University of Helsinki: The University of Helsinki es­tab­lished HEL­SEED, an en­dow­ment fund that in­vests in star­tups – Co-op­er­at­ive Tradeka be­comes an an­chor in­vestor

The University of Helsinki has created a new endowment fund aimed at making early investments in startups established by students. The first donor of the HELSEED endowment fund is the Tradeka Foundation, which made a donation of €50,000 to the fund. The goal is to increase the endowment capital through donations and return on investment also in the future.

“Through our donations and investments, we wish to support the creation of new expertise, innovations and jobs in Finland. Another thing Tradeka considers important is research and education related to societal change, which is why the HELSEED fund was a perfect fit for us,” says CEO Perttu Puro of Co-operative Tradeka.

Tradeka allocates a considerable share of its operating income to benefit its members and society, directing on average at least 10% of its revenue in the long term back to society.

“Tradeka’s donation is a wonderful example of gaining broader support in society for our goal to help students embark on the path to entrepreneurship. Heartfelt thanks to Tradeka! We are also taking this opportunity to invite other communities and individuals to make a donation,” says Anders Ekholm, chief investment officer of the University of Helsinki.

Investments made by the HELSEED fund adhere to the University of Helsinki’s principles for responsible investment activities.

HEL­SEED en­tre­pren­eur­ship pro­gramme con­tin­ues in re­de­signed form in 2021
Launched in spring 2020, the HELSEED entrepreneurship programme aims to inspire students to develop their ideas into startups. The programme includes a pitching competition where the creators of the best business plans get to present their ideas to a jury and an audience. The programme is backed by the University of Helsinki and Helsinki Think Company.

“The first investments by the fund in startups established under the HELSEED programme should be made by the end of 2021,” Head of Investment Marko Berg says.

The HELSEED entrepreneurship programme continues in redesigned form in 2021, incorporating new elements through which students are increasingly supported and encouraged to promote their ideas.

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