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Health Incubator Helsinki – a unique business development environment to nurture growth of promising health sector start-ups

Mar 18, 2020

Helsinki’s objective is to be one of Europe’s most captivating locations for innovative start-ups. In particular, Helsinki wants to further strengthen the position of the Meilahti campus, one of the best medical campuses in Europe, as an internationally significant innovation and business environment in the health sector. The Health Capital Helsinki initiative addresses these needs while increasing the impact and functionality of the health ecosystem in the Helsinki Capital Region.

“The City of Helsinki has a strong research and knowledge base in the health sector. The City of Helsinki wants to further strengthen the health ecosystem and the activities of Health Capital Helsinki with the new incubator.  Our goal is to foster new businesses and to make Helsinki one of the central health hubs in Europe”, states Mrs. Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development at the City of Helsinki.

Health Incubator Helsinki to drive transformation of health innovation into successful business

The City of Helsinki and the University of Helsinki identified the importance of establishing the Health Incubator Helsinki program. The program was created together with Health Capital Helsinki, to drive transformation of health innovation, research findings and expertise into international business, and to attract new talent and companies to Helsinki.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Risto Renkonen is excited about Health Incubator Helsinki which is to be launched at Terkko Health Hub at the Meilahti medical campus:

“Health Incubator Helsinki is a unique long-term incubator program for research-based health sector teams and start-ups. It is the first of its kind in Finland. The program is targeted to Finnish and foreign early stage teams and start-ups that are focused on diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and life sciences, as well as related digital and deep tech solutions such as big data, AI and XR.”

Meeting the high demand for long-term support for health start-ups

Embedded in a wider collaborative health ecosystem spanning the Helsinki Capital Region that includes actors such as HUS trial platforms, Spark Finland, Helsinki Innovation Services (HIS), Business Finland, etc., Health Incubator Helsinki is in a unique position to meet the high demand of long-term start-up support. On a wider scale, the incubator will also provide contacts to Nordic business incubators and accelerators.

“I have seen in practice the real challenges that early stage start-ups and teams face every day as Senior Business Advisor for Health and wellbeing companies at NewCo Helsinki. There is a clear unmet need for start-ups to get tailored advice and long-term guidance in developing their business concepts, go-to market strategies to enter the international markets and, ultimately, growing the value of their companies”, says Mr. Christian Lardot, Head of Health Incubator Helsinki.

Application period is now open – in the first phase, ten teams are admitted into the program

Application to the program is now open and in the first stage ten teams will be admitted into the program.

Each team selected to the program will receive individually tailored coaching and mentoring, as well as access to comprehensive services, from test beds to business and finance support. The teams will join the health sector start-up community and are provided with modern office and coworking facilities at Terkko Health Hub in the Meilahti campus area in Helsinki. Over the course of the program the teams will get valuable opportunities to network with investors, established healthcare industry experts, innovative entrepreneurs, and advisors.

Apart from a minor fee for the office space the incubator services are free for the participants.  The incubator does not take any equity in the companies.

Mr. Christian Lardot is anticipating a large number of high-quality applications to the program. The vision is that Health Incubator Helsinki will in the future also serve start-ups and researchers at the national level.

For further details about the program contact Mr. Christian Lardot, +358 40 195 2639, christian.lardot@hel.fi, or visit www.healthincubatorhelsinki.com. Application to the program is open until the 9th of April.

Health Capital Helsinki
Health Capital Helsinki is building the greatest health capital: we boost collaboration within the Greater Helsinki health ecosystem, enable innovation-driven companies to grow and attract foreign companies to establish their businesses. The alliance supporting Health Capital Helsinki consists of main cities, hospital and educational institutions in Finland: Cities of Helsinki and Espoo, HUS Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Aalto University, and Helsinki Metropolitan Universities of Applied Sciences Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia.