Oulu Wellness Institute

Health, wellness and life science investors in Finland

Blogikirjoitus   •   Helmi 13, 2013 11:29 EET

Text by Veera Virta, Oulu Wellness Institute

In this first part of the series introducing health, wellness and life science investors the focus is in Finland. We have collected here public and private investors who have different funding instruments for companies in this field.

The information here is gathered from websites, and the purpose of these posts is to have an overlook on different investors. We strongly encourage you to find out more about the ones that are of interest to you and reach out to them! We are also more than happy to make introductions for you.

Even though these investors operate mainly in Finland, some of the private investors do invest in larger geographic area, focusing for example in Scandinavia or Europe.

Private equity firms and funds

Biocelex is a private company focusing in international innovation and business development. It is the right hand for the Karolinska Institutet in Finland. They provide early-stage funding solutions and innovation and business development services for research sector and Life Science companies. Their focus is on drug discovery and development, diagnostics, biomaterials, functional foods and life science services.

Innovatum Partners (BioAssetInvest) is a life science and healthcare business accelerator, with objective to help top research in Finland from early stage business to the next level and to success stories. Innovatum Partners is one of the Vigo accelerators.

Inveni Capital is a life science focused venture capital firm that invests in northern and central Europe. They offer venture capital to life science, drug development and healthcare technology companies in their early and growth stages.

Inventure's idea is to work actively as lead-investors crafting detailed growth and value creation strategies in co-operation with the entrepreneurs. The focus is on high-tech, medical equipment, software, electronics, semiconductor, industrial production and material technology, early stage companies in Finland and Scandinavia.

Lifeline Ventures consists of a team of serial entrepreneurs who invest in health, web, and game business companies in their very early stage, often before the launch of the first product. The entrepreneurs can benefit from team's hands-on industry experience, skills and contacts. They look for disruptive ideas and driven founders who aim to global category leadership. Lifeline Ventures is one of the Vigo accelerators.

Northern Startup Fund is an asymmetric venture capital fund managed by Butterfly Ventures. The focus is on software based businesses which are, or plan to be, located in Northern Ostrobotnia region in Finland. They invest in early stage startups either in seed of pre-seed stage.

Teknoventure Management is a private capital investor with no industry limitations. They offer equity financing and ownership solutions to companies in various sectors by participating in business reorganizations and growth financing. They invest mainly in western and northern Finland.

Vision+ is a product investment fund investing in applications, games, and service on all digital platforms. Their focus is only in products which need to be digitally distributed, the monetization has to come from consumers or the demand for the product is consumer driven, and the product should already be on the market or at least ready to be launched within 1-9 months from the investment.

Public institutions and funds

Even though the Finnish public funding institutions are well-known among health entrepreneurs, at least  according our recent Health, Wellness and Life Science business barometer, we want to recap the most important ones here:

Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY-keskus) manages regional development funding. There are 15 local centres and usually the first contact point for the early stage funding needs.

Finnvera is a specialized national financing company. It provides its clients with loans, guarantees, venture capital investments and export credit guarantees by offering financing solutions for start-up, growth, internationalization and export.

The Foundation for Finnish Inventions (Keksintösäätiö), screens and evaluates inventions and innovative business ideas generated by private persons and start-up enterpreneurs, and helps develop them into businesses. Promising ideas with growth and international business potential are refined into business proposals or licensing projects together with experienced business advisors.

SITRA is the Finnish Innovation Fund, which invests in activities, which promote and stimulate new business models that aim for sustainable well-being. Sitra provides funds for surveys, forward-thinking activities, experiments, and shared strategy processes that promote well-being and are ecologically and socially sustainable. Sitra is a public fund, and reports directly to the Finnish parliament.

Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovations, finances development of innovations that aim at growth and new business operations. They have a variety of different programmes and funding instruments for example for R&D projects, young and innovative growth companies, and for internationalization processes.

There is a lot happening right now in the field of health tech funding. We might have missed someone, so if you know of other investors in the field of health, wellness and lifescience, please post a link or contact our team.

In the next posting we will wrap up the Scandinavian and European investors in this field.

Oulu Wellness Institute (OWI) is a non-profit foundation building a entrepreneur community and helping innovative health and wellness entrepreneurs bring their ideas to global marketplace. Our work is funded by Finnish Knowledge Cluster program and City of Oulu.