The Emerging Tech from Finland event marked the final episode in the Virtual Investor Pitching series. This webinar brought together esteemed investors to discuss prospects of Finnish startups, a director from NASA as a keynote speaker, and game-changing startups from Finland that create technologies with significant social and economic effects.
New transportation technologies could change our ways
The keynote speaker Dr. Parimal Kopardekar, the Director of NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI), invites his audience to imagine a more peaceful world, one where nature, humans, companies, and transportation exist in harmony. He claims this is an achievable future but requires optimization of transportation.
“Today what happens is we optimize our living or business locations based on the access to transportation,” he says. “We are forced to live closer to highways, or we are forced to have our businesses close to highways, or central business locations, thereby causing more congestion.”
Reliability on public transportation only adds to the problem of congestion in transportation hubs. Dr. Kopardekar’s answer to the issue is aerial transportation. Aerial vehicles could bring passengers and cargo to any location, regardless of built infrastructure.
“You can then optimize your living and business based on your needs and suitability rather than the transportation itself,” he points out.
Many challenges, such as noise and battery limitations, have to be overcome before the vision becomes a reality, but Dr. Kopardekar sees that the change will lead us to a more prosperous future.
Can technology itself help companies find funding for technology?
In 2020, connections are made fluently via video chat, and it feels like physical distances have, if not vanished, at least diminished. The investor panel discusses whether a virtual bridge is enough to cross the distance between the startups in Finland and the investors in Silicon Valley.
“I feel like events like this would really help to get the Finnish startup exposure to the VC ecosystem in the US,” says Vik Li from Ericsson Ventures. Li also commends active government agencies such as Business Finland who raise the visibility of innovative startups.
Raj Singh from Jetblue Technologies points out that while investors in Silicon Valley are willing to consider deals “farther a field”, connections and relationships still play a great role. Moreover, connections between companies are important as an existing ecosystem of companies creates opportunities for new businesses, says Masa Nishikawa from Kanematsu Technologies.
From the Earth’s orbit to tiny cubits
The pitches in the event introduced a diverse set of new technology. The first pitch was presented by Aurora Propulsion Technologies who – as the CEO Roope Takala puts it – “make everything really, really small”. They are namely in the industry of small spacecraft, creating solutions that help spacecraft maneuver in the Earth’s orbit.
As Aurora Propulsion Technologies journeys the space, Solar Foods do something no less magical and create food out of thin air and electricity. This cheap powder-form protein and meat replacement is completely independent from agriculture, saving arable land for other uses.
Electricity is crucial not only for Solar Foods but the whole mankind. Geyser Batteries seek to answer the demand and renew high-performance batteries with their solution that is non-flammable and easy to recycle. Following three product lines – Force, Power, and Energy – they aim to provide suitable batteries for different types of vehicles.
Spindrive also work in the field of electricity and have invented an active magnetic bearing system. They have solved the issue of product efficiency of electrical machines by creating a solution that is maintenance- and oil-free, more efficient than its competitors, and the company offers condition monitoring for the sold devices.
IQM are addressing another kind of efficiency problem with quantum computers. The superconducting qubits of the computers solve complex calculations that traditional bits are not able or fast enough to solve. IQM build on-premise computers for their customers, who are currently institutes such as research centers and commercial businesses.
The pitch of Asqella shifts our perspective from quantum physics to human scale. Asqella have come up with a security screening technology for public spaces where, currently, physical safety checking creates long lines and results in great management costs. The company’s product detects concealed objects on passing individuals by measuring wavelengths and can screen up to 1800 persons per hour.
Seetrue Technologies also offer an analysis of a moving object: the eye. Their robust, customizable technology tracks eye movement in immersion environments, such as optical microscopes, surgical robots, and VR/AR headsets.
The future is coming
The event featured innovative companies who are already walking the path laid out in Dr. Kopardekar’s inspiring speech. They give us reason to stay hopeful for the future, and they’re not the only ones: In Finland, numerous technology startups are creating brilliant technologies for a cleaner, safer world. By collaborating with these companies, investors can help solve global problems – and make hopes reality.
Watch the recording of the event on our YouTube channel.
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