As the PALO 2023 application period is getting close, we wanted to look back a bit on the pilot round in 2022 as well as share some exciting news on what’s coming up.
The feedback from the first round of PALO has been very positive; the overall grade for the program 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 after the program.
We are thrilled with these results but also excited to make the program stand out even more in the future.
What makes PALO special?
Innovestor PALO is a 12-week accelerator program for early-stage sustainable technology startups. It is the only accelerator program in Finland that is run by a VC, which offers some considerable benefits to the participant startups. Through Innovestor, program participants immediately have access to the resources, expertise, guidance, and networks of a well-known VC. We have a wide network of co-investors and corporates that the startups will also have an opportunity to pitch to at the end of the program.
The selected startups receive an initial program investment of €50-100k, with an opportunity for additional investment later. This way our interest is closely aligned with the startups and there is a stronger emphasis on commercialization.
The focus of the program is on creating a growth strategy, with the support of our experienced advisors and corporate partners. As a new element of the program, we will now also provide support in creating an ESG strategy for all the participants. Also, we are now thrilled to share that going forward, we will have a dedicated fund for the investments in the PALO program participants.
New fund to support the growth
Innovestor plans to establish a new fund that invests in the selected PALO program participants. The fund will have an Article 8 (light green) classification under the SFDR classification.
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto, the CEO of Warming Surfaces Company, one of the four PALO 2022 startups that have secured follow-on funding after the program, attended the fund launch event on Thursday. In his presentation, he mentioned having participated in other accelerator programs during his career and was expecting PALO to be more or less the same with the rest.
“I was skeptical at first, but during the first meeting, I realized PALO was something different. It was love at first sight with Innovestor, and after the program, we are still in love” he said.
He found the mentors of the program brilliant, and particularly appreciated they were open and honest about their journeys, including all their mistakes along the way.
“Having a VC on board from the beginning makes everything more serious and gets you in front of other investors and corporate contacts that you would not easily connect with without the program. The VC element also makes seeking future funding easier” he concluded.
There has never been a better time to invest in sustainable technologies
Governments around the world are pushing for more sustainable policies and regulations, offering subsidies and incentives to drive the green transition. As more consumers and businesses are looking for sustainable solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and address environmental challenges, there is a rapidly growing market for sustainable technologies and services.
Finland’s strong government support, innovation-friendly culture, skilled workforce, and natural resources have helped the country become a leader in sustainable technology innovation. We have a wealth of potential in the country, and Innovestor has the connections and experience to find it.
We are looking forward to growing our PALO family further with the next gems in the field of sustainable technology. The application period for the PALO 2023 starts in May – if you think your idea is the next big thing helping make our world a better place for future generations, make sure you send in your application!