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Lean start-up for danish cooling company

Max is behind the Danish company Grad. He started his journey on CBS and now he just signed his first six digits deal.

Max is already running late when I meet him for the first time. He has a short 15 min. gap in his busy schedule before he is catching the ferry back to Copenhagen where he currently lives. Together with the other co-founder of his company Grad, he just finished the last meeting with Metalwo before the production of their new product can initiate.

Those busy days are everyday life for Max. Ever since he started the company back in 2015, each day has been different from the one before and Max never looked back. Back in 2015 Max was a master student at Copenhagen Business School from which he holds the title as A Master in Applied Economics and Finance. With a professional background in investment banking, Max was becoming an expert in numbers, equations, cells, and rows but with a burning desire to create something on his own, he decided to quit his job and follows his dream. The idea of an innovative cooling device turned out to be a turning point for Max’ future career.  

An innovative cooling device

Max pitched the idea on his phone while having a short break in between lectures. He describes the situation as very informal, casual but nevertheless completely unforgettable. A course elective in entrepreneurship and one enthusiastic investor turned out to be the kick-start for his entrepreneur carrier, and the beginning of a business adventure that recently came to involve their first million krone deal. The investor quickly realized the potential of the idea and shortly after, Max was paired with an expert partner that could introduce him to the most up to date cooling technology on the market.


This led to the initial product from Grad which was a cooling device that could be integrated into desks and surfaces. But despite the originality of the idea, Max and his partner had to admit that the market, at that time, was not mature and that the technology was too extensive.

The lean start-up

Back to basics with, at that point, seven employees under his wing, Grad were facing their first organizational challenge. Backed by ambitious and hopeful investors and both designers as well as entrepreneurs on the team, the ambitions were higher than ever but the operational level was lacking behind. Luckily, the investors turned out to be helpful with guidance and support, and after reading the suggested book, “The Lean Start-up” by Eric Ries, everything fell into place. The book made Max realize the importance of an MVP, a minimum viable product, from which a new prototype quickly followed.

“You cannot keep developing your product because it will never be entirely finished” he argues and pinpoints the importance of a fairly quick and effective production in regards to the initial prototype.



At that point, Metalwo was included in the process based on the fact that we facilitate all relevant resources in-house but also our attentive eye for the details. A natural match according to Max. Grad had a particular wish to maintain iteration throughout the process, why a valuable collaboration between the experts at Metalwo and Grad was formed. Max emphasizes the Nordic design aesthetics as a competitive advantage and point of significance why they were stunned by the intense focus on design that they meet at Metalwo.


The aesthetic cooler

The final product presents itself as a sharply defined cooling device, specially designed for their new client. The product is produced in anodized aluminum and molded plastic which ensures functionality without compromising the timeless design. The cooler is produced for a specific client, an American liquor supplier who will firstly launch on the American markets followed by the European.


Max and his partner, Per Bergelin have held their breath for almost three years now but as for any other entrepreneur, this can change in a blink. Grad has the vision of becoming the world’s leading supplier of cooling solutions for bottles and with this product they are one step further.