HELSEED is a student startup programme for students and aimed at inspiring them to develop their ideas into startups. HELSEED provides students with information and support for entrepreneurial path, such as writing a business plan. The University of Helsinki Funds makes seed investments in the most interesting startups. The programme is ideal for teams that have an interesting idea, but have not yet established a company, as well as for teams who have already founded a company.
The first HELSEED programme was organised in 2020. More than 20 teams participated in the programme, which also generated a great deal of interest among various stakeholders. So far, the University of Helsinki Funds has invested in two companies, €30,000 each. These companies are Evergreen Viherseinät Oy and Evexia Oy. The HELSEED endowment fund was established in early 2021, and the aim is to increase its capital through donations and return on investment. The first anchor donor was Tradeka Foundation with a donation of €50,000.
In the HELSEED student startup programme, students work on their business ideas or existing startups to develop a business plan. The Think Company team support the process, by organising HELSEED workshops that provide information and tools from refining an original idea and selecting a business model to developing a business plan and negotiating with investors. Participants can choose a suitable workshop or attend all of the workshops. The workshops are voluntary and open to all those interested in entrepreneurial skills, and do not require participation in the funding application process organised by the University of Helsinki Funds. Teams are welcome to work on their ideas,business plans and pitches in the Helsinki Think Company facilities when they are open. Helsinki Think Company has facilities at all University of Helsinki campuses. Due to the closure of premises as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, please check the Helsinki Think Company website for facility opening hours.
Teams wishing to aim at obtaining a seed investment must submit their business plan by 31 October 2021 to email@example.com. The HELSEED jury will assess the business plans and provide the teams with feedback. The teams with the most convincing business plans will be asked to prepare a short pitch and deliver it to the jury by the end of November. The University of Helsinki Funds will invest €10,000–€50,000 seed funding in the most promising startups. The terms of funding will be agreed separately.
Spring workshops – Helsinki Think Company
13 April 2021 – Crystallising the idea
20 April 2021 – Business models
27 April 2021 – Market research
11 May 2021 – Piloting the idea
18 May 2021 – Making estimations
Autumn workshops – Helsinki Think Company
The autumn workshops will focus more on putting together a business plan and on topics related to funding. The specific themes will be announced later. Further information on the workshops will be posted on the Helsinki Think Company website.
Business plans must be submitted by 31 October 2021, 23.59 local Helsinki time.
Assessment of business plans as well as feedback.
HELSEED pitch deck presentation in late November
Can I participate in the programme on my own?
I will graduate before September. Can I still participate?
Do I have to pay a fee to participate?
I am an exchange student at the University of Helsinki. Can I participate?
Does the programme have an age limit?
Can I participate in the programme if I am unable to attend the workshops?
How can Helsinki Think Company help me?
What kind of ideas or startups are suitable for the programme?
Is the funding an investment or a form of financial support?
What terms and conditions does the investment include?
Can I send you an idea/pitch as a video to provide a better description?
Will the presentation session of pitches/business plans be held on Zoom/Teams?