Helsinki University Funds is owned by the University of Helsinki, which is the oldest and largest university in Finland. Strong roots in research make an arena for new deep tech innovations that the world urgently needs in the new, uncertain market situation. The university supports researchers on turning commercially interesting ideas into spinout companies.
Helsinki University Funds is one of the founders and typically the provider of first seed financing to spinout companies, which are usually grounded on strong intellectual property created at the university. The industries vary from health and life sciences to education and AI.
Investments are preferally made together with other early-stage investors. “A co-investment with business angels including an active lead angel investor would be an ideal model for us,” says Marko Berg, Deputy Chief Investment Officer of University of Helsinki. “A mix of different investors provides a way to develop answers to big problems faster and more effectively,” he continues. Berg reminds that besides funding, many spinout companies are in a need of experienced board members.
“This is a great opportunity for business angels to discover the most recent high-tech solutions of the major university and join a company in a very early stage,” says Amel Gaily, FiBAN’s Managing Director. “Also, all the expertise that our members have can be really beneficial for young companies and spinoffs,” she adds.
One of the companies born and raised at the University of Helsinki is GlucoModicum that has developed a needle-free and painless health solution for monitoring glucose and other analytes in interstitial fluid. Besides Helsinki University Funds, investors include FiBAN members, such as Niklas Geust who was recently awarded for the Finnish Business Angel Exit of the Year 2019.
The University of Helsinki enhances new innovations in several ways. Besides the financing arm Helsinki University Funds, Helsinki Innovation Services offers support for researchers on commercialization, thus creating new spinout companies. Helsinki Think Company is a student entrepreneurship society with a strong community. Recently, the university launched a new HELSEED startup entrepreneurship programme to encourage students to develop their ideas towards startup companies. Helsinki University Funds will invest in the most potential solutions and welcomes business angel investors to join the mission of finding the next big success stories.
Please contact Marko Berg to hear more about Helsinki University Funds, and stay tuned for a showcase event of the finest new innovations - coming up in the fall 2020!
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
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