Review of the Highly Successful Enterprise Finland Venture Forum 2011

By Timo Norros on 2 Feb, 2011 14:40

Last week's Thursday 25 hand-picked companies and 37 financiers (of which 18 international) met in a compact 1-day matchmaking event Enterprise Finland Venture Forum (EFVF) 2011. Held in Innopoli 2 in Otaniemi, the event was organized by The Finnish Industry Investment, Tekes and Finnvera in collaboration with Technopolis. This is a summary of the very successful event.

The event showcased really the best of the organizers' portfolio companies. Selected companies were invited to apply for the event. Later the applied companies were screened by a panel consisting of representatives of the organizers complemented with an international and a local VC opinions. 25 companies were selected to represent the most promising growth companies from Finland.

The event began with two keynote speakers. Olympic Gold Metalist, Tapio Korjus, lectured on the differences and resemblance of High Growth Entrepreneurship and Elite Sports. Currently member of National Elite Sport Development Committee, Korjus' speech was inspirational reflecting the personal experiences on training to the top of a former Javelin thrower. Following up, Rovio Mobile's own Bird Whisperer Ville Heijari spoke about their company's path to global success with the already ubiquitous Angry Birds. After welcoming remarks by Henri Grundsén, Finnish Industry Investment,  each of the companies gave 5 minute pitches in 8 groups based on their industry. The pitching companies were divided into two tracks: First one comprising of industrial solutions and devices and the second being more media, mobile and software oriented.

After the lunch break it was time for the Matchmaking Zone. Besides all the ad hoc meetings and general networking, 130 pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings between financiers and companies took place during the afternoon. Reminiscent of entrepreneurial speed-dating, the possibility to represent the business ideas face-to-face in 20 minutes has been acknowledged as an easy way to get into further discussions with VC in order to get funded.

Later in the evening Networking Reception was held in Finnvera Building and the participants had the chance to enjoy drinks and snack accompanied with soothing jazz from Sibelius Academy. During the event the audience rated all the company presentation on scale 1 to 5 (poor - excellent). According to the results, Kristian Ranta's represented Mendor was voted as the most attractive company for VC funding and the best presentation content and style had William Wolfram and DealDash. Congratulations to the winners on our behalf!

According to the overall rating by the participants and  the general atmosphere and comments by the participants, the event was altogether a huge success for the organizers. Both the entrepreneurs and financiers concluded that these kind of compact matchmaking events are really useful and efficient way to meet both parties' goals. Here's William Wolfram's comments on EFVF: "The EFVF allowed us to meet up with some of the most relevant VCs in Europe, all in one afternoon. We made connections to great new potential future investors as well as other entrepreneurs of fast growing startups. I would highly recommend the event to any company who is looking to fuel their business growth and bring in venture capital from top tier international VCs."

Below you can check out the rest of the pictures from EFVF.

Location: Helsinki, FinlandWebsite:, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, is the main government financing and expert organisation for research and technological development in Finland.

Tekes finances industrial R&D projects as well as projects in universities and research institutes. Tekes especially promotes innovative, risk-intensive projects.
Source: Technopolis
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