Milja Inkeri Mäkelä 25/03/2024

New Award Categories Announced at FiBAN Gala: Exits, Newcomers, Honorary Members

Several categories of angel awards were given, such as Newcomer of the Year, Active Angel of the Year, and Partner of the Year, in addition to the traditional awards of Business Angel, Guardian Angel, Honorary Member of the Year, and Exit and Investment of the Year.

In addition to awards, the Gala had honorary guests as speakers, such as Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen, Senior Editor-in-Chief Erja Yläjärvi, and our very own FiBAN Chair Elina Koivumäki and CEO Tiina Laisi-Puheloinen.

Hostaway – Investment & Exit of the Year 2023

The Exit and Investment of the Year Award was given to Hostaway for the impressive investment round, raising 175 million euros, and for the magnificent exit of angels. The Exit awards were handed to two FiBAN angel investors, Antti Ala-Ilkka and Lasse Larvanko, and the Investment of the Year award was given to the co-founders Mikko Nurminen and Saber Kordestanchi at the Gala, whilst co-founder Marcus Räder celebrated the special moment remotely in Toronto.

Jorma Heinonen – Active Angel of the Year 2023

Jorma Heinonen was awarded for his active input in the FiBAN community. He creates opportunities for fellow angels, founders, and the office team and is not afraid to put his hands in the mud. He’s a self-starter and a true example of an active angel who empowers and helps others with his experience, ideas, networks, and positive attitude.

Jenni Kynnös – Newcomer of the Year 2023

Jenni Kynnös was awarded for her active participation in FiBAN activities, active public role as an angel investor, and investment in prominent female-led companies, paving the way for young angels and female founders at FiBAN and beyond.

Gabriela Arzola – Business Angel of the Year 2023

Gabriela Arzola was selected as the Business Angel of the Year for active participation in FiBAN events and activities, showing increasing interest in building her skillset as a business angel, showing excitement, and sharing investment opportunities with her fellow angels. In addition, she has shown kindness and warmth in encounters around the FiBAN network. What a great example of a true business angel!

KPMG – Partner of the Year 2023

A partner from the beginning, KPMG has been an active, visible, and innovative member of the FiBAN community and a great supporter of the growth of this network, our angels, office team, and startups alike. This was the first time the Partner of the Year Award was given at FiBAN. Thank you, KPMG, for your active support of the FiBAN community and for supporting the office team!

Vesa Riihimäki, Nordea – Guardian Angel of the Year 2023

A changemaker of the startup scene and a truly influential person who has moved the lives of many startup founders, Vesa Riihimäki has revolutionized and strongly established Nordea as the startup bank of Finland, created innovative solutions how to support startups and angel investors with growth. Vesa and Nordea have a long history of working together with FiBAN, and they have witnessed the evolution of the Finnish startup ecosystem from the very beginning.

Kim Väisänen – Honorary Member 2023

Kim Väisänen was awarded as an honorary member of FiBAN for his long-standing efforts and visible work in supporting the FiBAN community. His active work as a FiBAN board member and chair has helped grow the FiBAN network even further. Kim is a true networker and an encourager who has opened doors for his fellow angels, entrepreneurs, and the FiBAN office team.

The last time FiBAN organized a gala was to celebrate FiBAN’s 10-year anniversary. In our member study conducted in 2023, there was a strong demand for glamorous celebrations such as galas, so the office team heard you and is now working to establish the Angel Gala as an annual tradition! See who got awarded in the previous years.

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