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Investments in growth companies in the Joensuu region

Start-up Fund Joensuu

Are you an innovative start-up aiming for fast growth? Is your business scalable, innovative and accessible to international growth markets? Our fund can enable your company to invest capital in the development of early-stage business and to employ and grow towards the international market. The StartUp fund obtains its capital from the City of Joensuu and private investors. 

Logo StartUp Fund Joensuu with Business Joensuu

Growth funding, experience, competence and networks

With our growth funding, start-ups in North Karelia can strengthen their team, develop their business model and growth strategy, and open up new markets both in the home market and internationally.  

Start-up Fund Joensuu invests primarily in start-up and growth companies that utilise digitalisation, new forest bioeconomy products and services, new materials and innovative technologies. However, the fund has no sector restrictions, so other sectors are also potential investment targets. The target company must be located in the Joensuu area, be willing to move to the area, or be connected to the area through its operations. 

The fund's capital is EUR 2.5 million, and a typical investment is EUR 50,000–200,000. The fund works in close cooperation with Business Joensuu's Business Accelerator and internationalisation services to support the domestic and international growth of investment targets. 

The role of Startup Fund Joensuu as educators of young growth companies is significant, as the fund together with Business Joensuu's Business Accelerator and other growth services offers companies not only growth capital but also its experience, expertise and business and stakeholder networks. 

In addition to initial capital investments, the fund may also act as a gateway to new investment rounds. The fund cooperates with local and national investors and the North Karelia Growth Fund, which invests in newly established and young companies. Business Joensuu Oy is a community member of the Finnish business angel network, FiBAN. 

Joensuun Startup Kehitys Oy 

The fund is managed by Business Joensuu Oy's subsidiary Joensuun Startup Kehitys Oy (business ID 3093233-5).

The Fund's privacy statement (pdf).

North Karelia Growth Fund 

The North Karelia Fund supports start-up and growth activities and strengthens business life and entrepreneurship in the North Karelia region. In particular, funding is targeted at strong growth companies that are planning for internationalisation as well as companies starting their operations in Joensuu and elsewhere in North Karelia. 

The North Karelia Growth Fund invests in young growth companies, especially those active in the fields of digitalisation, forestry and bioeconomy, photonics, tourism and creative industries, and materials science. Eligibility for investment requires that the company has a domicile or other significant activities in North Karelia and that the team is able to build scalable business operations. The typical investment in the first round is between EUR 25,000 and EUR 150,000. Further investments are always up to EUR 500,000. 

The fund is managed by Redstone Nordic Oy and managed by Kaj Hagros and Oskari Lehtonen. 

Read more about the fund.

Funds investment portfolio

Several growth companies in North Karelia have received growth funding from Start-up fund Joensuu, which operates through a subsidiary of Business Joensuu's, and the North Karelia Growth Fund. Investments have accelerated the growth of companies and enabled new capital investments. Read more about the investment targets below. 

11/2023: An investment of EUR 90 000 for ForteAI Oy Plus sign

The start-up company ForteAI Oy is launching a smart resume service platform to the market, revolutionizing the job search and recruitment experience. Service fully automates resumes and streamlines job searches through artificial intelligence and machine learning. ForteAI platform transforms resumes into artificial intelligence agents that provide career advice, represent talent in the job market and work with other profiles on the platform.

The growth company received a total of € 90,000 in new funding from Start Up Fund Joensuu and the North Karelia Growth Fund. The company will present its first prototype at the Slush 2023. Read more.

10/2023: An investment of EUR 100 000 for PUHI Oy Plus sign

PUHI Oy, which produces biochar using pyrolysis technology, has collected a total of EUR 900,000 in funding from financiers. In addition to the EUR 100,000 invested by the Start Up Fund Joensuu, the founding members of the company fund the activities with EUR 300,000 and Business Finland with EUR 500,000.

Biochar is one of the most cost-effective methods for long-term carbon storage in the soil and has diverse applications, from soil improvement to air filtration. An environmental permit for biochar production contributes to the green transition and circular economy.

The growth capital will be used for purchasing a machine, modifying the machine and the hall, as well as starting production. In addition to its ongoing domestic operations, PUHI is prepared to expand internationally, with Germany and Sweden as the initial target markets. Read more.

09/2023: An investment of EUR 150 000 for Norrapro Oy Plus sign

 Norrapro Oy is a Joensuu-based company specialising in the manufacture, installation and development of underground bedrock products and related components. Shotcrete drainage products are used as a water handling system for bedrock facilities.

The company collected a total of EUR 150,000 of new funding from local funds the Start Up Fund Joensuu and North Karelia Growth Fund. In addition, Norrapro has received EUR 200,000 in research, development and innovation funding (RDI)  from Business Finland. With the support of growth capital, the company promotes the supply of its digital services and aims for international markets. Read more.

09/2023: An investment of EUR 300 000 for Materialisting Oy Plus sign

Materialisting is a platform service that promotes the green transition in the construction sector, allowing for the calculation of the carbon footprint of property and indoor space construction, as well as for comparing construction materials and products. This enables environmentally friendly and responsible material choices in construction projects.

The Joensuu-Helsinki-based startup, Materialisting Oy, aims to become the leading service provider for environmentally friendly building material choices in Europe by 2027. The Start Up Fund Joensuu has invested €100,000, and the North Karelia Growth Fund, managed by Redstone, has invested €90,000 in the company. Design Agency Fyra and private investors have also participated in the funding. Read more.

06/2023: An investment of EUR 300 000 for Clash Discs Oy Plus sign

A start-up company Clash Discs Oy is a disc golf discs and equipment manufacturer. The company is heavily focused on expanding its presence in the international Disc Golf market, with North America being its primary market. Their objective is to achieve a revenue of six million euros in the coming years, with four million euros coming from exports to North America. Clash Discs aims to become a globally recognized and respected disc brand.

To accelerate their aspirations, Clash Discs secured funding from the Start-up Fund Joensuu and the North Karelia Growth Fund, totaling 250,000 euros. Both funds contributed 125,000 euros each to support the company's growth. Additionally, the company's owners invested 50,000 euros. Read more.

03/2023: An investment of EUR 100 000 for Carbonaide Oy Plus sign

Carbonaide Oy is developing the world's first industrial pilot production line enabling carbon-negative concrete, with which it is possible to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete even to carbon-negative. The company is founded in Joensuu and it is currently building the first pilot production line based on the Carbonaide method at the factory of Rakennusbetoni- ja Elementti Oy in Hollola. Carbonaid's business will be further developed at the Business Accelerator in Joensuu.

Carbonaide Oy, which has raised a total of 1.8 million euros in seed funding for the commercialization of its technology, is starting to commercialize the carbon dioxide utilization and storage technology developed at VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland. Start Up fund Joensuu invested 100,000 euros in Carbonaide Oy. Read more.

12/2022: An investment of EUR 120 000 for Aris4Autism Oy Plus sign

Aris4Autism is developing an automated digital system that can be used to map the development level of an autistic child and possible problem behaviors and prepare a rehabilitation program for the child that meets his needs. Aris4Autism offers parents all the tools to implement rehabilitation. Parents have the opportunity to carry out rehabilitation alone or together with experts in different fields, such as a speech, activity or play therapist in an online environment.

Start Up fund Joensuu invested EUR 120,000 in Aris4Autism and North Karelia Growth Fund EUR 150,000. The EUR 270,000 loan granted by Business Finland will bring the total capital of the financing round to EUR 540,000.

09/2022: An investment of EUR 200 000 for SeeTrue Technologies Plus sign
Founded in Joensuu in 2018, SeeTrue Technologies develops the world’s most advanced and stable eye-tracking sensors and applications, backed by decades of research and experience in computational optics, machine vision and applied eye tracking.
The Start Up Fund Joensuu and the North Karelia Growth Fund (managed by the venture capital investment company Redstone) have both invested EUR 100,000 in SeeTrue Technologies. In total, the funding round brought SeeTrue a capital investment of EUR 460,000 as the company’s owners and employees took part with an investment of EUR 150,000. Also, Business Finland participated in the financing round with EUR 110,000 for development and research. Read more.
06/2022: An investment of EUR 100 000 for Kodia Oy Plus sign

Kodia Oy is a supplier of the rental management system established in 2019. Kodia’s mission is to innovate and implement advanced housing solutions for the industry through digitalization.

In the spring of 2022, the growth company Kodia arranged a share issue. Start Up Fund Joensuu participated in the financing round with EUR 100,000. In addition to the Start Up Fund Joensuu, Kodia will be invested in by, among others, Master Group Ltd and the investment company Karvest, as well as the current investor and founding shareholders. Read more.

05/2022: An investment of EUR 112 500 for Niekka (eBike Finland Oy) Plus sign

Niekka (eBike Finland Oy) will produce high-quality Finnish bicycles under the NIEKKA Bicycles brand in Outokumpu. Business Joensuu encourages the company’s growth as an investor through the Start-up Fund Joensuu.

ebike Finland organised a share issue at the end of 2021. Business Joensuu’s Start Up Fund Joensuu participated in the funding round with EUR 112,500, for which it received 22.5% of the company’s shareholding. Through the issue of shares, the company collected EUR 187,500, plus a loan that is 70% guaranteed by the European Central Bank. Read more.

06/2021: An investment of EUR 312 500 for Redkik Oy Plus sign

Redkik is a global Insurtech start-up with the mission to transform and improve the insurance industry for all parties within logistics and transportation.

Start-up Fund Joensuu invested 75,000 euros in the company. The total investment of the financing round was 312,500 euros, while at the same time the North Karelia Growth Fund managed by venture capital investment company Redstone and business angel Ilari Schouwvlieger invested a total of 237,500 euros. Read more.

03/2021: An investment of EUR 100 000 for Kelluu Oy Plus sign

Kelluu Ltd, which manufactures miniature autopilot airship concept to perform many kind of airborne data transfer duties, has received a significant funding of 100,000 euros from the Start-up Fund Joensuu. The airship has an extremely long flight time thanks to low-emission hydrogen-powered technology. Kelluu Oy has an airship factory in Reijola, Joensuu.

At the end of 2019, Kelluu Oy received significant funding from Business Finland. In addition to Start-up Fund Joensuu, also Kim Väisänen, Suomen Vaikuttavussijoitus Oy, and Joen Infra Oy also invested in the company's operations. Read more.

11/2020: An investment of EUR 100 000 for Vaki Oy Plus sign

Vaki Ltd., which is known by its brand name Vaki Games, is a gaming company established in 2016. The company currently employs 9 part-time and full-time employees. The company’s game by the name of Kingshunt ( is an online multi-player game that will feature action and strategy. The game will be published in spring 2021.

Start-up Fund Joensuu has invested EUR 100,000 in the company, of which EUR 50,000 is conditional and linked to the performance indicators agreed on for the game’s launch. Read more.

09/2020: An investment of EUR 100 000 for Fiuge Oy Plus sign

Fiuge Oy is a crowdsourced and community-based delivery service that operates in the Helsinki region, Kirkkonummi, Turku, Pori, Lappeenranta, Mikkeli, Savonlinna, Kajaani and Porvoo. The service functions as a mobile application and on the website, and its clients include B2C and B2B companies. The purpose of the service is to make deliveries as flexible, affordable and ecological as possible.

Start-up Fund Joensuu will be investing EUR 100,000 in Fiuge. The company has also received funding from Gorilla Capital Ky and the Joensuu-based company Timonen Auto Oy. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment has provided funding of approximately EUR 750,000 for service development and launching operations. Read more.

06/2020: An investment of EUR 100 000 for Hypermemo Oy Plus sign

Established in Joensuu in 2009, Hypermemo is a company developing a unique carbon dioxide laser (CO2 laser) solution. At the moment, the company employs five people in its new production and development facilities in Joensuu. The company is based on a technology developed by Russian-born Vadim Kiyko. Its development started at the Russian Academy of Science and continued in Joensuu.

Hypermemo Ltd has received an investment of EUR 100,000 from the Startup Development Joensuu – Investment Fund which operates via a subsidiary of Business Joensuu. The investment will accelerate the company’s growth and enable new capital investments. Read more.

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