The University of Helsinki starts investing in its students’ startup companies

Through the HELSEED entrepreneurship programme the university encourages its students to pursue their ideas and turn them into startups. For the best ideas the university offers up to 50,000 euros in funding.

The rapid technological development and globalisation are changing our working life and the whole economic landscape. Even the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shows, in a harsh manner, how unpredictable the world has become.

"The university aspires to prepare its students to confront the difficulties and possibilities of the future. At the same time, we want to set focus on the future past this pandemic", says Chief Financial Officer Marjo Berglund.

The goal of the entrepreneurship programme, which starts in April, is to support students in transforming the idea into a startup company. The programme entails no mandatory studies, but creative freedom and flexible support offered by the student entrepreneurship society Helsinki Think Company.

Students participating in the programme cultivate their ideas to the form of a written business plan by the end of September 2020. A jury consisting of experts in investment and entrepreneurship goes through the plans and give feedback on them. The creators of the most promising business plans are invited to present their ideas in a pitching contest organised at Think Corner in November 2020.

"Science and innovations drive society forward. The students’ ideas can generate solutions to different real world problems. At the same time, startup entrepreneurship can be a good path to working life", says Chief Investment Officer Anders Ekholm.

HELSEED is a part of the responsible investment activities of the university

The funds belonging to the Helsinki University Group are prepared to invest 10,000–50,000 euros in the most promising student startups. Through the investments, the university desires to make a positive impact on society by promoting responsible business activities and entrepreneurship.

Since the programme is in a way the first of its kind, the very nature of it involves trial and learning from experience. However, at the foundation of the programme lies the strong experience of investment activities developed since the oldest fund of the University of Helsinki was formed in 1745.

"We have guided our research-based spinout companies for a decade and our affiliated companies for much longer than that. Through the HELSEED programme, we want to share our knowledge on commercialising innovations", Marjo Berglund states.

Read more on the webpage of the programme

More information

Chief Investment Officer Anders Ekholm, +358 50 526 4253,