Ainomaija Haarla has a strong and long career in the forest and metal industries in Finland, Germany and also in the U.S. She has served in the Board of Directors as of 1993 either as a Member or Chair in large, medium and small cap companies incl. startups and growth companies, publicly or privately owned.

Haarla has since 2013 made three startup investments Samuji (Design clothing), TribeStudios (Dramagame Exit to Palringo) and Gold & Green Foods Ltd. also known as the “Pulled Oats” startup, which was sold to Finnish food corporation Paulig Group in August 2016. Haarla was among the first investors in Gold & Green Food Ltd, an active team supporter and the chairman of the board until the exit.

”Haarla has been of great inspiration to the Finnish business angel ecosystem linking her wide experience, networks and board skills to benefit innovative and disrupting startups. Haarla’s role with the Gold & Green Foods Ltd. startup has concretised the important value a business angel can have supporting a highly skilled team to reach even demanding goals.”
Torsti Tenhunen, FiBAN Chairman of the Board.

Dr. Ainomaija Haarla

Ainomaija Haarla has in addition to her corporational background chaired a private equity investment company for 8 years. Dr. Haarla has an extensive experience on international bio-product industries (forest, biofuels,spirits and high-protein plant food) in particular. Ainomaija Haarla now acts as a part-time Professor of Practice, Corporate Entrepreneurship, at Aalto University, in its School of Chemical Engineering.

Startup investments: TribeStudios (Dramagame), Samuji (design clothing) ja Gold&Green (Food tech).

Gold & Green Foods Ltd. – Revolutionary plant protein food

Gold & Green Foods Ltd. is a Finnish food tech startup which was started by Finnish serial entrepreneur Maija Itkonen in 2015. Their patented innovation was to manufacture “meat like” food from oat, beans and pea protein. A majority of the company was acquired by the Finnish food corporation Paulig group in August 2016.

The award ”Finnish Business Angel Exit of the Year”

With the award “Finnish Business angel exit of the Year” FiBAN aims to increase the interest towards business angel investing and to share the best practices from startup investing. Exits plays an important part supporting the interest and continuity of private startup investing supporting the startup field in additional to capital with skills and viral networks. Positive exits increase the private investment capacity. A great deal of the profits earned from exits are returned to the startup market in the form of new investments. The prize is awarded in cooperation with Nordea Bank.

Previous winners of the “Finnish Business Angel Exit of the Year” awards are
Petteri Laitala (2015) “Harbour exit from Turku”
Kaj Rönnlund (2014) “The Switch and Fixura”
Jari Ovaskainen (2013) “Supercell”
Antti Pekkanen (2012) “BLStream”