Tempo funding is intended for Finnish startups, SMEs and mid cap companies aiming for international growth that have the desire and ability to build their expertise and solutions into an international success story in innovative ways.
At the start of the project the company must have a competent team and credible funding for implementing the project.
The sufficiency of the cash flow financing is assessed on a case-by-case basis. If the company has no retained earnings or cash flow financing based on previous financial years, a demand for equity financing is a possibility. In practice, this means at least EUR 30,000 in equity funding as the project's own funding. Accumulated earnings are eligible for equity to exceed the threshold only from the official and full accounting period.
Acceptable equity funding includes, for example:
- Investments in share capital or a SVOP fund (invested unrestricted equity fund) paid to the company in cash
- Subordinated loans
Before drawing up a project plan and the actual application, we recommend having a discussion with one of Business Finland's experts by contacting our Test your idea service.
In order for your company to get the best possible benefit from Tempo funding, we recommend that you critically evaluate the development needs related to the company's competence and business in relation to the company's growth vision for 3–5 years. If these needs have not been identified yet, we also recommend learning more about the following services as needed before a potential Tempo project plan:
- ELY Centre's development services
- Business Finland's innovation voucher, if the study is related to the company's new product, service or business
- Business Finland Market Explorer, for studies on international markets new to the compan
With the funding, your company can improve its potential for international growth in various ways, test the functionality of its business concept, obtain feedback from potential customers, and investigate demand in a new international market.
In a Tempo project, the main focus is on developing the capabilities related to the company's international growth, not product development. Product development costs can only be approved as a small part of the project to gain customer insight and feedback. If the focus of the project is on product development and the company has a sufficient idea on its global competitiveness, you should learn more about Business Finland's research and development funding.
- Your company's objective is significant international growth, and the competence and development needs related to the objective have been identified.
- Your company has a realistic idea of its competitive advantage in the market.
- You understand what need your product or service idea meets.
- You have identified the potential clientele and earnings model.
- You have estimated the size and business potential of the target market.
- Key employees are committed to the company and its growth strategy.
- There are enough resources and a wide range of skills available for development (in addition to the team, the startup company has at least one full-time person responsible for developing the company's business). We do not fund one person's businesses.
- The company has a credible funding plan and the prerequisites for profitable business and growt
What can the funding be used for?
With Tempo funding, we promote activities with the aim of making the company's growth vision reality. The project should include a balanced mix of market surveys, collection of early customer feedback, and the development of the business model, technology and the company. A significant portion of the project costs should consist of expenses other than research and development expenses, such as
- preparation of an internationalization strategy
- market analyses
- testing of demand for the product and service concept
- piloting of the product and service concept among customers
- market validation
- test marketing
- development of management, practices and the organization
- analysis of growth funding
- drawing up an IPR report and patent analysis
In addition, Tempo funding can be used for the participation costs of business accelerator programs and the costs of MAPs (market access programs). Further information
During the application stage, we will agree on 2-5 clear and measurable goals which the Tempo funding will be used to achieve. The goals will be selected from your starting points, in order to promote your growth and internationalization. The goals may be linked with the following functions, for example:
- Realization of customer pilots
- Growing the company's turnover
- Increasing the number of customers
- Development of internationalization processes
- Strengthening the partner network
- Making progress with funding arrangements
- Strengthening the team, advisers and/or Board of Directors
Goal achievement will be an important factor when considering possible funding for the next stage of the project.
Usually a company is granted Tempo funding only once. In exceptional cases, such as pivoting or participation in a business accelerator program, discretionary Tempo funding may be granted a second time.
Amount of funding
The maximum amount of Tempo funding is EUR 50,000. Funding from Business Finland covers 75 percent of the project's total budget. This funding constitutes a grant which does not have to be paid back.
We will pay 70 percent of the funding (up to EUR 35,000) after the funding decision, and the remainder in conjunction with the project's final report. For Midcap, the entire funding will be paid in conjunction with the final report.
Company's own funding
Your company must have sufficient funding of its own for the project's completion.
We require at least EUR 30,000 in equity financing as the company's own funding for the project (either through investments, subordinated loans or as results of realized accounting periods). In addition, the company must have confirmed self-financing during the project.
Please note: In some cases, the company may apply to organizations such as Finnvera for the co-financing of projects funded by Business Finland. However, because in the case of Tempo funding, the proportion of public funding is exceptionally high (75 percent), own funding should come from private sources. Finnvera does not grant entrepreneurial loans as own funding for Tempo projects.
How to design and implement a Tempo project
How to apply for funding
Get in in touch with our 'Test your idea service' or your contact person before submitting the actual application, in order to find the most suitable financial service for you.
Send the application, including attachments, via the Online Service. In the application, you must describe the current state of the business; its personnel, resources and future growth vision; the goals and costs of the project; and the work involved.
A project plan is required for the application. The plan can be either entered directly in the application form fields, or attached to the application as a separate file. If necessary, you can use the Tempo project plan template as the framework of your project plan..
Financial information on the company
The following attachments must be provided with a Tempo application:
- An income statement no more than two months old and a balance sheet from the account ledger for the current accounting period
For decision-making purposes, we may also request additional information as required.
At the end of the Tempo project, the company must report on the project's results and how well the targets were achieved. Reports must be submitted via the Online Service.
Costs can be approved from the date when the application was sent. Eligible costs include:
- Pay and purchased professional services in accordance with the project plan.
- A maximum of EUR 19/h (EUR 3,000/month) can be budgeted in the project for the salaries of the startup's owners, if their holding is at least 10 percent.
- Indirect personnel costs
- Indirect personnel costs may not exceed 30 percent of the wages paid.
- Purchased services
- Purchased services must be itemized.
- Services purchased from interested parties will not be accepted
- 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.
- Other costs will be accepted up to the amount of 20 percent of the sum of wages and purchased services. It is not necessary to itemize these other costs.
We do not fund
- expenses incurred during the routine activities of the company
- costs incurred in supporting of exports or export marketing
- direct investments in building distribution channels
- vocational education
Tempo funding is a form of the de minimis aid
Tempo funding is subject to the terms of the de minimis grant. The maximum sum of de minimis aid that can be granted to one company over the current and two previous fiscal years is EUR 200,000.
Your company must assess how much de minimis funding it has received in previous years at the application stage. Such aid is granted by many public organizations, such as Finnvera and the ELY Centres.
- Read more: Information on de minimis aid (only in Finnish for now)
Frequently asked questions about Tempo funding
The project should be implemented as quickly as possible. We recommend a duration of around 6 months. Business Finland does not usually provide funding for Tempo projects longer than 12 months.
A company can be considered for another round of Tempo funding during the enterprise's next, major renewal phase.
The project can, to some extent, involve research and development work, but its contents should be a balanced mix of market surveys, collection of early customer feedback, and the development of the business model, technology and the company. A larger portion of the project costs should consist of expenses other than research and development expenses.
Share capital invested in the company, an investment in an invested unrestricted equity fund, and a capital loan are accepted as equity funding required for Tempo funding.
Not necessarily. The key issue is that the project is resourced in the best possible manner.
Purchases from associated companies will not be accepted. (Companies are associated with each other if at least 20 per cent of the other company's entire share capital or corresponding shareholders' equity is owned or controlled by the other company. Business Finland may also consider two companies to be associated companies if one of them can exercise control over the other or otherwise influence where the other company procures goods and services from, such as via board membership, family members, or acting as a funder.)
No. This funding is for companies aiming at the international markets.
In the early stages of a company, projects should be carried out as cost-efficiently as possible. The company's resource base will be wider when funding is directed to outsourcing and hiring additional resources. At the same time, the owners also carry some of the risks involved in the development of the company.
The company has to be registered in the Finnish Trade Register. In addition, it has to be entered in the prepayment and VAT registers.
No. If the company has a clear picture of the market it aims at and the customer needs, and the concept has been validated with customers, the company can apply for R&D funding directly.