Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, offers Finnish companies possibility to take part in the UCLA Global Access Program once again this year. In the program MBA students of UCLA will make an international business plan for the companies as their final thesis, focusing on analysis and action plan for entering specific international markets. The program was ranked last year as the best of its kind in the US, and the bar for both participating companies and students is high. There have been yearly around 10 Finnish companies participating in GAP, including e.g. one of the fastest grown firms Openbit and Cidercone.
Eurostars is an European funding and support program specifically dedicated to creating competitive SMEs that will be leaders in their own sector. The program tries to ignite international collaborative research and innovation projects by easing access to support and funding for growth companies. The program is initiated by EUREKA, pan-European intergovernmental network founded to enhance competitiveness of European businesses. Eurostars offers 400 million euros of R&D funding to SME companies over a six year period. Tekes funds the Finnish participants with 5M euros per year. The next deadline for electronic submission of applications is November 21st 2008. See instructions from Tekes.
Gaming and interactive media companies can also apply for funding of 10,000-100,000 euros for producing product demos and prototypes in the Media 2007 program. The program is aimed at companies developing on and off-line interactive works. Eligible are interactive works for the computer, internet, mobile phone, games console (including handheld), and digital television, that present a substantial degree interactivity, narrative, and innovation. Companies that submit an application must have completed a previous interactive work, or an animation of at least 24 minutes, and prove that the work has been commercially distributed between January 1st 2006 and the date of submission of their application. The next deadline for applying is November 17th.