Battery startups in Finland

Akkurate – Battery lifetime monitoring and optimization software. Can be run in their cloud or within the customer’s data infrastructure. Allows optimizing battery usage to increase its lifetime, forecasting the needs for maintenance or replacements, as well as evaluating and modeling the risks for insurance, financing and other related services.

Bamomas – Battery fleet management and optimization software that can support multiple battery technologies. Their clients include material handling companies, railways and energy utility companies. The solution also works for example for utility vehicles ranging from industrial ones to golf karts; wherever there’s a large and valuable battery fleet. They are able to provide a whole fleet management solution or integrate with existing ones.

Geyser Batteries – Power batteries that last over a million charge cycles, are sustainable, can be produced from local materials all around the world, and are safe. No maintenance required, mechanically robust, working from -40C to +60C (>85C possible). Minimal total cost of ownership (TCO), operate in harsh conditions, very high CO2 savings over lifetime. Can be discharged to 0V. No thermal runaway. Nonflammable solvent (water): safe transport, installation, operation and recycling with no fire risk; can be carried in e.g. airplanes. Recyclable, and built 40% of recycled materials. No conflict materials. Fast charge and discharge. 3MW/t cycling power, 10MW/t burst power, <100µs reaction time, low ESR. Low cost for power (€/kW). High recuperation potential.

Teraloop – Their kinetic energy storage increases the utilization and reduces the costs of stationary energy storage. This sustainable solution can increase the utilization of an EV fast charge point by over 400% and reduce the capital cost of the storage by almost 70%. They’re well suited for enhancing distributed energy assets like virtual power plants and industrial process protection. Teraloop is seeking more partners in systems integrators and energy companies looking to enhance their product portfolio, as well as industrial process companies to enhance their processes. They may also have room for an additional investor in their scaling round in 2022.

Helsinki as a startup client

Health & Wellbeing – Sanna Hartman is the business development advisor of Helsinki social services and health care division, helping startups reach the right people to discuss potential cooperation. Best way to reach her is through the Testbed Helsinki contact form – the form makes sure you’ll get off to the fastest start by providing all the useful info. Current focus areas of the division include digital services (incl. e.g. robotics & AI) and home care services. They manage multiple pilot projects in these and other key areas simultaneously all the time. In addition to social and health care solutions they pilot also solutions for similar facilities and organizations, such as on-site guidance systems.

Port of Helsinki – Manages seven ports in Helsinki and nearby: Katajanokka, South Harbour, West Harbour, Hernesaari and Vuosaari in Helsinki, Kantvik in Kirkkonummi, and a bulk cargo terminal at Loviisa. They’re interested in solutions to improve client experience and efficiency of both cargo and passenger traffic. Sustainability is also one of their focus areas. Their FAQ page describes a broad range of solutions they’re using and seeking. Their preferred way of hearing from new business-ready solutions is through their feedback form.

Stara, Helsinki construction & logistics – Seeking solutions for improving the efficiency of construction, real estate, maintenance, and logistics operations, including solutions like drones, IoT, electric vehicles.

Large clients seeking startups

Here’s a growing list of corporations and other large clients who’d love to be among the first clients of new, innovative solutions that startups provide, and a few keywords of what each is seeking for.


Beiersdorf – Skin care, Software, Physical products

Elisa Finland – Connectivity, Automation, Industry 4.0, Health care, Entertainment, Smart homes

Fazer – Food, Raw materials, Production process technologies

Fiskars Group – Consumer goods, New services, New business models

Fortum – Energy, Energy systems, Sustainability, Resource efficiency, Digital solutions

Helsinki health services – Health, Digital services, Robotics, AI, Home care

Maxion Advanced Technologies – Mobility, Manufacturing, New business models

OP – Banking, Insurance, Fintech, AI, Biometrics, Customer loyalty, Customer experience

Port of Helsinki – Real estate, Maintenance, Security, Border control, Sustainability, Energy efficiency, Solar energy, IoT

Stara – Construction, Real estate, Maintenance, Logistics, Drones

Telia Finland – Mobile data, Software, Circular economy data

YIT – Construction, Materials, Real estate

Nordic & Baltic deep tech investors

Here are a few key deep tech investors in Nordics and Baltics with their ticket size ranges.

Butterfly Ventures – Early-stage deep tech hardware fund from Finland. €50k – 1M

Commercialization Reactor – A deep tech accelerator and investor from Latvia. €50k – €300k

Iron Wolf Capital – Lithuanian fund with a preference for deep tech. €100k – €1.6M

Karma Ventures – Deep tech software fund from Estonia. €500k – 3M

Lifeline Ventures – One of the most successful Finnish funds. Early-stage investments in a broad range, including deep tech and smart & clean companies. €200k – 2M

Voima Ventures – Research-based deep tech fund from Finland. €200k – 4M

Walerud Ventures – The family office of seasoned deep tech entrepreneurs from Sweden. They only invest into cases where they are able to add significant business value through hands-on participation. €200k – €1M


Let me know if you know an investor that should be added here 🙂

How to start a VC fund

A few key resources for aspiring venture capitalists. I’ll be adding more as I come across quality ones, and I’ll be super happy if you’ll share your recommendations in the comments or directly 🙂

PS. If you’re building a startup, you might be interested in Startup guides.

Courses

Venture Deals by Brad Feld, Kauffman Fellows & Techstars

A free course on venture capital. A colleague has taken it twice and recommends it wholeheartedly for all who are serious about VC. The 7-week course takes just a few hours per week and offers both insider insights and ample opportunities for networking with thousands of professionals in the field around the world: upcoming and existing VCs, corporations, serious startups etc. There’s no news when will the course be organized next, and no home page, but the above link to the main instructor’s blog is a good bet for where info on the next batch will be posted.

VC Lab by Founder Institute

Also free program, but more intensive. Geared for those interested in starting a fund, they have assignments and you will be able to proceed only by completing them. For example at one point, after enough theory, your task is to actually go and do fundraising, and your instruction will continue based on your activity in this. I know several people who had recently taken the course and strongly recommended it, saying that the bar for raising a VC fund will turn out to be a lot lower than most startup professionals think.

For example, it’s possible to start with a very small 500ke fund by getting 10 angels to trust you with 50ke each, upon which you can start to work as a VC and get hands-on experience. As long as you have enough experience to start evaluating startups more rigorously from a VC point of view and are willing to do the required networking and got some contacts from where to start, the course should help you figure out the rest. That’s the impression I got from people who described it, at least.

Books

These two books are written mostly for startups, but give a lot of insights for aspiring venture capitalists too. Some of the information is local (to the US), some is opinionated, but interesting points to consider for non-US fund managers with different strategies as well. Whether you’re starting micro-fund in Serbia or a niche fund in French Polynesia, it helps to understand and communicate how and why you’re different than what startups might be expecting from a VC fund after reding these influential books.

Mastering the VC Game by Jeffrey Bussgang.

Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson (Brad is also the instructor on the course with the same name, linked above).

Booklets

The fundraising guide for entrepreneurs by Finnish Venture Capital Association might be also be helpful, striking a fast-to-read balance between a checklist and book for the most startup-facing parts of fund management.

Blogs

Both Sides of the Table by Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur turned VC.

Michael Jackson, a notably thoughtful and prolific LinkedIn poster on VC fund management.

Showrooms in Finland

Elisa 5G Showroom – Video, article, press release #1 and #2.

Nokia –

Huawei? –

Finnish accelerators and incubators

All of these warmly welcome international applicants unless otherwise noted.

Aaltoes Ignite – For students interested in becoming entrepreneurs.

Aalto Startup Center – Home and incubator for many research-based startups at the Otaniemi campus in Espoo, a short metro ride from Helsinki.

Boost Turku

Combient Foundry

EIT Food & Beyond

EnergySpin

ESA BIC – Incubator for startups using space technology, including GPS. Operating next door from Aalto Startup Center.

Founder Institute Helsinki

Health Incubator Helsinki

Helsinki Education Hub

Kasvu Open / Kasvun Roihu

Kiuas – A completely free acceleration program. Their annual program takes place in June-August, and the application period in April-May.

NewCo Accelerator – A completely free acceleration program by NewCo Helsinki, a part of the City of Helsinki. They provide coaching, partnership matchmaking and other services also outside their acceleration program.

Red Brick Accelerator

Sampo Accelerator – A no-equity program, asking for a contribution back only if your startup makes it big. Ran three times a year, starting typically around October, January and April.

Urban Tech Helsinki – A free-of-charge incubator for clean and sustainable urban solutions. They help startups turn business ideas into growth-oriented ones that focus on solving the challenges of modern cities.

Latvian startup ecosystem

General

LIAA & Startup Latvia – The national one-stop-shop for startup support. They manage the startup visa, support aspects of the new startup law, financial instruments and other ecosystem support programs, business incubators and other ways to help companies innovate, start a business and especially grow. They’re also happy to help organizations connect with others in the ecosystem. LIAA is short for the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.

Startin – Central uniting organization of the Latvian startup ecosystem. They help you identify potential partners working with startups in Latvia and connect with them. They also represent the startup sector’s interests e.g. for developing the legal framework.

Swedbank Latvia – Their co-creation and event space is the center of many acceleration and incubation programs. They manage some of those programs themselves, coaching and connecting startups with the Swedbank ecosystem. Recent focus areas include fintech and sustainability.

TechHub Riga – A central space for startups in Riga. They organize both physical and virtual activity for startups, corporations, investors and others to connect and spread information, ranging from Friday breakfasts and startup barbeques to startup-investor matchmaking, specialist and mentor meetups etc.

Greentech Latvia – National cleantech/greentech cluster, connecting organizations, people and opportunities in the field.

Buildit Latvia – Hardware-focused accelerator in Riga. They help startups become investable. They also invest starting from €20k up to €250k.

Events

TechChill – The flagship startup event in Latvia with 2000+ attendees. Main event is organized annually in February, with smaller events throughout the year.

Investors

Baltic Tech Ventures – Invests 10-50ke tickets and organizes pitch events for portfolio companies to help complete funding rounds of up to 1Me. Interested in Baltic, Nordic and CEE software companies and marketplaces.

Change Ventures – The first and largest pan-Baltic seed fund backing ambitious Baltic founders building world-scale technology businesses.

Overkill Ventures – A B2B fund and accelerator focusing on early-stage startups from Eastern Europe and Nordics.

ZGI – In addition to their main focus on private equity, ZGI invests into fast-growing startups approaching or above 1M€ in turnover.

LVCA – Latvian Venture Capital Association. They don’t facilitate investments but are the contact point on topics regarding the whole venture capital sector.


Relations with individual countries

Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Latvia – Supporting companies in doing business between Finland and Latvia.


More organizations are being added soon 🙂

Finnish smart & clean investors

A list of Finnish investors who are actively seeking smart & clean startups to invest into, and their initial ticket size ranges.

Butterfly Ventures – Early-stage deep tech hardware fund. €50k – 1M

Ensto – A family company providing industrial-grade electricity hardware, interested in synergistic startups.

Gorilla Capital – The most active early-stage fund in Nordics. €50k – 200k

Grid.vc – An early-stage energy sector fund started by three regional electricity utility companies. €50k – 400k

Helen Ventures – Investment unit of Helen, the Helsinki City electricity company. €300k – 3M

Icebreaker – Software-only fund with multiple smart & clean startups in their portfolio. €150k – 800k

Innovestor – Syndicate management, invested into multiple smart & clean companies. €250k – 1.5M

Inventure – Generalist fund with many investments in smart & clean space. €250k – 2M

Kiilto Ventures – Family office of Kiilto Group, family company producing professional chemicals for cleaning, adhesives etc. €50k – 1M

Lifeline Ventures – One of the most successful Finnish funds. Early-stage investments in a broad range, including deep tech and smart & clean companies. €200k – 2M

Nordic FoodTech VC – Food-related technology investments. €200k – 1M

Nordic Ninja – A large fund with multiple Japanese corporations as investors, with investments in mobility etc. €500k – 10M

Redstone – Multiple funds, some with smart & clean focus, managed for 50 CVC partners. €25k – 10M

Spintop Ventures – A Finnish-Swedish fund with multiple smart & clean investments, especially platforms and digital solutions. €500k – 1.5M

Suomen vaikuttavuussijoitus (Fiil Good) – Angel group doing impact investments. €5k – 200k

Valkea Growth Club – An investment unit and accelerator of Fortum, the largest Finnish energy corporation. €100k – 2M

Valo Ventures – A late-stage fund by Fortum, managed in Palo Alto, California. $2-15M

Voima Ventures – Research-based deep tech fund. €200k – 4M

Others

Potentially relevant investors I haven’t spoken with yet:

Maki VC – Website at https://maki.vc/.

Metsä Spring – Coming up, more information on their website.

Drone startups in Finland and nearby

Seeking drone companies from Finland or nearby? Here’s a list of those I’ve come across.


Finland

DR1 – Industrial-grade drone solutions, e.g. remotely managed 5G drone swarms. Used for security, firefighting, agriculture, delivery, and monitoring of power lines etc. (Website under construction. Their older webshop of hobby and enterprise drones is at verticalhobby.com.)

Fleetonomy – Developing and managing next generation decision-making systems, including autonomous driving and flying of vehicles, such as drones and cars.

Flyby Guys – Planning and management of large-scale drone operations of up to hundreds of units in the air simultaneously, and consulting on a variety of demanding drone-related topics. They have a wide network of partners, through which they have been able to put together proposals for comprehensive projects in days.

Holtan FlyOne – Building inspections, heat imaging, photogrammetric 3D imagery production etc. Certified and trained personnel. Winner of the building inspection category of world’s first drone olympics in 2019. Website in Finnish.

LAC Camera Systems – Drone camera solutions with automatic following and indoor/rough condition capabilities, even without GPS. Drones avoid obstacles automatically and can be set to fly preplanned routes or controlled manually with very little training. Used for security, monitoring, sports, construction etc.

Mericon – Producing measurements such as high-quality orthophotos and photogrammetric point clouds, tied to the local coordinate system. The end product of the service can be a surface or a 3D-model of the described object in CAD format or a classified point cloud for example in las-format. Rapid mass calculations on large objects or areas.

Robots Expert – Drone experts helping organizations identify value-adding drone use cases and implement them; cities to identify and prepare for the transition to drone-powered transportation as part of their mobility mix; and provide in-depth assistance to drone operators and manufacturers to meet regulatory, airworthiness and organisation requirements.

Skydata – Over 10 years of experience in hardware solutions, pilot training and consulting companies on how to utilize drones efficiently and safely. Ready to offer turnkey solutions, including training, technical support, rental and backup hardware, auditing and development services and insurance covering insurance and responsibilities.

Viasor – 3D modeling of buildings and construction sites. Can be used e.g. for planning and guidance for maintenance, or following the development of construction sites remotely for accurate forecasting and management.


Estonia

Hepta Airborne – Infrastructure inspections. Flies 3,000km/mo for paying customers in over 10 countries. Offering both full service with drones, pilots and software, or modular service, like SaaS for other drone operators.

KrattWorks – An Estonian-British company that combats wildfires with AI-powered drones. They focus on developing advanced technology that can be used in multiple applications, e.g. noiseless automatic surveillance flights.

SKYCORP – Experts of hydrogen & drones. Built Europe’s first hydrogen drone at 2018. In addition to their drone work, they’re also often called on to consult on hydrogen projects beyond drones. Among other projects they’ve been working on combining manned and unmanned drones, and connecting drones to the internet.


If you know any that are missing, please let me know 🙂