Business Angel of the Year 2020: Ainomaija Haarla

This year, when choosing the business angel of the year, the award committee paid attention to giving back to the community. “Ainomaija Haarla has supported her founders, acted as a lead investor and is known to be generally helpful towards her fellow investors and other startup ecosystem players”, says Reima Linnanvirta, chair of the award committee.

Haarla celebrates the recognition: “My guideline in startup investing is first and foremost to give the founders freedom to operate and think big. The second would be to be persistent on what you want to achieve, and flexible when needed.”

Exit of the Year 2020: Jussi Autere and Fernando Herrera

2020 was a year of many great angel exits, and the Nordcloud exit was one of the most noted ones with Jussi Autere and Fernando Herrera with it until the last exit. “There were also more FiBAN members taking part in the journey of the company, both as investors as well as a founder. The case shows that in ICT business, you can also be an exceptional service company.” describes Linnanvirta the awarded exit.

Newcomer of the Year 2020: Otso Laakkonen

When thinking of a business angel, people might think of a retired business professional. But the truth is that angel investors come in every shape and size. The Newcomer of the Year, Otso Laakkonen represents the next generation of angel investors: a digitally savvy exited founder. From the day of joining FiBAN, Laakkonen has been involved in many activities, bringing the view of a creative digital native to the table.

Otso Laakkonen

Honorary members: Jaakko Salminen, Janne Jormalainen, Jussi Heinilä, Mammu Kaario, Petri Lehmuskoski

The new honorary members fall into two categories: Jussi Heinilä, Mammu Kaario and Petri Lehmuskoski have been active with FiBAN from the foundation of the organization until this day. Jaakko Salminen and Janne Jormalainen have been contributing a lot of their time to building FiBAN as the presidents of the association.

Janne Jormalainen, Petri Lehmuskoski, Mammu Kaario, Jussi Heinilä, and Jaakko Salminen

Juha Kurkinen Honorary Award: Ari Korhonen

In honor of FiBAN’s president emeritus and founder of FiBAN Juha Kurkinen’s memory, the award is given to a person that reflects the values demonstrated by Kurkinen: joy of giving back, building friendships, trust, patience and family.

”The recipient of the award, Ari Korhonen has been not only one of the cornerstones in building FiBAN, but also an important support for our sister network EstBAN, and actively involved in EBAN. Outside angel investing he is known for his giving back to the community by e.g. supporting non-profit organizations and acting as advisor to his alma mater.”, describes Linnanvirta.

Ari Korhonen

Read also: New annual awards released: EstBAN awarded as the Sister BAN of the Year – Guardian Angel of the Year award goes to the Steering Group for Domestic Ownership and the professorship in ownership

Find more about FiBAN’s annual awards here.

More information:

Aija Bärlund
Managing Director, FiBAN