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The Rising North fund targets cross-border collaborations to boost the Nordic startup ecosystem

The Rising North fund targets cross-border collaborations to boost the Nordic startup ecosystem

Rising North is a fund that aims to help Nordic startups become global leaders. It finances with up to €50,000 unique projects and initiatives that tackle the challenges limiting the growth of Nordic companies. The fund is operated in Finland by the Startup Foundation, which is a non-profit founded in 2012 to support entrepreneurship and startups. The fund that totals 1,5M€ and has the goal to support at least 30 projects during the years 2016-18.

“According to Nordic Innovation, the Nordics, which only represent 3% of European population, but account for more than 50% of billion dollar exits since 2005. This means that the things we are doing in the Nordics are working and now it’s just a matter of pouring more fuel on the fire to turn the region into one of the leading startup hubs in the world,” says Peik Hämekoski, the Operations Manager for the fund, in a press release.

Startup up a company in the Nordics comes with a number of inherent advantages.  As Torsti Tenhunen of the recently funded project Sino Track, a startup induction program for Nordic companies entering the Chinese market, explains:

“The no-brainer advantages are of course the education, high standards in living, transparency, strong, early stage capital ecosystems, cooperation with public funding, and the ‘never satisfied’ approach to problem solving.”

But the disadvantages are inherent too: “…the markets are small and the true testing of the solutions, business, and funding often needs to be sought elsewhere.  So Nordic startups have to step out of their comfort zones with a bigger leap and change in attitude.”

Uniting Nordic communities

“Rising North plays a role in shaping the culture in Nordics and helps to unite different Nordic communities by enabling co-organized projects that wouldn’t otherwise be possible,” says Laura Tiensuu of Aaltoes, whose project Student Talks x FallUp is an open mic speaking competition for 300 Nordic university students and entrepreneurs to emphasise the importance of speaking.

”We are like a micro VC fund for the startup ecosystem organisations and very unique in the sense that we only fund projects that are created jointly by at least three Nordic organisations. This forces people to work together over borders which isn’t always easy but almost certainly beneficial in the long run,” Hämekoski adds.

As the initial funding for the fund comes from the Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic collaboration is one of the key elements. With Rising North the local entrepreneurship communities have yet another reason to start to collaborate with their Nordic colleagues. Project ideas can be sent via the Rising North website until the next application window closes on September 15th.

See Also

Read more about recently funded projects here.

Apply for your project receive funding here before September 15th!


Photo:  The team behind FallUp

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