Taking a look at the LifeLine Ventures portfolio companies, you can see Partner Timo Ahopelto knows Finland’s startups. In the web sector they’ve invested in ThingLink, Playmysong, and IndoorAtlas. In Gaming, they’ve put money in Applifier, Uplause, Grand Cru, and Supercell, and in Health you’ve heard of Valkee, Mendor, and BetterDoctor.
The point is that Ahopelto has been spotting and helping create the startups we know and love in Finland for a long time. That’s why we’re proud to announce him as a speaker at the Arctic15.
While the previously mentioned companies like Supercell and Applifier are now big players, LifeLine Ventures focuses on early-stage investments, preferring to jump in before a startup has even launched its first product. Rather than investing, they say the “co-create” companies, angling themselves to be the first person an entrepreneur reaches out to in times of trouble and joy.
Ahopelto knows the process to build growth companies. As a serial entrepreneur, In 2000, he founded CRF Health with two of his friends, and today the company the company is #1 in its industry, making €60 million in revenues.
He chronicled this journey in his somewhat fictionalized book, Sand Hill Road (available in Finnish) where he tells the story of what it’s like for an entrepreneur to travel the ups and downs to do make it. “I wanted to write the first book that realistically tells what happens behind the curtains: it is hard work with no glamour that typically is attached to startup entrepreneurship,” Ahopelto told us in our October interview.