The University of Helsinki established HELSEED, an endowment fund that invests in startups – Co-operative Tradeka becomes an anchor investor

The HELSEED programme, which promotes entrepreneurship among students, will continue in 2021.

The University of Helsinki has created a new endowment fund aimed at making early investments in startups established by students. The first donor of the HELSEED endowment fund is the Tradeka Foundation, which made a donation of €50,000 to the fund. The goal is to increase the endowment capital through donations and return on investment also in the future.

“Through our donations and investments, we wish to support the creation of new expertise, innovations and jobs in Finland. Another thing Tradeka considers important is research and education related to societal change, which is why the HELSEED fund was a perfect fit for us,” says CEO Perttu Puro of Co-operative Tradeka.

Tradeka allocates a considerable share of its operating income to benefit its members and society, directing on average at least 10% of its revenue in the long term back to society.

“Tradeka’s donation is a wonderful example of gaining broader support in society for our goal to help students embark on the path to entrepreneurship. Heartfelt thanks to Tradeka! We are also taking this opportunity to invite other communities and individuals to make a donation,” says Anders Ekholm, chief investment officer of the University of Helsinki.

Investments made by the HELSEED fund adhere to the University of Helsinki’s principles for responsible investment activities.

HELSEED entrepreneurship programme continues in redesigned form in 2021

Launched in spring 2020, the HELSEED entrepreneurship programme aims to inspire students to develop their ideas into startups. The programme includes a pitching competition where the creators of the best business plans get to present their ideas to a jury and an audience. The programme is backed by the University of Helsinki and Helsinki Think Company.

“The first investments by the fund in startups established under the HELSEED programme should be made by the end of 2021,” Head of Investment Marko Berg says.

The HELSEED entrepreneurship programme continues in redesigned form in 2021, incorporating new elements through which students are increasingly supported and encouraged to promote their ideas.

For further information, contact

Marko Berg, head of investment, University of Helsinki, +358 41 534 9893,

Anders Ekholm, chief investment officer, University of Helsinki, +358 50 526 4253,

Perttu Puro, CEO, Co-operative Tradeka, +358 40 779 3436,

Read more

HELSEED programme website

Further information on donations by Tradeka (in Finnish only)

Previous news items on the topic:

26 November 2020: Successful pilot year for the HELSEED entrepreneurship programme – Investment negotiations commencing with several teams

12 October 2020: HELSEED entrepreneurship programme for students attracted interest: Over 20 teams submitted a business plan

2 April 2020: The University of Helsinki starts investing in its students’ startup companies