Walk down the halls of the Slush startup conference and it’s hard not to notice that there’s a lot of health tech coming out of Finland. With GE Healthcare already bumping up against startups at their co-working space at their Helsinki campus, they’ll be battling for startup affection with Vertical Health Accelerator, a new Helsinki-based accelerator that has partnered with Samsung Electronics.
The accelerator says that its foundations are strongly founded on the work of the HealthSPA cluster that has gathered 200 companies after being established two and a half yeas ago. Behind the accelerator are partnerships with Helsinki and Espoo City as well as other Innovative Cities (INKA) funded by Tekes. The accelerator looks like it will stay close to University roots by first opening up in Otaniemi, home of Aalto University, with later branches planned for the Meilahti and Viikki campuses in Helsinki.
“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 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,” says Pekka Sivonen, co-founder at Vertical Startup Accelerator after previously founding Digia and co-founding HealthSPA.
For those of you looking to apply, their website is still pretty bare but the first batch will begin April 30 and will run twice a year for 4-6 months. Each batch will bring in 15 early stage companies with a health technology, bioscience or nutrition focus. The best bet to stay posted with Vertical is to sign up to their newsletter.