How would you describe the venture capital sector in Finland and the expertise of Finnish venture capitalists?
Pia Santavirta, Managing Director, Finnish Venture Capital Association:
"Finnish venture capitalists are top talents: this is seen, for example, in the continuous growth of the sector and in the new funds being created despite the coronavirus crisis. Finland needs boldly growing companies, especially right now, and venture capitalists are the right people to help with this."
Markku Maula, Professor of Venture Capital, Aalto University:
"The venture capital sector has seen notable growth and become significantly more international in Finland, and it forms a vital support system for the most promising high-growth companies as well as for mergers and acquisitions. Finnish venture capitalists have extensive expertise and strong international networks – but the sector keeps evolving and reforming, so learning will not stop."
How will venture capitalism change in the future? What new skills are required from an investor?
Pia Santavirta: "I believe that venture capitalism will become even more international. That is why it is of paramount importance that we get new experts from diverse backgrounds – from both Finland and abroad."
Markku Maula: "The bigger the global challenges the target companies have to solve, the more international the competition and cooperation between venture capitalists will be. Skillful collaboration with the leading international venture capitalists and other partners will become even more important. The sector is also influenced by several other factors, such as advanced digital technologies, the utilization of artificial intelligence and the growing importance of the platform economy, as well as the significantly greater attention being paid to how target companies and their investments contribute to sustainable development and how they impact society."
You have been involved in the design and execution of the Venture Capital & Private Equity – pääomasijoittamisen perusteet program from the beginning. What is your message to those considering taking part in the program?
Pia Santavirta: "As growth owners, venture capitalists get to build business growth paths and, at best, accelerate entrepreneurs in solving the greatest challenges of our time, such as climate change. A career in venture capitalism can really be considered a vantage point!"
Markku Maula: "Venture capitalism is a very inspiring and versatile career option and operating environment, and it is of great importance to Finnish high-growth entrepreneurship. The program allows you to quickly get up to speed in developing your expertise in venture capitalism, so you don't need to learn everything the hard way. In addition to learning, the program will also help with exploring and networking with other operators within the venture capital sector, which also improves the conditions for your future success."
Aalto ENT's Venture Capital & Private Equity program was first organized in the fall of 2018. The program improves your chances of succeeding in your venture capital investments by increasing your skills in key venture capital investment themes. See program details.