Biosphere — Bio & Circular Economy

For those working for a bio & circular economy driven future, Biosphere elevates solutions into fundable, scalable, and impactful startups. Our personalised guidance and support, combined with an international network or world-class mentors and experts, will ensure your success.

The call for the 3rd round is now closed. The programme will run from 13 May to 14 November, with a summer break in between.
About Biosphere

Building an impact-driven startup requires a combination of different skills and competences: refining a technological solution with a possible Minimum Viable Product, coming up with a workable business model, and generating considerable impact in our modern society. These are all important parts of a formidable mission, where both expertise and the supporting community can provide encouragement, advice, and inspiration. Our commitment is to provide your team with the best possible support, helping you to navigate through the challenging early phases, reduce risks, and increase the chances of avoiding the initial pitfalls of an entrepreneurial journey.

Based in Viikki, the University of Helsinki Incubators' Biosphere programme is a hybrid between an incubator and an accelerator for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators from diverse backgrounds. Welcome topics include, but are not limited to: bioeconomy, biomaterials, decarbonisation, green energy, green hydrogen, circular economy, water use and treatment as well as agribusiness — varied solutions that tackle current environmental and society-related wicked problems.

Our ever-growing pool of world-class mentors and experts will not only help you to transform the world in a positive way by developing your solution into a viable product or service, but also to build on your career through the learning of key entrepreneurial skills. Furthermore, we'll provide you with ample opportunities to meet a wide range of potential customers, partners, corporates, and investors with the goal of helping you build a strong network, and the chance to receive valuable and relevant feedback on your solution.

By the end of the six-month programme, we expect your team to be ready to register a company, launch your product or service, seek funding and investment, and have the know-how needed to take the next relevant steps in your entrepreneurial journey.

Biosphere is proudly powered by the City of Helsinki.

Programme Outcomes

The focus of Biosphere is to help you create a scalable, fundable, and impactful startup based on real and disruptive innovations. We want you to be able to transform the industry that you are focusing on, and we want you to successfully enter the international market. That is the main difference between Biosphere and other incubators in Finland: we follow an internationalisation approach that helps you engage with market players globally from the programme's inception.

By the end of the programme, at the minimum, we expect every team to have:

  • A consolidated business model and value proposition
  • A revised pitch and pitch-deck
  • Tangible elements that bring your business to life (logo, website, LinkedIn page, etc.)
  • An action plan to guide your venture into the future

At an individual level, we expect participants to have learned:

  • Understanding the problem and devising a solution
  • Key business concepts and tools
  • Business strategy
  • Sales skills and knowledge
  • Basic elements of marketing, market research, and customer understanding
  • Project and time management skills
  • How to seek funding and manage finances
  • Pitching skills, presenting and tailoring your message to different groups

Your goal is to disrupt the market with your innovations. Ours is to make sure that you receive as much help as possible to succeed in this.

Programme Topics

Biosphere is on the look-out for teams with innovative ideas, innovations, research, technologies, services, solutions, products, and businesses in the following areas:

  • Agribusiness
  • Bioeconomy
  • Biomass
  • Biomaterials
  • Circular Economy
  • Decarbonisation
  • eMobility
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Green Hydrogen
  • Green Transformation
  • Water Use and Treatment
  • Veterinary Solutions
  • ...and more!

This is not an exhaustive list — we warmly welcome you to apply with any other sustainability-related solution, too!

Looking for inspiration? Check out the teams that took part in Biosphere 1 & Biosphere 2, or check out our Biosphere alumni stories at the link below!

Don’t think, just do it. If you have a good idea, just go, try it out, and see what you can do with it. In Biosphere, you will get everything you need to grow and flourish!”

From the very start of the programme, your team will be matched with 1-2 mentors from our pool of talented mentors. Specifically selected to meet your needs, the mentors will be at your service throughout your Biosphere journey via bi-monthly online sessions.

Your mentors will delve deep into the intricacies of your idea and tap into their own experiences, networks, and expertise to give you actionable insights and recommendations to help you in the process of developing and testing your innovation and propel your venture forward. 

Programme Schedule

The third round of Biosphere will run from 13 May 2024 to 14 November 2024, with a "summer break" from 19 June to 14 August. The programme will be held in English and consist of weekly 100% in-person workshops held at the Viikki Campus and the Helsinki Incubators Space at the City Centre Campus. In addition, the programme will have online mentoring sessions tailored to complement your growth throughout this journey.

Weekly sessions: The programme's weekly sessions will be held every Thursday, from 17:00 to 19:45. In these sessions, you'll have the opportunity to delve into an array of entrepreneurial skills, such as product validation, marketing and sales, financial management, and pitching from visiting experts across various industries. Curious about what to expect? Check out the Biosphere 3 programme schedule at the link below.

Mentoring sessions: At the start of the programme, each team will be assigned 1-2 mentors, with whom you'll collaborate to create a joint work plan and define a series of milestones to reach throughout the programme. Active participation from all team members is expected during these sessions.


The call for applications to the third batch of Biosphere is now closed. To properly understand what we expect from applicants, please read the instructions below for information about the application process, and leave us an open application!

Biosphere enthusiastically invites teams of ambitious entrepreneurs, innovators, and visionaries to apply! Teams may encompass bachelor's and master's students, PhDs, post-docs, PIs, researchers, professors, and other faculty members of the University of Helsinki. Our doors are also open to all other ambitious residents of the Helsinki Capital Region, as one of our core commitments is to foster diverse and impactful ventures across the board. Our aim is to identify exceptional teams that offer novel solutions with positive impact, who demonstrate unwavering dedication to their project, and who show the ability to nurture the skills needed to create promising and impactful ventures.

If you don't have a business background, no need to worry! Our experts and mentors will guide you through all you need to know about the world of business to successfully commercialise your idea and create a positive global impact.

Application Guidelines:

To apply, your team must have the following:

  • A team of at least two members
  • An idea that meets Biosphere's topics 
  • Drafts of your Business Model Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas
  • A pitch deck detailing your innovation or business idea
  • A brief (3 min) video presentation of your business idea
  • Commitment to actively participate in workshops and mentoring sessions
  • No registered company

Essential Participation Criteria:

Before you apply, we ask you to also commit to the following:

  • Full engagement in all workshops and assignments
  • On-site attendance, with a focus on active and committed participation

The application period for the third round of Biosphere is now over, but you may still leave us an open application or sign up to our newsletter for updates about our programmes.

Info Sessions

Curious about Biosphere? Still have some questions you'd like to ask before you apply? Want to hear more about the programme to find out if it's the right place for you?

Then consider attending the Biosphere info session on 4 April (in Viikki). You'll be able to get answers to all of your questions related to the programme directly from programme manager Pedro Gensini, hear alumni talk about their experiences, and find out how you can take part in Biosphere.

Click the links below for detailed information on the session and make sure to sign up beforehand to attend!

Obtaining ECTS Credits

For Doctoral Researchers:

Participating in the incubator programme can be included in your transferable skills studies under the course code PHD-313 for a total of 8 ECTS. Please request a certificate of attendance upon completion of the incubator programme, and contact for the registration of the credits.

For Bachelor's or Master's Degree Students:

Participating in the programme can be registered in Sisu under the course code PHD-313 for a total of 8 ECTS. Please request a certificate of attendance upon the completion of the incubator programme, and contact for the registration of the credits.

Students must then co-ordinate with their degree programme to include these credits into their degree. It is advised to check with the degree programme beforehand if the credits can be included into the degree, and under what section.

The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Services does not guarantee that credits can be included in all degrees.

Contact Us

Pedro Gensini, Project Manager for Biosphere

Mobile: +358 50 309 1810


Pedro on LinkedIn