North Karelia Growth Fund, which promotes the growth of young companies in the region, is gaining an new investor from the university world as the University of Eastern Finland’s Joensuu University Foundation joins the fund. Established in spring 2020, the fund has already attracted investors that include many local actors who want to promote regional interests.
The purpose of Joensuu University Foundation is to support and raise awareness of activities at the University of Eastern Finland’s Joensuu Campus. The foundation will invest EUR 100,000 in the fund.
– We decided to participate in the investment activities because we want to be involved in promoting business activities and internationalisation in the region, especially during this corona period. A vibrant and vital Eastern Finland is essential for us. Now we want to support our region, just as North Karelia has supported the university at various times, says Tapio Määttä, Academic President of the university.
– We hope that the fund will also help to attract more research-based companies to the region. We are one of the owners of Business Joensuu and together we do a lot of research, education and entrepreneurial cooperation work, continues Määttä.
The University of Eastern Finland wants to support and enable start-up companies. The university’s spearhead fields – forest bioeconomy and circular economy, photonics and ICT – are on a world-class level and produce strong experts and companies around the world and in the region. One example is SeeTrue Technologies Oy, a research-driven startup company based on the photonics business that got its start with the university. It continues to operate in Joensuu while investing in international growth.
Close cooperation to accelerate business
One of the cornerstones of Business Joensuu’s strategy is collaboration with local research and education communities. Research to Business cooperation has already been established with the university, with the aim of finding and developing new growth companies from the university’s research projects. Business Joensuu has also been involved in building the University of Eastern Finland’s retail trade programme, launching conversion training for people with a master’s degree in technology and the Spark Joensuu community, which promotes entrepreneurship among students.
The Joensuu University Foundation is a very welcome addition to the fund’s pool of investors.
– It’s wonderful to have a foundation that represents the university’s research and education activities join our regional investment fund, especially since the foundation specifically supports regional development activities, makes strong research expertise available to companies and enables the creation of new business activities. The foundation and North Karelia Growth Fund share the same directions and objectives, says a delighted Harri Palviainen, CEO of Business Joensuu.
In spring 2020, the North Karelia Growth Fund established by the City of Joensuu will strengthen regional cooperation by investing in young companies from the region that are seeking growth and internationalisation. With a value of EUR 6 million, the venture capital fund is looking for investors who believe in regional growth in North Karelia and in opportunities for internationalisation. The fund is managed by Redstone Nordics Oy, which has extensive expertise in developing investment options. Investors in the fund include Osuuspankki North Karelia, Pohjois-Karjalan Osuuskauppa PKO, Lähitapiola Itä and Broman Companies Oy.
Harri Palviainen, Chief Executive Officer, Business Joensuu Oy, tel. +358 500 96 7744