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Here we come!

A selection of Finnish businesses are preparing for another trip to Silicon Valley, in the hope of nailing more contacts and contracts...


Jussi Salonen

Assisting Specialist, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra


Team Finland is back. Preparations have started in the land of the midnight sun for the Health 2.0 Fall Conference in September. Finnish companies representing the health and well-being industry have begun fine tuning their pitches, ready for California.

Following the excellent results from Health 2.0 last year it was decided to continue the work towards leaving a lasting legacy. In 2013 Team Finland took 80 participants from 30 companies to California, of which 12 decided to present their business ideas in front of an audience. The results included 506 new contacts, 139 new business leads and concrete openings for co-operation in California.

Apple recently introduced, at the annual WWDC conference, their brand new HealthKit and Health app. This revolutionary product will change the health industry without a doubt. Finland definitely wants to be part of the game and Silicon Valley is the place to be.

Already 60 people have confirmed their participation in the conference from 45 different organisations. This year’s event is expected to be bigger and better than last year. With that in mind, training and preparation tailored for 17 companies was launched in the first week of June, consisting of three modules.

Mike Klyszeiko from Amcham Finland introduced everybody to the first training module and explained that, “Training is crucial because there are differences in doing business in Finland and the US that you need to be aware of”. The goal is to prepare the pitches and materials in a way that is receptive to the US market and audience.

Companies went off pitching in two rounds. In the middle of the first round Tuomas Kosonen from Inventure was asked about a typical investment process. Every process is unique and Tuomas said: “Once we met the guy on Wednesday, then again on the next Wednesday and we made the investment on the third Wednesday”. From a business perspective it is important to explain why you are here and have a vision. 

In the second round of training, conversation moved on to the things you need to take into account in the US. A story is a good way to catch the attention of the US audience. Content and style need to be prepared especially for the US market.

Michael Richards from Amcham Finland wrapped up the training and advised companies to practice their pitch with a pen in their mouth in order to articulate better. Richards offered a list of five important elements for any presentation:

1)    Have a great introduction, a killer opener;

2)    Remember composure, don’t be monotonic;

3)    Dress the part, treat it like a business interaction;

4)    Prepare, prepare, prepare;

5)    Land the plane, have a story at the top and story at the bottom.

Team Finland, co-ordinated by Sitra and Tekes, is organising a Health 2.0 conference excursion for health and well-being professionals to New York City 18-19 September and to Silicon Valley, California 21-26 September. Training on pitching and the US market is organised in co-operation with Amcham Finland.