Metropolia is among the partners of a new Startup Accelerator, Vertical, focusing on health technology starting up in the metropolitan area of Helsinki. Vertical Startup Accelerator, which was founded by professionals within enterprise and startup development, recently partnered with one of the biggest global manufacturer of consumer electronics – Samsung Electronics. This Startup Accelerator is currently setting up in Espoo Otaniemi from where it is planned to expand to Meilahti and Viikki ‐campuses in Helsinki.
Startups are in many ways the focus of attention and efforts in a country like Finland, which is aiming to release itself from the grip of the global recession. Health technology has been identified as one clear growth and investment area, and therefore also an area for startups and employment. A national growth strategy was announced last year in May 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 strategy programme will proceed with a number of parallel actions. A report released on Monday by City of Helsinki and University of Helsinki will speed up the development within the business sector for health technology.
"Finland is already one out of ten countries that export more health technology than they import. The national turnover within the sector is 3 billion (3 thousand million) euros and we aim to grow this export significantly during the next few years. This growth can be done in co-operation with new innovative enterprises and globally successful corporations such as Samsung," Pekka Sivonen, co-founder at Vertical Startup Accelerator comments.
"We will operate in close partnership with the Helsinki and Espoo City as well as other Innovative Cities (INKA) funded by Tekes. Hence, our work is conducted on a national level but aims for international business. Our operations are strongly founded on the HealthSPA -cluster that we established two and a half years ago and that currently has more than 200 participating companies."
"Metropolia is the largest university of applied sciences within e.g. the fields of social and health care, technology and culture. This is the reason why we are best qualified to teach professionals and developers within the fields of social and health care, and to produce tested and fully functioning solutions for the society. All skill sets are needed in future companies within health technology and we can already see a solid co-operation with the Vertical enterprise accelerator. We would wish to offer our student not only work opportunity in new companies but also a possibility of entrepreneurship", says Riitta Konkola Managing Director, President at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
"For Samsung the co-operation with Nordic technology companies has already produced significant results. Now we have the opportunity to start aiming for these same kind of results also within the fields of health- and smart life technologies, and with the help of this new partnership, we will be able to look for opportunities systematically together with Samsung Electronics' R&D Center in Espoo. Firstbeat's innovation for measuring the heart beat is an example of technology that Samsung Electronics has licensed from Finland and launched on a global scale by implementing it into the intelligent wearables and smartphones and tablets", Marko Nurmela, Vice President at Samsung Electronics Nordic, comments.
The Social Welfare and Health Care Reform that is taking place in Finland, healthy life-style choices and clean food trends combined with high skill-‐sets in mobile and software knowledge, interests several international actors. During 2015, Vertical Startup Accelerator will publish the names of several international partnerships, out of which the one with Samsung Electronics – the world's largest manufacturer of consumer electronics – is the first.
Vertical Enterprise Accelerator is solely focused on health technology and smart life. The Enterprise Accelerator is run twice a year for 4-6 months by entrepreneurs and experienced professionals. Each time 15 early stage companies within bioscience, health technology and nutrition is chosen for the programme. The enterprise accelerator offers companies an environment where to develop and grow their business: together with selected partners, the programme offers members work spaces, a training programme that meets international standards, organising of financing, assistance, and connections within marketing and international product distribution.
Read Samsung's and Vertical's press release.