Tempo

accelerating the early-stage growth of startups

Who can apply?

The Tempo funding service is intended for startups that have been operating for under five years and are registered in Finland. Business Finland can offer funding for promising startup companies, which aim to enter the export markets and whose product or service idea has a competitive edge in the chosen market area.

What do we fund?

With this funding, the company can test the functionality of its business concept, obtain feedback from potential customers, explore demand in a new international market, and rapidly implement the first demos or prototypes.

When?

  • The company understands what need the product or service idea meets.
  • The company has identified a potential customer base and earnings model and intends to grow its business internationally.
  • The company has estimated the size and business potential of the target market.
  • The company has sufficient resources and funding for its early stage development.
  • Key employees are committed to the company.
  • The team has versitile expertise and at least one full-time employee, who is responsible for the business development of the company.

How to apply?

The application for funding is made by using the Business Finland online service. Before submitting your application, please contact us by presenting your idea via the Team Finland service form. This will help you find a suitable funding service for your situation and speed up the application process.

What can the funding be used for?

With Tempo funding, a startup can rapidly begin testing demand for a new product or service concept before entering export markets. For example, the company can develop the first prototype or demo of a product and test it alongside potential clients, commission market research, explore customer needs, and perform test marketing in a new market.

Goals

During the application stage, the company and Business Finland will agree on two to five clear and measurable goals which the company will aim to meet using the Tempo funding. The selected goals will be based on the company's potential, in such a manner that they promote its growth and internationalisation. The goals may be as follows:

  • Realisation of customer pilots
  • Growing the company's turnover
  • Increasing the number of customers
  • Development of internationalisation processes
  • Strengthening the partner network
  • Creating product features
  • Making progress with funding arrangements
  • Strengthening the team, advisers and/or Board of Directors

Goal achievement will be an important factor when considering funding for the possible next stage of the project.

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Funding levels

The maximum amount of Business Finland Tempo funding is €50 000. The funding covers 75% of the overall budget for the project.

After the funding decision, Business Finland will pay 70% of the grant (max €35 000). The remainder of the grant will be paid on the basis of the costs reported by the company following the completion of the project.

Company's own funding share

The company must have sufficient assets of its own for the project's completion. Generally Business Finland requires the company to have €30 000 own funds: equity or capital loan (subordinated debt according to the Finnish Limited Liability Companies Act).

Funding terms

Tempo funding is a de minimis grant

How to apply

How to apply

Before submitting an application for funding, please contact us in order to identify the funding service that is the best match for your goals. We will be in touch in a week.

In the application, you are asked to describe the current status of your company's business, staff and resources, the vision for growth, project objectives, project plan and cost estimate. Send the application, with attachments, through Business Finland online service.

The project plan

Your funding application should include a free-form project plan. You can write the project plan either directly in the Tempo application form or send it as an attachement to your application.

The Tempo project plan template below is there to help you to draft your plan. It is not mandatory to use the template.

Financial information

Please attach an accounts ledger from the current accounting period to your application. The accounts ledger should include an income statement and a balance sheet no more than 2 months old.

Business Finland may ask also other financial information during the application process if necessary.

Reporting

The company and Business Finland agree jointly on concrete project targets that are entered in the funding decision. Once the project has been completed, the company will report to Business Finland how well the targets were achieved. The report is submitted to Business Finland via Business Finland Online Services.

It is important for companies to follow their expenses in Tempo projects and to keep the material about purchased serviced obtained through Business Finland funding, and information about those who worked for the project and the salaries paid to them.

Please note! Business Finland has started a pilot to facilitate the reporting of Tempo funding. Companies that have received a Tempo funding decision after 1 June 2017 do not have to report the project's actual costs nor submit the auditor's report to Business Finland.

Eligible costs

Business Finland will approve costs starting from the date when the application was sent to Business Finland at the earliest. Eligible costs include:

  • Salary and purchased professional services in accordance with the project plan
    • A maximum of EUR 19/h (EUR 3,000/month) can be entered in the project accounts for the owners' salaries, if their holding is at least 10%.
  • Indirect personnel costs
    • Indirect personnel costs may not exceed 50% of the salary paid.
  • Purchased services
    • Purchased services must be put out to tender in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, if the sum of a single purchase or series of linked purchases is EUR 60,000 or more.
  • In addition, other costs will be accepted up to 20 percent of the sum of salary paid and purchased services.
    • No other costs need to be itemised.

The project cannot cover

  • expenses incurred during the routine activities of the company
  • costs incurred in supporting exports or from export marketing
  • direct investments in the construction of a distribution channel 

Tempo funding is De minimis grant

Tempo funding constitutes a de minimis grant, which the company does not need to repay.

De minimis aid is state aid for small development projects defined by the European Commission. A company can receive a maximum of €200,000 in de minimis aid over three fiscal years. Business Finland may award companies up to €150 000 in de minimis grants during the same time.

At the application stage, the company must assess how much de minimis aid it has received in previous years. Such aid is granted by a range of public organisations in addition to Business Finland, such as Finnvera and the ELY Centres