Vertical grows team: Sonera to boost health tech startups
700 m2 start-up co-working space opens at Espoo Innovation Garden
Vertical Startup Accelerator, focusing on health-tech start-ups, has today entered into a strategic partnership with leading telecommunications provider Sonera to boost the emergence of new technologies in the rapidly developing area of healthcare. Vertical, founded by entrepreneurs and professionals within enterprise and start-up development, also recently partnered with one of the biggest global manufacturers of consumer electronics – Samsung Electronics. Vertical also announces the program selection criteria on-line at www.vertical.vc and its new home, a 700 m2 co-working space in Espoo, where first cohort of companies will be incubated starting already in June. The first acceleration program of Vertical will start in August.
“Finland is one of the hot-spots for development of next-generation mHealth technology and related communications services and therefore we are very pleased to join forces with the professional and ambitious team of Vertical Accelerator to boost Finnish early stage companies in this sector,” says Mr. Ville Lahti, Head of Consumer Strategy, Sonera. “Our strategic intent is to work very closely not just with start-ups, but also with larger companies and public authorities to really facilitate an ecosystem that works in the spirit of Open Innovation.”
Vertical also announces a partnership with Ingram Micro, the largest full service logistic group in the world. Ingram Micro will serve as content partner and provide their know-how on global markets for the start-ups. “We want to be the best distribution partner for our customers, we are delighted to be part of Vertical and its mission, said Mikael Carlson, Head of Business Development, Ingram Micro Finland.
“Finland is already one out of ten countries that repeatedly and increasingly export more health technology than they import. The national turnover within the sector is 3 billion euros, out of which 1.8 billion exported representing already half of Finland´s high-tech-exports with 8,3 % annual growth in 2014,” says Mrs Terhi Kajaste, Chief Executive Officer of FiHTA – Healthtech Finland.
“Another 3 billion euros is the compound annual turnover of Finnish companies producing and selling sports equipment and related electronics,” Pekka Sivonen, co-founder at Vertical Startup Accelerator emphasizes. “We are bound to accelerate both of these sectors to grow faster than the market. This is the prime driver of our recent activities of putting together a powerful syndicate of companies such as Sonera, Samsung and Ingram Micro that can actually provide the go-to-market for the technologies and products developed here into global markets.”
Close ecosystem-collaboration with the academia and City of Helsinki and Espoo are already producing results. One great example of this is Upgraded Life Festival (ULF)–event that gathers 800 people and 70 start-ups from the areas of Health, Wellbeing and Wearables into a conference to be held at Academic Medical Center Helsinki, Meilahti on May 19th.
Health technology start-ups are in many ways the focus of attention and efforts in a country like Finland, which is in the process of totally renewing its nationwide healthcare-system. Health technology has also been identified as one clear growth and investment area of massive international potential. To address this potential, a national growth strategy was announced last year by the co-operation of three Finnish ministries (Ministry of Employment and Economy, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of Education and Culture), Tekes and Academy of Finland. The implementation of this strategy program is proceeding with a number of parallel actions by various stakeholders. City of Helsinki, University of Helsinki and Aalto University are speeding up the development within the business sector for health technology by their joint Health Capital –initiative.
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