So far, foreign investments in Finnish health technology companies – in the field of health and life sciences, in particular – have been minor. There are no funds specializing in this field in Finland, which is why an international meeting was needed. Arranged in November, the virtual event Finnish Health and Life Science Research Showcase for Investors brought together 26 promising projects at the research stage from Finnish universities and 20 international and 17 Finnish investors. The event aimed at boosting the recognition of the Finnish projects, exposing the researchers to private investors, promoting awareness of available funding opportunities and attracting investors towards the projects that are still at the research stage.
There was a genuine need for such an event, because a strong capital base is required due to the long product development cycles of the industry. Understanding of public and private funding and the available opportunities assist in this process. For the second year in a row, Finland was Europe’s most active capital investment market when comparing the value of investments in euros to the GDP. Last year, Finnish startups combined attracted more than half a billion euros in investments, while the share of health and life sciences was around 10%.
“In the field of health care, Finnish venture capitalists are interested in digital health applications and start-ups, in particular,” says Joni Karsikas from Tesi. “There are more international investors, and they look at a broader picture of the sector. International funds that make large investments finance more advanced companies, while still keeping a keen eye on emerging companies.”