Tekes news from Startup Village 2015

Finland topped international presence at Startup Village 2015 event in the beginning of June. A plane full of entrepreneurs, business angels, investors and innovation professionals was brought to Moscow by Pekka Viljakainen, adviser to Skolkovo president. The most famous of all was former F-1 champion Mika Häkkinen, who is nowadays a business angel and a technology investor too. At the conference Finland featured 17 speakers, the second highest number, surpassed only by the US.

Main stage of Startup VillageThe biggest investment deal at Startup Village 2015 also turned out to be Finnish: Skolkovo foundation and Turku Science park have agreed on a 200 million euro project to built a Bio City technology park in Skolkovo. Bio City, extending further the concept already realized in Turku, will cover 30 thousands sq.m. of space, built by Finnish developer Capital Development Group. Bio City projecting stage will be realized in 2015-2016 and actual construction shall be completed in 2018.

Skolkovo has big expectations about future Bio City – the center is set to disrupt local biotech market and become a world level center of competence for Russian research institutions, innovative SMEs and pharmaceutical companies. Besides, it will tighten further academic relations between Russia and Finland, providing opportunity to invite international level researchers and foreign biotech startups to work in Russia.

Healthcare goes digital

Pekka SoiniTekes – active promoter for cooperation in innovation between Finnish and Russian companies – organized this year own session at Startup Village, entitled "Healthcare goes digital – views from Finland". A number of Finnish and Russian experts have joined the panel to discuss how digital technologies disupt and shape modern healthcare industry. Besides sharing views on current trends also practical cooperation matters were discussed. Thus, Sergey Sheptunov – a CEO of Skolkovo resident "Biomedtechnologies" company, developing next generation surgery robot, has shared his opinion and plans to launch joint development and production of the robot with a number of selected Finnish partners. Sheptunov has travelled several times to Finland, advised by Tekes, Invest in Finland, Business Oulu and other Team Finland members and now has signed a number of initial agreements, developed a project roadmap and is on the verge of opening a company in Finland.

Also, Tekes team has met two other companies that already launched their activities in Finland: Technoautomat Oy and PolarSol Oy, the latter has already become a Tekes client.

Vivid panel discussions and pitch contests

Tekes team activities were not limited to meeting startups. Director general Pekka Soini was an invited speaker in two more panel discussions at Startup Village, while his colleagues were judging at 4 startup pitch contests during the first day of the conference.

In the same time Helsinki Ventures (one of Tekes' supported Vigo accelerators) organized a mentoring session and a gaming industry discussion panel.

Robots at Startup VillageA dozen of other industry/technology panels were organized during the second day of the conference, discussing topics like IoT, robotics, augmented reality, cell technologies, advanced manufacturing, etc. All these will be collected in a traditional "Startup Village trends" material, jointly prepared by Skolkovo and Tekes and published in near future.

Further information

Text: Pavel Cheshev, Tekes, Moscow
Photos: Pia Mörk, Pekka Sivonen


Pia Mörk
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