FiBAN comprehensively renewed its strategy and the work continues. Thanks to our active members and continuous feedback from our network, Autumn brings a variety of new collaborations with prominent startup ecosystem players and we continue to develop our operation. But what have we achieved this Spring? Let’s have a look at some of the activities we’ve been up to in addition to our daily operations.

Influencing politics; meeting members of the parliament and finding solutions with partners

FiBAN was very active in meeting members of the parliament to discuss taxation, economics, and startups.

Our CEO Tiina Laisi-Puheloinen met with the Chairperson of the Defence Committee of the Finnish Parliament Jukka Kopra together with Timo Ahopelto (The Finnish Startup Community) and Keith Bonnieci (Tesi).

Tiina and Alexander Ehrnrooth met Ville Valkonen, the Chairperson of the Tax Subcommittee to discuss how to enable more startup-friendly policies to encourage new investments. 

FiBAN was also requested to share an expert statement with the Finnish parliament’s commerce committee regarding the European defense industrial strategy, as it’s strongly connected to how startups in these sectors can access funding and the market.

Tiina also had a meeting with the Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, General Janne Jaakkola, Timo Ahopelto, Keith Bonnieci, and Riku Asikainen (FVCA) to further deepen the understanding between parties, on how the startup sector and governmental decision-makers could more easily work together.

FiBANin yhdessä Tesin kanssa järjestämässä DefSec Roundtable -tilaisuudessa sijoittajat, media ja kansanedustajat etsivät ratkaisuja puolustusalan startupien rahoituksen pullonkauloihin.

Doubling the number of our event collaboration

We started new event concepts such as lunches and breakfast events with our partners, targeted for both startups and our investor members, such as Evaluating Teams training with HRS advisors, exit themed lunch event with Krogerus. Lunches and breakfast events are one of our new ways of getting to know our angels over a topic of mutual interest. 

Because our members wished for it, we delivered: we organized the FiBAN Angel Gala which was packed with angels, partners, and special guests, such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen, and HS’s Editor-in-Chief Erjä Yläjärvi. What a night to remember! See images from the gala.

Have an exciting idea for an event, targeted for startups or private investors? Join our partner network to co-organize the next top event together!

New industry-specific pitching competition: Pitch Finland DefSec

Although FiBAN angels are industry agnostic, we recognized the need to provide a clear channel for defense, security, and dual-use startups to find funding from. This led to our active angels and our CEO Tiina Laisi-Puheloinen establishing a new defense, security, and dual-use focused startup pitching competition.

The competition was organized together with VTT, Pääomasijoittajat ry, Business Finland, Tesi, City of Riihimäki, Define Finland, Digital Defense Ecosystem, and Kyberala ry as a part of the EU-funded Connect2Scale and Define -projects. This resulted in over 80 startup applications from the defense industry for our pitching competition, numerous media appearances, and the startup Dobbelgänger receiving a 100 000 euro investment from investors from the FiBAN network.

FiBAN recognized in the media and the EBAN Congress

Our role as the early-stage supporter of startups and new arising industries was recognized nationally in various media publications throughout the Spring: Yle, MTV Uutiset, Arvopaperi, Talouselämä, and Ruotuväki, for example.

FiBAN plays a key role as one of the sole providers of data from the funding of early-stage startups. This is one of the many reasons why our annual investment survey matters; it serves as the basis of our lobbying process to decision-makers and demonstrates the state of early-stage startups in Finland, as angels play a major role as the first believers of startups. 

Our members, angels, and entrepreneurs from Hostaway, were awarded at the EBAN Annual Congress for making the deal of the year. This is a great example of how every startup starts small and can grow exponentially with the help of investors! Hostaway was also awarded as the Exit and Investment of the Year by FiBAN at the FiBAN Angel Gala.

Working together towards a more diverse startup industry 

One of our new event collaborations worth highlighting was the Enkelisijoittamisesta johtajanaisille -training we organized with Kauppakamari, where FiBAN angel investors Elina Koivumäki (Chair of FiBAN), Hanna Nyholm and Nina Rautiainen
(Regional angel of Jyväskylä)
offered their invaluable expertise to the participants. Due to high demand, this free angel training for women will be organized in the Autumn. Stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter in the footer. 

We were also happy to keep supporting our partner Tech Nordic Advocates by coaching women founders in their various activities in their programs and at Arctic15. 

Together with Startup Säätiö, Suomen Startup-Yhteisö, Pääomasijoittajat ry, Slush, and AaltoEs, we established the Ethics Committee to enable a more diverse, equal and fair startup community in Finland. The work has only started but we’re committed to continue this together with the committee members. Get to know the Ethics Committee.

FiBAN angel investors  Elina Koivumäki (Chair of FiBAN), Hanna Nyholm and Nina Rautiainen (Regional angel of Jyväskylä) training women leaders at the Finnish Chamber of Commerce.

More founder-friendly FiBAN: Helping startups with our partners

We kept developing our annual Pitch Finland events, where we annually bring together tens of startups with hundreds of investors, but we didn’t stop there. We helped Arctic15 find the best cases to pitch at their annual Pitching competition, where Nooom won an investment of 150,000 euros from FiBAN angels and VCs.

We continued with our weekly startup office hours at our office every Tuesday and virtually with Platform 6, crowned with the Startup Clinic Breakfast we arranged together with Kiuas, Business Helsinki, Baltic Sandbox VC, and the EU-funded BAKE Project. 

The feedback has been great and we can’t wait to continue these with you. We’ll continue with similar collaborations with our partners in the Autumn, to help you incredible startup founders there to raise funding and to solve your funding bottlenecks. In the meantime, check out our upcoming pitching and funding opportunities.

We’re working to find new ways to help startups find funding from our network and further smoothen our process. 

Networking internationally: New Event formats, angel training, study trips and international programs

FiBAN keeps offering angel training for all parts of the journey, all the way from finding suitable investment cases to exit and beyond. FiBAN Academy starts again in the Autumn, and we’ll be piloting a certification program for those who take part in all three training modules plus at least one startup screening session and at least one Pitch Finland per year. Note that you can also access our older, yet still very topical online training at FiBAN Academy Online.

As a part of the Connect2scale project, we started our Angel Academy series for beginner angels. In the Autumn, we’re kickstarting new training modules for more experienced angel investors.

Our members had the opportunity to visit Slovenia as a part of the 4NGELS project, and Estonia as a part of the Connect2Scale project.

The study trips continue with new destinations and new partners! In the autumn, we’re visiting Stockholm with the help of our partners Wellstreet. You also have the opportunity to visit Vilnius in Lithuania, and the Deep Tech Summit in Warsaw, Poland as a part of the 4NGELS project. The Connect2Scale project continues and deepens our friendships with the pan-European angel investment networks. 

These are excellent opportunities to get to know our network members better, establish new connections for international growth, and get to know new startup cultures. And you don’t have to go all the way to Europe to build new connections as we also have a very active group of Regional Angels. For example, you may want to join the Jyväskylä Business Rally Investor Day on August 1st. 

The study trips are open for FiBAN members and partners. If you’d like to join, feel free to email our Training & Development Manager Mari Kirjalainen at mari@fiban.org

Want to be more involved?

Would you like to hear more in-depth updates about what happens at the office? Would you like to be involved in our working groups?  Let us know and send your ideas and feedback our way: info@fiban.org