(C) Samuli Pentti

Science and technology

Helsinki is a pioneer in tech innovation, entrepreneurship and FDI. However, only a small portion of its high growth/high-risk tech entrepreneurs are women. To address this imbalance, Tech Nordic Advocates (TNA) is launching a new "Helsinki Female Tech Founder Frontrunner" programme in the Finnish capital in early 2022. Supported by numerous partners and new funding from the City of Helsinki Innovation Fund, the programme offers a proven way to tackle the key challenges that stop women from choosing to become tech entrepreneurs.

"Creating more women entrepreneurs and diversity in tech is crucial to help Helsinki and Finland remain tech innovation frontrunners. There clearly is room for more female founders in the local tech scene," says Tommo Koivusalo, Head of NewCo Helsinki and Tech Nordic Advocates global board. "The City of Helsinki's funding will enable talented, ambitious local female entrepreneurs to take it to the next level."

The Helsinki programme will initially run for two years and focus on helping aspiring female tech entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. It will offer one-to-one mentoring, professional advice and skills development from Finnish and global experts as well as access to relevant networks, events and capital.

The programme will work closely with the wider tech ecosystem and women-in-tech networks in Finland and internationally. It is governed by a steering group of partners and representatives from across the ecosystem, led by TNA and including NewCo Helsinki, The Shortcut, Helsinki Partners, the Startup Foundation, Women in Tech Finland, Helsinki Think Company and Magnusson.

"We are delighted to support the international growth of startup companies in Finland and other Magnusson countries via our collaboration with Tech Nordic Advocates," comments Ville Salonen, Partner, Magnusson, Chairman, Tech Nordic Advocates Finland. "We look forward to working with Nordic & Baltic tech entrepreneurs."

"London Stock Exchange is proud to continue our support for the dynamic group of individuals and entrepreneurs in Helsinki and the Nordics via our collaboration with Tech Nordic Advocates. We look forward to working with the Finnish and Nordic tech entrepreneurs and supporting the ecosystem's ability to access international finance," says Tamara Gehring, Nordic and Western European Lead, Primary and Capital Markets, London Stock Exchange.

Success in Denmark

TNA is Northern Europe's largest tech/startup ecosystem and women-in-tech network, with offices in Helsinki, Copenhagen and Stockholm. It runs Europe's only international growth programme for women tech entrepreneurs. The programme consists of three modules: 1. international mentoring programme, 2. international accelerator for high-growth female-led tech companies and 3. an umbrella venture fund.

TNA first launched the growth programme in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2020 with impressive results. During module one alone, the Danish programme has supported 60 potential women tech entrepreneurs and helped to create a number of new companies.

"We have created more women tech entrepreneurs and helped stimulate the growth of existing tech businesses led by women, enabled access to international markets and capital to the tune of €1.5 million," says Founder & CEO of Tech Nordic Advocates, Jeanette Carlsson. "That's just the tip of the iceberg, which shows what can be achieved with the right support. Helsinki and Finland have huge unexploited female potential. We need those women for sustained innovation, competitiveness, growth, jobs and equality in tech, business and society as a whole."

The programme in Helsinki will launch with the first module with plans to include the accelerator and venture fund elements later on. The aim is to increase the number of women-led tech innovations and companies in Finland, and to help grow Helsinki's business ecosystem by bringing in international mentors, experts and investors from TNA's global tech/startup ecosystem. Applications for the programme are now open.

Source: Tech Nordic Advocates