Meeting with venture capitalists and glimpses into the startup world – University of Helsinki teams head to the NORDEEP event

The world’s leading deep tech business event takes place in October. Innovations supporting cancer diagnostics, video learning and vertical farming will be on display from the University of Helsinki.

Forty-three teams from the University of Helsinki will soon present their innovations at NORDEEP, which will take place on 11–12 October in Espoo. The NORDEEP event allows researchers to meet investors, potential collaborators, and business world representatives. We sat down with three of the teams to tell us about their expectations for the event.

Investors are sought for revolutionary cancer diagnostics innovation

Commercial Lead Mikael Muittari is heading to NORDEEP with a clear goal: to get investors interested in the innovation of the Multivision Diagnostics team. It is a program based on artificial intelligence that could revolutionize cancer diagnostics and help doctors treat cancer patients better.

Muittari says, “Our innovation is a second-generation digital pathology solution that makes it possible to create a cancer-specific fingerprint for each patient. This will enable doctors to plan more effective individual treatments. Similar technology is not yet in clinical use.”

Multivision Diagnostics has a two-year Research to Business funding for commercializing the technology. At the event, Muittari hopes to highlight not only the innovation itself but also the top team behind it and describe the next milestones on the commercialization path.

The team states they are already in talks with several Finnish venture capital firms, so NORDEEP gives them a great opportunity to focus on funding from other countries. With appropriate funding, they aim to launch a spinout company within 2025.

“I’ll be very active in selling our team, innovation and the great opportunities they present to Nordic investors,” Muittari adds.

A team with a video learning innovation is looking for collaborators

Doctoral researcher Chris Petrie looks forward to presenting an educational innovation called Kwizie, which turns videos into interactive quiz games, to NORDEEP participants. The idea for Kwizie was born during the pandemic when the massive global shift to online took place, and the use of video content increased. According to Petrie, internalizing new information just by watching a video is difficult and boring, “We believe that with the help of artificial intelligence, we can do much better than this and make learning more data-driven.”

Kwizie turns any video into a multi-player quiz and gives both the learner and the teacher information on what to focus on in learning. The tool can be used in schools as well as in workplaces.

Petrie and his team are currently developing their startup at the Nexus incubator and have already started collecting seed funding. The next crucial step is identifying and scaling a suitable product-market fit. Petrie says that the timing of NORDEEP is perfect, and he is excited about the opportunity to network, “This is a great opportunity to get to know the startup community better and find and collaborate with potential organizations that use video in a learning context.”

Forest scientist is looking to get to know the startup world

Academy research fellow Jon Atherton will be heading to NORDEEP with the express aim of increasing his understanding of business. Atherton’s team plans to apply for Research to Business funding, so he feels it’s important to get to know the startup world and the language they speak, “We researchers give presentations, but in the business world, they are called pitches.”

In his research, Atherton focuses on remote sensing with drones and satellites at the Hyytiälä forest station. In remote sensing, plant activity is measured from afar using optical technology based on how light affects plants.

Atherton’s team has discovered that the same technology could be used in the vertical farming of food crops, “It will enable you to monitor plant health in the same way as you can monitor your heart rate from a smartwatch,” he says.

According to Atherton, this technology could help save energy in vertical farming and potentially be used in the flavor tuning of plants. At NORDEEP, Atherton hopes to meet other participants interested in food technology and talk to people with experience in commercializing research, “It will give me a clear window of where we need to be moving forward,” he adds.

NORDEEP will take place at Dipoli in Espoo, and there are still tickets available, so it’s a great chance to catch up with all participating University of Helsinki teams and discover more. Be sure to follow the University of Helsinki and Helsinki Incubators on LinkedIn and X (formally known as Twitter) to get regular updates.

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