PRESS RELEASE 2.2.2015
A new Startup Accelerator focusing on health technology will be starting up in the metropolitan area of Helsinki. Vertical Startup Accelerator, which was founded by professionals within enterprise and startup development, recently partnered with one of the biggest global manufacturer of consumer electronics – Samsung Electronics. The Startup Accelerator is currently setting up in Espoo Otaniemi from where it is planned to expand to Meilahti and Viikki -campuses in Helsinki.
Startups are in many ways the focus of attention and efforts in a country like Finland, which is aiming to release itself from the grip of the global recession. Health technology has been identified as one clear growth and investment area, and therefore also an area for startups and employment. A national growth strategy was announced last year in May by the co-operation of three Finnish ministries (Ministry of Employment and Economy, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of Education and Culture), Tekes and Academy of Finland. The strategy programme will proceed with a number of parallel actions. A report released on Monday by City of Helsinki and University of Helsinki will speed up the development within the business sector for health technology.
“Finland is already one out of ten countries that export more health technology than they import. The national turnover within the sector is 3 billion (3 thousand million) euros and we aim to grow this export significantly during the next few years. This growth can be done in co-operation with new innovative enterprises and globally successful corporations such as Samsung,” Pekka Sivonen, co-founder at Vertical Startup Accelerator comments.
“We will operate in close partnership with the Helsinki and Espoo City as well as other Innovative Cities (INKA) funded by Tekes. Hence, our work is conducted on a national level but aims for international business. Our operations are strongly founded on the HealthSPA -cluster that we established two and a half years ago and that currently has more than 200 participating companies.”
“For Samsung the co-operation with Nordic technology companies has already produced significant results. Now we have the opportunity to start aiming for these same kind of results also within the fields of health- and smart life technologies, and with the help of this new partnership, we will be able to look for opportunities systematically together with Samsung Electronics’ R&D Center in Espoo. Firstbeat’s innovation for measuring the heart beat is an example of technology that Samsung Electronics has licensed from Finland and launched on a global scale by implementing it into the intelligent wearables and smartphones and tablets”, Marko Nurmela, Vice President at Samsung Electronics Nordic, comments. This partnership has also a perfect fit to Samsung Electronics Nordic’s corporate citizenship strategy supporting Young Innovators. “We see innovation in health- and smart life technologies as a highly interesting area to explore for these young entrepreneurs and companies in Finland and other Nordic markets”, Nurmela continues.
The Social Welfare and Health Care Reform that is taking place in Finland, healthy life-style choices and clean food trends combined with high skill-sets in mobile and software knowledge, interests several international actors. During 2015, Vertical Startup Accelerator will publish the names of several international partnerships, out of which the one with Samsung Electronics– the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronics – is the first.
“As the leading university and central hospital structure Helsinki City is welcoming new businesses within the health technology sector. These startups naturally bring more potential to the sector and create more jobs. We would like to see the Helsinki area as a cross road for health technology actors, a place where global actors meet innovative startups with an open mind. Together they will create technology and products that revolutionise the way people take care of their health and wellbeing around the globe,” Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development at Helsinki City, concludes.
“For Espoo City the partnership means an opportunity to develop and implement new technology that has been developed together with the end user – i.e. clients of the Espoo Health Care System”, says Juha Metso, Director of Social and Health Services at Espoo City. “We are pleased to be able to open the health care system and processes so that the startups within health technology will be able to test their products on the real market and in that way gain references to be used for international export purposes.”
“Helsinki University prides itself in a long tradition of co-operation with startups based on high quality research. We are currently focusing significant additional efforts in work with startups; the broad life science knowledge that we have across all Helsinki University campuses and in particular the Academic Medical Center Helsinki brings a fruitful base for startups and their further development”, says Risto Renkonen, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Helsinki University. “The Academic Medical Center Helsinki, a cluster for medical science, with a central location in Meilahti, will during the next few years co-operate closely with HUS. Helsinki University wants to be a solid part of the national start-up movement and promote development so that our educated students are able to find partners within technology, business, marketing and financing in order to create new success stories.”
“EIT Helsinki has been supporting the establishment of both HealthSpa and Vertical from the beginning. One of the key priorities for our European network are health and wellbeing technology innovations. We already support the internationalization and growth of start-ups, so the collaboration with Vertical contributes to this goal . Our role is to connect Vertical to our European network in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and UK. We can help the Vertical accelerator companies to grow internationally, ” says Marko Turpeinen, Director for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s (EIT) ICT Labs Helsinki.
”Aalto University has an innovation ecosystem that has during the past years created hundreds of success stories within digitalisation and technology. According to a survey conducted by MIT the Aalto Startup programmes are globally one of the best.” “This Startup Acceleration programme within health technology combines our special know-how within business with a strong knowledge within health technology and medicine in a unique way. Our aim is to create tens of new enterprises based on our experiences with programmes such as Aalto Health Factory, Startup Sauna, Aalto Venture Program and AppCampus” the Vice President for Research and Innovation Tuija Pulkkinen concludes.
“Metropolia is the largest university of applied sciences within e.g. the fields of social and health care, technology and culture. This is the reason why we are best qualified to teach professionals and developers within the fields of social and health care, and to produce tested and fully functioning solutions for the society. All skill sets are needed in future companies within health technology and we can already see a solid co-operation with the Vertical enterprise accelerator. We would wish to offer our student not only work opportunity in new companies but also a possibility of entrepreneurship”, says Head Master Riitta Konkola at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
”Laurea is a University of Applied Sciences where we produce new know-how and skill-sets within the sector for service innovation, and in the entire region of Uusimaa (located in Southern Finland) we focus on promoting entrepreneurship and career development. For us the partnership with the Startup Accelerator means new opportunities to implement a national innovation program with new startups in a private-public environment. The co-operation supports our continuous and strong efforts in regards to innovation programs, research and tuition within the field of social and health care. As a direct result of the co-operation our students will be better equipped with knowledge and skills for the future.” says Kyösti Väkeväinen Vice President for Research, Development and Innovations at Laurea.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies, redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems and semiconductors. We are also leading in the Internet of Things space through, among others, our Digital Health and Smart Home initiatives. We employ 307,000 people across 84 countries. To discover more, please visit our official website at www.samsung.com and our official blog at global.samsungtomorrow.com.
Vertical Enterprise Accelerator is solely focused on health technology and smart life. The Enterprise Accelerator is run twice a year for 4-6 months by entrepreneurs and experienced professionals. Each time 15 early stage companies within bioscience, health technology and nutrition is chosen for the programme. The enterprise accelerator offers companies an environment where to develop and grow their business: together with selected partners, the programme offers members work spaces, a training programme that meets international standards, organising of financing, assistance, and connections within marketing and international product distribution. Please view more information on www.vertical.vc.
Pekka Sivonen +358 45 895 0966, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marko Nurmela +46 706 144664, email@example.com
Tomi Mäkelä, Academic Medical Center Helsinki, +358 50 528 6128, firstname.lastname@example.org