taking the chance," says Rune Schostag Nielsen. 

For Roskilde Festival it is about supporting young talents while at the same time developing a product that can benefit the festival’s participants:

"It’s important always to keep in mind what enhances the experience for the audience. If you don’t have any more battery on your phone you can’t tweet, you can’t use Instagram, you can’t do anything. It’s also annoying not to be able to reach your friends. We are completely dependent on our phones," says Charlotte Lyster, Roskilde Festival’s partnership manager.

A great testing ground

Since then, Volt has expanded their business. In collaboration with Roskilde Festival, they have developed a digital wardrobe system and they are also responsible for letting out refrigerators to participants at the festival. As something new, Volt has even begun to offer charging batteries for portable sound systems.

Volt has charging stations for mobile phones in many places at Roskilde Festival. Photo: Volt

When the new ideas have been tested and established at Roskilde Festival, Volt offers them to other events.

"It is a great benefit to be in partnership with Roskilde Festival. They are so big, and they are interested in trying new things and then you get access to a huge client database. The duration of the festival is also so long that you’re actually able to correct the first teething problems, and then you’re left with a finished product at the end," says Rune Schostag Nielsen.

Collaboration with DTU

  • Roskilde Festival collaborates with the Technical University of Denmark, DTU.
  • Each year, about 100 students attend with a festival project where they can test an idea and at the same time earn ECTS points for their degree.
  • Volt began as a part of this collaboration. Read more about the collaboration with DTU here (Link in Danish only).