A clear breakthrough vision led to a place on the national team

Posted by Marianne Manninen on September 2, 2016

During the summer we have gotten some excellent news, which will help us to go forward with our mission to make healthy air a human right. Naava (formerly known as Naturvention) has been selected to take part in Tekes’ Young Innovative Companies -program.“This is excellent news. Getting selected for the YIC program is as good of an achievement as it is for athletes to be selected to compete for the national team. The whole program creates an opportunity to get a 1.25 million euro funding,” said our CEO and founder Aki Soudunsaari.

The YIC-program arranged by Tekes is divided into three phases targeted to young startup companies aiming for a breakthrough on the global market.

“We have a clear vision on how we are going to break through globally. The fact that we already have great, internationally known Finnish customers, like Finnair, Hanken and Vincit, help us a lot,” said Soudunsaari.

The European Union is showing its support

In addition to Tekes, other entities have also shown trust towards Naava's internationalization strategy. Naava got selected to take part in the European Union’s SME funding instrument's first funding round, which is a part of the Horizon2020 program.

The SME funding instrument, aimed at small to medium sized companies, aims to help small and medium sized companies with the development of their business and the internationalization process. The program consists of two phases. Companies in the first phase can be granted up to 50 000 euros in funding while the second phase allows for an amount between 50 000 to 2.5 million euros.

“We are straight away aiming for the second phase. As far as we know, we should be filling all the requirements,” said Naava's CTO and founder Niko Järvinen.

In addition to the funding, companies selected to be a part of the SME instrument and also offered business coaching accordingly to the needs of the company. Coaching for the Finnish companies taking part in the program is arranged by Enterprise Europe Network.

The Senior Advisor of EEN, Satu Alapiha says it to be an excellent achievement to have been selected for this program. “We are talking about Europe’s elite. With such a fine election process, in the end, it’s the most innovative ideas that are chosen.”


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