Event venues in Helsinki

I’ve been asked a few times recently where to organize startup events in Helsinki. Here are some suggestions on where to start looking.

A Grid – Startup hub in Aalto University campus in Otaniemi, Espoo. Aalto Startup Center (ASUC) as well as the European Space Agency’s ESA BIC operate in these premises

Arcade5 – Event space for the gaming sector. Located in Maria 01 campus near Kamppi. 230m2 space for up to 120 people

Epicenter Helsinki – A hub near Central Railway Station. Multiple event spaces with modern technology. The largest room fits up to 300 people

Hanken Business Lab – Incubator at Hanken Business School near Kamppi. 500m2 space for up to 150 people

Helsinki Education Hub – An edtech hub near Kamppi for up to 60 people. Edtech events only

Helsinki Think Company – University’s entrepreneur support program. Premises on multiple campuses

Innovation Home Kamppi – Event spaces for up to 100 people in Kamppi. They come with modern technology

Maria 01 – The largest startup hub in North Europe, near Kamppi

Mielenlento – A space for up to around 30 people in Lauttasaari

Startup Sauna – The legendary student entrepreneur space in Aalto University campus in Otaniemi, Espoo

Terkko Health Hub – A health hub in Meilahti. Health Incubator Helsinki and Helsinki Think Company’s Meilahti unit operate in these premises


Venuu provides a massive general list of event spaces to rent.

Know more good event venues to mention? Please let me know in comments or via the contact form 🙏😊

Health ecosystem in the Nordics & Baltics

Here are the main actors of the health startup ecosystem in the Nordics and Baltics. Please let me know if you spot anything missing 🙂


Athensmed: €125k – 500k (angel, based in Finland)

Founders’ Edge: €50k – 500k (two angels, based in Finland)

GrayBella: €2M – 7M (VC, Lithuania & EU)

Hanover 16: €100k – 5M (VC, Europe, Israel & US, based in UK)

Innovestor: €250k – 1.5M (VC, based in Finland)

Inventure: €250k – 2.5M (VC, based in Finland)

Lifeline Ventures: €200k – 2M (VC, based in Finland)

Verge HealthTech Fund: €500k – 1M (VC, global)

Accelerators & incubators

Digital Well Ventures, Norway and Sweden

Health Founders, Estonia

Health Incubator Helsinki, Finland

Hubs and networks

Terkko Health Hub, Helsinki

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

Helsinki urban development – Urban planning, Mobility, Construction, Building management, Circular economy, Energy, Air quality, Citizen and stakeholder participation in city development

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.

Baltic Sandbox Ventures – Very early-stage deep tech fund from Lithuania. They offer even small grants for deep tech founders. Ticket size will be updated here shortly.

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

byFounders – A New Nordic fund investing also in deep tech. €200k – 5M

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

Tera Ventures – Software deep tech fund from Estonia. €200k – 1M

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

Walerud Ventures – 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 🙂

Latvian startup ecosystem


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.


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


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

Maki VC – Generalistic investor with a large fund, interested in doing investments in smart & clean companies. €200k – 3M

Metsä Spring – Metsä Group is one the three huge forestry companies in Finland, and they have their own investment arm. €500k – 5M

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

Smart & clean networks in Finland

Smart & clean, short for “smart cities and cleantech”, refers to sectors wherein it’s possible to significantly reduce resource use or emissions.

Here’s a list of relevant networks in Finland. Most of them focus on helping the right people meet, for example by matchmaking startups, corporations, investors and mentors. I will be updating this page as the ecosystem develops so it’s worth checking back monthly.

Built environment

Smart homes, real estate, construction, infrastructure etc.

PropTech Finland – Part of the international PropTech organization network

KIRAHub – Has organized more than 150 pilot projects between startups and corporations.

Client: Combient Foundry organizes piloting calls by 30 corporations, several of which are looking for smart solutions related to buildings and construction. They organize 2-3 calls for solutions per year.


Smart Otaniemi – Focuses on helping companies form consortiums to apply for national/EU funding for pilot projects

Valkea Growth Club by Fortum – Incubator and VC

Energy investors

Helen Ventures – Helen is short for Helsinki Energy, a large utility company

Grid.vc – Founded by three utility companies and with other industry corporations as partners

Also note the Valkea Growth Club by Fortum above. Fortum is the largest utility company in Finland, with many international branches.


ITS Finland – Part of the international Intelligent Transportation Systems network


Food & Beyond by EIT & VTT

Corporation: Fazer (Lab) – International food industry giant, looking to pilot new solutions as a client and potential investor

Investor: Nordic FoodTech VC

Circular Economy

CircVol by 6Aika – Circular economy of volumes, such as land mass and liquids

Event: Digitally Circular – Bi-monthly, always with a different theme like energy, food, corporate-startup partnerships etc. Excellent speakers from the industry every time. This is where I’ve met many good contacts in the industry.


Forum Virium – Organizes dozens of pilot projects every year. A part of the City of Helsinki.

Testbed Helsinki – List of piloting opportunities in Helsinki. Maintained by the City.

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.

6Aika – Consortium of the six biggest cities in Finland: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku and Oulu. They develop the innovation ecosystem jointly so that a startup solving a challenge in one city can start offering the same solution in other cities with less hassle. Many things they do become de facto standards in Finland. They organize many piloting and ecosystem support projects, such as CircVol, so that each city has a representative facilitating the activity there. They have plenty of ongoing and upcoming projects that are worth staying informed about.

Salo IoT Campus

CLIC Innovation – Organizes innovation cluster development and ecosystem support activity on energy, circular economy and bioeconomy.

Demos Helsinki – In addition to their think tank side, they manage ecosystem development projects like Peloton Club and the international SmartUp Accelerator.

Synbio – Synthetic biology startup and innovation network.

Photonics Finland – Photonics (optics) related startup and innovation network.

Baltic Blue Biotechnology Alliance+ (Submariner) – Network to help biotech startups related to the Baltic Sea to find mentors, partners and clients.

Lithuanian startup ecosystem

After spending a part of my summer holidays exploring the Lithuanian startup ecosystem I feel like I’ve met most of the key players. Here’s a summary to help you find your next partners.

Funding and acceleration


Most of these are actively investing into early-stage companies, aiming at hald a dozen to a dozen new investments per year. Ticket sizes are typically between €50-500k.

Contrarian Ventures – Specializes in energy-related use cases

Iron Wolf Capital – Ticket size up to €1.6M

LitCapital – Later stage, €2-5M tickets into companies with proven traction. Approx. two deals per year

Open Circle Capital – Portfolio is almost full, not actively seeking new investments. Will seek co-investors for later rounds from Q4/2020 onwards.

Practica Capital


Baltic Sandbox – Multiple batches per year, each with a different focus

Katalista Ventures – Focuses on sustainability (triple top line), invests into best participating startups

Startup Wise Guys – Multiple batches per year, operates across Baltics, invests into best participating startups


70 Ventures – They help B2B companies grow their sales by hiring, training and funding a sales team in Lithuania. Initial tickets €50k (sales team for half a year – year), followed with €200k+ into companies that perform. They do approx. 20 investments per year and are seeking more quality deal flow from e.g. Finland.

Coinvest Capital – A co-investment fund, investing alongside three or more angels or VCs who are not backed by public money. Participating up to 70% of the round. They cap their returns at 6% annually, with the excess given to the others in the syndicate. The investments have to benefit Lithuania (e.g. company has to have/open an office with employees there).

LitBAN – Lithuanian Business Angels’ Network, organizing pitch events for half a dozen startups a month. Compared to those in other Baltic/Nordic countries, Lithuanian startups tend to have lower valuations, benefit from excellent governmental financial leverage (e.g. Koinvest) and public grants, and a large, qualified talent pool in e.g. business and IT sectors with a lower salary level. The angel investment scene is still young and can offer excellent opportunities for international angel investors, especially experienced lead angels.

Hubs in Vilnius

Rockit – In the west side of old town, at the end of Gedimino street. At the entrance is a cafe that’s open for everyone to visit and enjoy the startup atmosphere. Private rooms of members are behind a gate at the back of the cafe. Has a slight emphasis on fintech and sustainability.

Talent Garden Vilnius – In the center of old town. Modern vibe. Need keycard to enter. Private offices are fully booked, but got dedicated or open seats available. Good premises for hosting events for up to 200 people, with top-line technology included. Interested in event partnerships for relevant audiences.

Vilnius Tech Park – 10 min drive from Vilnius center. The area used to be the gardens of a palace, and is great for walking and thinking. There are multiple cafes and restaurants in the area. Tech Park is interested in partnerships in relevant areas such as education, logistics, security, media, fintech, and corporate cooperation. They’re opening a couple of new hubs and rebranding some, and I’ll update this once that has happened


Bank of Lithuania – They play an active part in the booming fintech startup sector. Lithuania has the highest number of new banking licenses granted in EU (was second only to UK pre-brexit). They’re shaping their approach to be very startup-friendly and support the ecosystem’s development. Many international startups have found it practical to apply for PSD2 and other banking licenses in Lithuania instead of their home countries.

Changemakers’ON – An acceleration network for social impact startups, organizing bootcamps, events, mentoring and other programs especially in Kaunas and elsewhere outside Vilnius.

Civitta – A consultancy company that plays a big part in organizing a lot of the innovation and startup ecosystem activity in Vilnius. They compete for and organize projects with public funding, including but not limited to hackathons. They also consult many public officials on the topics.

Go Vilnius – The other of the only two organizations on this page I haven’t met yet. I’ll update this after I connect with them.

GovTech Lab – Drives the innovativeness and startup cooperation of Lithuanian public sector in general. Organizing multiple pilot calls this and next year, first of which will be announced soon.

Ignitis – Energy sector innovation organization. The other of the only two organizations on this page I haven’t met yet. I’ll update this after I connect with them.

Invest Lithuania – Helps corporations expand into Lithuania.

Mobility Innovation Center – Drives the innovativeness and startup cooperation of Lithuanian post, railways, and road maintenance organizations. Contact them if you have an innovation you’d like to sell to these organizations. They’re also organizing multiple pilot calls together with GovTech Lab, which will be announced soon.

Startup Lithuania – Organizes the startup visa, provides ecosystem information, has created an extensive online course on how to make a successful startup, and supports the startup ecosystem in multiple other ways. They work together with embassies’ commercial attachés to support startups interested in moving to Lithuania or opening a sales/R&D/other office there.