International investors are increasingly excited about Finnish start-ups. The Enterprise Finland Venture Forum promotes this trend through bringing start-ups and investors together at the same table.
Finnish Industry Investment Ltd, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation and Finnvera jointly organized in co-operation with Technopolis an international investment event, the Enterprise Finland Venture Forum. This was held at the end of January for Finnish technology companies in their infancy. Held this year for the second time, the event attracted 30 companies and 42 investors.
— The aim is to bring together Finland’s most promising early-phase technology companies and Finnish as well as international investors, explains Project Chairman Henri Grundstén from Finnish Industry Investment.
Bringing the most promising companies to the fore
— Finnish start-ups not only receive funding from international investors, they also gain valuable contacts on international markets. For this reason we try to promote active international investment alongside Finnish investment.
During the January event the companies presented their operations and their plans to investors after which negotiations continued in private. Once again the Forum brought positive feedback.
— The international investors in particular were satisfied that the day had proved so effective, having met many interesting companies and formed a good impression of Finnish start-ups and their competitiveness.
— During the afternoon nearly 150 individual and previously arranged private negotiations took place. In addition there were many ad hoc discussions taking place.
More funding is needed
Present at the event was CEO Kristian Ranta from Mendor Oy who last year was named best presenter of the event.
— Finland needs to be put on the world map in order for us to win international funding. Although the situation is getting better, there still just isn’t enough capital out there. That’s why bridge building is so valuable among Finnish and international investors and entrepreneurs and institutions.
Ranta knows from personal experience that finding funding in Finland for a company in its start-up phase is not easy. Founded in 2006 Mendor succeeded in developing a new generation of blood sugar monitor with the help of the Foundation for Finnish Inventions, Finnvera, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation and private business angels.
Today the monitor is on sale and its market prospects are promising.
In Finland alone, the blood sugar monitoring market is worth 50 million euros. On an EU scale we’re talking of markets worth two thousand million and on a global scale of more than seven thousand million euros.