NewCo-event. Photo: Klaus Kangaspunta

New acceleration service for start-up companies launched – Helsinki wants to help companies grow

City of Helsinki has launched a new business development and coaching service. It is targeted at start-up companies that are aiming for international markets and are currently in the incubation or acceleration phase. Early on, many start-up companies required long-term support to get their operations going. The NewCo Accelerator service has been designed to meet this service need. The accelerator’s services are free, and companies can access them at any time.

“It is Helsinki’s goal to be one of the most appealing locations in Europe for innovative start-up activities and the most attractive competence cluster for businesses and individuals looking to make the world a better place. The coronavirus crisis has not been kind to the start-up ecosystem. Through the NewCo Accelerator service, we want to support potential start-ups and experts who find themselves on the job market as a result of the coronavirus emergency. If we succeed, we may be able to transform the crisis into an opportunity,” says City of Helsinki’s Economic Development Director Marja-Leena Rinkineva.

The accelerator aims to help start-ups find funding, achieve growth and build teams

The purpose of the NewCo Accelerator service is to help start-ups succeed. Start-ups that choose to take advantage of the acceleration and incubation services gain a personal business coach who will support the companies with funding, team building and growth.

At the same time, the companies are engaged in an extensive and detailed business development process with the ultimate aim making each company eligible for risk financing and internationalisation. In addition to providing personal coaching, the accelerator services involve the start-ups in a network that enables them to learn from each other.

The process focuses on teams and start-ups that have progressed beyond the conceptual development of a product or service and are now aiming to enter the market. Long-term personalised coaching is also available for start-ups that are yet to meet the criteria for actual acceleration coaching. The City of Helsinki is involved in producing the NewCo Accelerator services in cooperation with key operators in the start-up ecosystem.

“NewCo Accelerator provides companies with business advisory services that are tailored to their specific situations and needs. The aim is to produce new potential successes that entice the financial market, professional board members and corporations,” says Head of Growth Service at NewCo Helsinki Timo Helenius in summary.

Applications for the NewCo Accelerator service are open now

Helsinki already made the NewCo Accelerator service available once before in 2013–2017. At the time, the service was a response to increased unemployment in the metropolitan area, especially in the ICT field. As a result, the total turnover of companies that took part in the acceleration coaching between 2014 and 2019 stood at roughly €125 million.

The fresh NewCo Accelerator advisory services are part of Helsinki’s efforts to recover from the coronavirus crisis, and the City also aims to generate new jobs through the programme. Simultaneously, the idea is to develop Helsinki’s competitiveness as a start-up-oriented city and draw domestic and foreign investment capital, experts and growth companies to Helsinki.

More information on the NewCo Accelerator service is available on the NewCo Helsinki website here or by contacting startup@hel.fi. Due to the coronavirus restrictions, meetings must currently be booked through the website.

The City of Helsinki Economic Development Sub-committee decided on the establishment of the NewCo Accelerator incubation and acceleration services on 17 August 2020.