New startup leads tourists to local spots in Copenhagen

Three ITU students have developed Motes, a web app that provides location-based tips for alternative sights in Copenhagen.

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Hidden pocket parks, quirky art installations and atmospheric cemeteries. Just a few of the hidden sights that you can discover on a new digital walk through the Nørrebro district in Copenhagen. The route is called "Know your ‘Bro" and has just been launched by the startup Motes in collaboration with Copenhagen Municipality. The goal is to inspire tourists to explore the city beyond traditional attractions like The Little Mermaid and the Round Tower.

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Motes is kind of like Pokémon GO for cultural enthusiasts.

Mathias Mølgaard, co-founder of Motes
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To access information about sights on the route, users must be in the near vicinity of the spot – and that is the whole point.

"You have to be within a certain range to unlock the story about each attraction. In this way, we invite users to explore the city on foot. Motes is kind of like Pokémon GO for cultural enthusiasts," says Mathias Mølgaard, co-founder of Motes and a student in ITU's Digital Innovation & Management programme.

Another benefit of the platform is that users can access the route directly from their smartphone browser, saving users the trouble of downloading a bulky app to their smartphones.

Hackathon led to the first client

Motes builds on an earlier project called CityStories launched in Aarhus by Mathias Mølgaard a couple of years back. In 2017, Mathias and his study companion Louis Amhild revived the idea with ​​new technology and design at a hackathon that invited students to develop digital concepts for the tourism industry.

The hackathon jury loved the idea – and a representative from Copenhagen’s tourist information office, took the idea back to his organization. This resulted in the collaboration on the digital walk in Nørrebro.

Next step: More clients and AR 

More Copenhagen walks are currently in the making, but the Motes team also aims to sell the platform to other tourist organizations, municipalities and private companies in Denmark – and eventually across the world.

In addition, they would like to develop the technical side of the platform, for instance by adding Augmented Reality.

De tre stiftere af Motes.
The team behind Motes: Louis Amhild, Mathias Mølgaard og Yassin Achiban.
"With Augmented Reality, we would be able to create very unique experiences. For instance, we could augment old photos from the Germen occupation and show users how the streets looked completely different back then. If we can get funding for it, we will definitely go in that direction," says Louis.

Vibrant startup environment

The three ITU entrepreneurs met at the university. The vibrant entrepreneurial environment at the university made it easy to find both professional sparring and new contacts.

"The study environment is really diverse with many different people and competences, and many students want to work in a startup. That makes it easy to create a team that compliments each other well," says Mathias.

The latest member of the team joined Motes a few weeks ago and was also recruited at ITU. Marketing manager Yassin Achiban, who studies Digital Design & Communication, will be responsible for getting new customers on board.

According to the Motes team, the best advice for students with startup dreams is to focus on building a good network.

"We have learned that an unsolicited email often doesn’t payoff unless you have met the receiver before. Getting out to events and meeting people gets you much further," Mathias concludes.

Further information

Vibeke Arildsen, Press Officer, phone 2555 0447, email viar@itu.dk