April 1, 2020
DAILY BRIEF: High-flying business angels, research, food, packaging and IT
FiBAN's outstanding Finnish business angels for 2019 (from left) Ali Omar, Leena Niemistö and Niklas Geust.
All the daily Finnish business news that works: Eficode, the University of Helsinki, Apetit, Nakuna Helsinki, Metsä Board and FiBAN make headlines.
Eficode wins development operations award, University of Helsinki professors are awarded significant research grants, Apetit launches food products in Sweden, Nakuna Helsinki opts for Metsä Board’s sustainable packaging, and FiBAN awards Finnish business angels.
Finnish company Eficode has won the Partner of the Year award in development operations (devops) from multinational software company Atlassian for the second year in a row. Eficode was recognised for its work in helping small and large enterprises across industries to improve their in-house software development and IT operations. The Finnish firm has utilised Atlassian’s tools, such as Jira Software, Confluence and Jira Align, for over 15 years on its mission.
Assistant professor Juha Saarikangas from the University of Helsinki has received a Young Investigator Grant from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) to study cellular ageing from a new angle. Saarikangas will carry out the research together with William C. Ratcliff, an evolutionary biologist at Georgia Institute of Technology in the US. The two teams will share the 750 000-US dollar grant over a three-year period to study the role of ageing in early multicellularity, something that remains poorly understood today. Saarikangas is the first Finnish scientist to be awarded the prestigious, highly competitive grant.
University of Helsinki
Jan Klabbers, a professor of international law at the University of Helsinki, has been granted 2.5 million euros by the European Research Council (ERC) for his PRIVIGO project, which studies the relationship between intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) and the private sector. IGOs such as the World Health Organization and International Maritime Organization are generally assumed to be working for the public good, but they also engage with the private sector in many ways. PRIVIGO will investigate this tension with an aim to develop laws related to IGOs. The ERC Advanced Grants are awarded to leading researchers in their fields for a five-year period.
University of Helsinki
Finnish food industry company Apetit’s products have been added to the selection of ICA, the largest grocery retain chain in Sweden. In the first phase, Apetit will launch frozen mixed vegetable products and vegan mince pizzas in the Swedish market. The offering will include breaded cauliflower and broccoli wings, which, although already popular in Finland, will be the first of their kinds in Sweden. Apetit’s strategic goal is to increase its international sales, especially in the neighbouring markets.
New Finnish luxury fragrance brand Nakuna Helsinki has chosen to use Metsä Board’s lightweight paperboard for its packaging. Founded only last year, Nakuna Helsinki has collaborated with Givaudan to create a new perfume series that embodies unique Finnish experiences, such as a chilling dip in the open water, mid-summer magic and the thrill of rally driving. To reflect the brand’s values of luxury and responsibility, Nakuna Helsinki opted for the non-plastic, adhesive-free and fully recyclable packaging. The detailed packaging components also deliver a memorable opening experience.
The Finnish Business Angel’s Network (FiBAN) has named Ali Omar as the Finnish Business Angel of the Year 2019 and recognised Leena Niemistö and Niklas Geust for the Finnish Business Angel Exit of the Year. With the awards, FiBAN wants to highlight the important work that private investors are doing for startups and the Finnish economy. Omar has become one of the most distinguished angel investors in the country, with his portfolio of 25 mostly technology startups and reputation as an active sparring partner in the startup ecosystem. Experienced investors Niemistö and Geust were congratulated for their successful exit strategy from Verso Food, a Finnish plant-based food startup sold to Norway’s Kavli in 2019.
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