Growing ecosystem for supporting sustainable companies

We’re living in interesting times, with a growing concern for the availability of funding for startups. According to Crunchbase, global VC funding fell dramatically across all stages in Q1. The prevailing  economic uncertainty surely plays a role. Due to the current market conditions, some investors are more conservative and perhaps hesitant to invest in startups. While the Finnish startup and VC ecosystem has grown rapidly in the past few years, the gloomy economic conditions has brought new challenges to the Finnish startup ecosystem, and the number of new startups is now in decline in Finland.  

Despite this doom and gloom, we see a continuous, positive trend in how much companies across the board focus on responsibility, sustainable development, and better governance. Climate change, social inequality, and corporate corruption have become significant concerns for governments, consumers, investors, and employees alike. There is a widespread demand for companies prioritizing sustainability, ethical practices, and social responsibility. Investors are shifting towards more sustainable investments, with ESG funds experiencing significant growth in recent years. With the growing ecosystem for supporting sustainable companies, it’s never been a better time to start a business developing environmentally consious technology solutions.   

This is where PALO comes in

One of our key goals at Innovestor is to support Finnish entrepreneurship and offer growth opportunities for early-stage sustainable development companies through funding, know-how, and relevant contacts to accelerate growth. The PALO program is an important part of Innovestor’s agenda, where the VC funds and corporate-startup cooperation come together. 

We also strongly believe in cooperation within the entire value chains of industries. The industrial knowledge, networks, and distribution channels of large companies, combined with the startups’ agility and ability to innovate quickly, are the recipe for success in solving many critical global challenges, such as building a more sustainable future.  

Innovestor PALO is a 12-week VC-led accelerator program for pre-seed funding and finding product-market-fit and customers. In fact, PALO is currently the only VC-run accelerator program in Finland. With a focus on driving the growth of innovative early-stage sustainable tech startups, the program is supported by leading advisors with extensive firsthand experience, and valuable corporate contacts from relevant industries. Each participant will also receive an initial investment of €75K from Innovestor.  

Taking PALO to the next level in 2023  

The first cohort of PALO in 2022 was a huge success. The overall grade given for the program by the participants was 4.6/5. Over 40 meetings with relevant corporates were arranged through the program, and there are currently five corporate pilots in the works. Four out of the eight participant startups have also already received follow-on investments from new investors, including VCs and angels, after the program. 

While we are thrilled with these results, we will aim even higher this year and believe the program will firmly establish itself as a value-adding and collaborative part of the Finnish startup ecosystem. 

Our new PALO website is now live – check it out for more information and comments from last year’s participants, and do follow also on LinkedIn. The application period is now open, and you can submit your application via the website. We will be sharing more news and updates about the program in the coming weeks, so stay tuned, and please feel free to spread the word with your networks.