Vigo accelerators in Finland are planning to start building funds to further improve their possibilities in helping with startups. This has been approved by a Tekes news release (in Finnish) and in a panel discussion last week regarding Vigo accelerators. Vigo accelerators are a new form of government effort to enable growth and development of startups into the right direction with the help of serial entrepreneurs (running the accelerators).
The so called mini-funds, will work in a way to fill the gap in seed and venture capital investments. In some cases there have been challenges in financing companies that are past their seed stage, but not quite at the VC stage either. This is mainly the focus of the funds, but naturally they won’t be limited to this as it will be up the accelerators themselves to determine how they want the funds to be used.
What makes these funds an interesting addition to the ecosystem is that the Finnish government will be leveraging the private investments into the funds with public money. Veraventure, the investment arm of the government, has been granted permission to invest on maximum 5 million euros per fund and at maximum, it’s share of the capital should be 49% or less.
It’s yet unclear in what form the government funding will be into the funds. Most probably, it will be something along the lines of regular LPs investing into funds – without too many restrictions on ROI or duration of investment. This is however, a great step into the right direction. Hopefully we’ll see the government create more of these kinds of approaches to accelerate and develop companies in the ecosystem.
According to last week’s panel discussion at Spinno Wake-Up regarding the Vigo accelerators, it was stated that we could see a few funds already operational later this spring. While no accelerators were mentioned in the statement, my guess is that Lifeline Ventures will be one of the first ones to announce their fund.