Startups with a large business potential seeking rapid international growth can apply for the Young Innovative Company funding for the comprehensive development of international business and accelerating growth, as well as for strengthening their team, developing their business model and growth strategy, and opening up new markets.
The funding is intended for startups that have been in operation for less than five years. For the Young Innovation Company funding, we select promising startups that are able to rapidly scale up internationally and already have significant net sales and evidence of growing international business.
The companies selected for the funding have typically been in operation for at least three years and have already used our funding services in previous projects.
The assessment of a company’s eligibility for the Young Innovation Company funding is always a comprehensive assessment of the company, its preconditions for growth and the state of its business. The selected companies are required to have:
Business Finland can grant Young Innovative Company funding only if the company meets the following preconditions:
Age and size
Ownership and background
Strong efforts in innovation activities
During the first period of 6–12 months, the amount of funding will be EUR 250,000. Achieving the goals set for the funding period is one of the requirements for proceeding to the next period. Goals will be defined together with the company based on its business plan, and they will be registered in the funding decision.
The funding is granted in at least three phases. The funding for the first phase is a €250,000 grant; typically for the period of 6-12 months. Business Finland sets goals for the company in its funding decision, which, if realised, enable the company to move on to the next phase of funding.
Goals are typically related to:
Business Finland evaluates the progress of a Young Innovative Company project after each funding phase. During the end of the first funding phase companies are asked to present their ideas to an evaluation panel made up of investors and experts.
The panel evaluates the company's business potential, its growth potential and development needs and its suitability as an investment target and provides Business Finland with a statement regarding the company's suitability as an investment target. The panel has an advisory role in relation to Business Finland's funding decision.
The evaluation is performed on the basis of the material provided by the company, and on the basis of a corporate presentation.
Before submitting an application for funding, please contact your Business Finland account responsible or our customer service in order to identify if the Young Innovative Company funding service is the best match for your goals.
Company has to be less than five years old when the funding decision for the first phase is made. Please, submit funding application well in advance, no later than two months before company turns five years (calculated from registration date).
Funding applications are submitted through the Business Finland online service. 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.
Please include a project plan and a business plan in the application. The plans are free-form.
At the application phase, the company must provide a confirmation from an auditor that it meets the preconditions for the Young Innovative Company funding.
Please attach the following financial information to the application:
You can use your own templates or Business Finland's templates to submit the financial information to Business Finland. Please note that the templates are not mandatory and the information can be submitted to Business Finland, for example, as part of your business plan.
Business Finland pays out project funding on the basis of reports and cost statements. Progress with the project must be reported to Business Finland in accordance with the schedule announced in the funding decision. Submit the report and cost statement through Business Finland's online services.
The following costs are not eligible: