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International Venture Academy 2024

The International Venture Academy is an investor programme for start-ups and scale-ups in the fields of sustainability, utilizing carbon-neutral materials and energy, and cybersecurity-enabled healthtech and wellbeing solutions, as well as sport technologies using artificial intelligence.

If you want to improve your company’s investment readiness, are looking for an investment of EUR 200,000–1,000,000, or are planning to enter new markets, this might be just the right programme for you!

The programme targets growth ventures that desire to enhance their investment readiness and are interested in Nordic and European markets or soft landing in the Nordics. Participating growth ventures must have a ready product or service, a clear vision, and proof of concept. Around 10 companies will be selected to the programme.

 
Nimetön malli (28)

 

"Right from the start, the mentors made it clear that they were on our side. The same atmosphere of trust prevailed among the participating startups - everyone encouraged each other and celebrated successes. Once trust is established, it's much easier to throw yourself into being open to the new ideas and thoughts that came up during the week. The IVA Week was an eye-opening experience to understand what your product looks like through the eyes of the international investors."
Laura Andelin Onit Sport

Laura Andelin,
CEO
ONIT Sport, IVA Alumni 2023
“The organizers of Venture Academy have tremendous personal business skills and, above all else, plenty of networks directly with potential partners. We have had tangible introductions to the wider world through them.”


Secapp-Kari-Aho (2)

Kari Aho,
CEO
Secapp, IVA Alumni 2020
“IVA is an excellent opportunity for start-ups looking for international growth. The feedback we got was clear and concrete, and we received excellent additions to our to-do list. Overall, the program was really good and worth my time. I can warmly recommend it to all those who want to learn and receive feedback and actively develop their start-ups.” 
Heidi-Kivimaa-ACT Head Impact Tracker

Heidi Kivimaa,
CEO & Co-Founder
Northern Sports Insight and Intelligence Oy, IVA Alumni 2022

Call for applications for the 2024 programme is now open!

Looking for international growth or funding to scale up your business? The International Venture Academy programme offers an excellent opportunity to scale up your business with the help of experienced EBAN European angel investors. 

The programme includes:

  • Pre-sparring:  IVA Kick off online meeting in May (week 20) and one-on-one sessions with mentors before the bootcamp week (weeks 21 and 22).

  • International Venture Academy Bootcamp: Four-day IVA Bootcamp at the Jyväskylä StartUp Factory from the 4th to the 7th of June.  During the Bootcamp companies will be working on their blue ocean and go-to-market strategies, VSEM (vision, strategy, execution, and metrics) strategy framework and crafting their killer pitches and get sparring with their finances and ownership structure (cap table).

  • International Venture Academy pitching finals for investors on the 7th of June, which will be the culmination of the bootcamp week. During the bootcamp week, you will also meet the Jyväskylä ecosystem network and more casual activities are  organised during the week.
Send your application by 6th of May at 4PM. Participating companies must have a finished product or service, a clear vision and evidence of market potential, and reference customers. The programme is open to companies from around the world that are interested in the Nordic market or soft landing in the Nordics.

The jury makes the selections for the program at the start of May. Max. 10 companies will be selected for the programme and the selected companies will be announced immediately after the selection.

Note! Programme is free of charge. Participants pay only their own accomodation, lunch and travel expenses. A time commitment to the program is required from the participating startups.

IVA Net Promoter Score: 100

"Really great experience. I learned more in four days than in the last four months."

Around 40 startups have participated in the International Venture Academy in the past years. The NPS (Net Promoter Score) of the IVA 2022 & 2023 programmes was 100.

Previous participants reported gaining valuable outside insight to support growth in various areas during the program.

Check out the IVA Alumni companies 2023

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Webinar

International Venture Academy Webinar 2022:

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What is International Venture Academy and what it can offer to your business? Watch the webinar recording to learn more and hear the success story from IVA alumni 2021 Nursie Health!

Killer Pitch

How to craft a killer pitch by Audra Shallal:

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Watch the video here.

Audra Shallal

Get to know Audra - watch the interview:

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Watch the video here.

Mentors & Jury 2024

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Jean-Louis Brelet
IVA Lead Mentor
Sophia Business Angles, Entrepreneu Avenue

Jean-Louis is a member of France Angels Board, lead of EuropIA Capital and emeritus president of Sophia Business Angels. He is an executive coach of innovative entrepreneurs, investors in 15 companies, and trainer at Business Schools, incubators and Business Angels Networks within France, EU and North Africa regions.

Audra-Shallal-profile
Audra Shallal,
IVA Mentor,
BOSS Consulting

Audra is an expert in Women Entrepreneurship and Angel Investment in the EMEA region. She promotes Entrepreneurship and Angel Investing through programs, mentoring, business plan competitions, Business Angel Networks and Women Economic Empowerment within the EU and MENA region.

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Marcel Dridje,
IVA Mentor, EBAN Board Member, Entrepreneu Avenue

After 30 years of Executive Sales & Business Development experience with EMEA, USA and APAC with High-tech Startups, Marcel is currently coaching, mentoring and training Startups, entrepreneurs and Business Angels in the EMEA region. Marcel is also an Executive Advisor to Startup Ecosystems worldwide and currently onboarding a move to the GCC region based in Doha, Qatar. Marcel leads his advisory services under his consultancy firm "Entrepreneur Avenue".

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Nina Rautiainen
IVA mentor, Ecosystem Lead of City of Jyväskylä, FiBAN

Nina is promoting innovation and growth in the Jyväskylä ecosystem. Her current role as Program Manager highlights sports performance, health and wellbeing solutions, and data-driven growth. She is committed to early stage start-ups who are seeking smart money and go-to-market. She is also an active member of FiBAN. As one of the founding members of Kasvu Open growth programme in Finland she is member of Advisory Board since 2018. Nina is also a member of EU FORTHEM External Advisory Board. Nina has experience as entrepreneur, corporate Head of HR and mental coach for business leaders.

Jerome, IVA mentor
Jérôme Chifflet, IVA mentor, EuropIA Capital & Entrepreneu Avenue

Executive positions:
CEO and Co founder BCD Associates, Business development director France (EIT) ,Deputy research Director Orange, founder, Chairman and CEO of Waidan, Corporate Engineering & Services Lab Manager.

International career: EIT Digital ; Poland : Audit activities R&D Telecom Polska SA; Japan : NTT –Invited researcher;
USA: Collaborations with Nashville, Berkeley

Investment expertise
Head of Access to finance Europe (EIT Digital), Director of Screening Committee Sophia Business Angel, Board member, Investment committee PACA Investment

Education

Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Babson College (MA –USA), Entrepreneurial Scholl of France Telecom, PhD in Applied Mathematics University of Toulouse France

Nina Rautiainen-1
Nina Rautiainen
IVA mentor, Ecosystem Lead of City of Jyväskylä, FiBAN

Nina is promoting innovation and growth in the Jyväskylä ecosystem. Her current role as Program Manager highlights sports performance, health and wellbeing solutions, and data-driven growth. She is committed to early stage start-ups who are seeking smart money and go-to-market. She is also an active member of FiBAN. As one of the founding members of Kasvu Open growth programme in Finland she is member of Advisory Board since 2018. Nina is also a member of EU FORTHEM External Advisory Board. Nina has experience as entrepreneur, corporate Head of HR and mental coach for business leaders.

Jerome, IVA mentor
Jérôme Chifflet, IVA mentor, EuropIA Capital & Entrepreneu Avenue

Executive positions:
CEO and Co founder BCD Associates, Business development director France (EIT) ,Deputy research Director Orange, founder, Chairman and CEO of Waidan, Corporate Engineering & Services Lab Manager.

International career: EIT Digital ; Poland : Audit activities R&D Telecom Polska SA; Japan : NTT –Invited researcher;
USA: Collaborations with Nashville, Berkeley

Investment expertise
Head of Access to finance Europe (EIT Digital), Director of Screening Committee Sophia Business Angel, Board member, Investment committee PACA Investment

Education

Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Babson College (MA –USA), Entrepreneurial Scholl of France Telecom, PhD in Applied Mathematics University of Toulouse France

Michael OConnor-profile-international-venture-academy
Michael O'Connor,
CEO of CorkBic, pre-sparring


Michael O’Connor is CEO of CorkBIC, specialising in high tech businesses involving international growth. He started in marine and arctic exploration in the UK, Spitsbergen, Nigeria and the Caribbean before moving to high-growth manufacturing and sales start-ups with Raychem Corporation in Menlo Park, California. He co-founded Intepro, a venture capital-backed Irish IT start-up. Since returning from the USA, he has advised over 500 start-ups. 

Patrik Louko, IVA
Patrik Louko, Unifund, Jury member

Patrik Louko has an extensive background as a founder, VC and angel investor. Currently Patrik heads Unifund VC and is the Chief Investment Officer for University of Jyväskylä’s endowment. He combines years of operative experience both in Finland and California with his deep financial expertise as a numbers guy. 

He has invested in numerous companies in various roles. Mainly focusing on sports, digital health and wellbeing with a mobile angle. Most recently Unifund invested in PrecisionPhage and BiopSence. Patrik’s passion is in building breakthrough companies that make a difference (environment, health, defence), his family and reading non fiction books.

Ella Salmela henkilökuva
Ella Salmela, CEO of Crazy Town, FiBAN, Jury member

Ella Salmela, CEO of Crazy Town Oy, is an enthusiastic investor who enjoys mentoring startups towards positive societal change.

Ella excels in communication, marketing, branding, sales, and optimizing customer experience. She has had a diverse career, impacting sectors from fitness and wellness to hotel and tourism. As an investor, Ella values startups focused on nature, wellness, sustainable development, or continuous learning. She respects entrepreneurs and teams that challenge themselves and grow together. Ella believes that collaboration and networks are crucial for achieving growth and success.

Programme partners

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Contact details

Nina Rautiainen, Programme Manager, City of Jyväskylä nina.rautiainen@jyvaskyla.fi, +358504137028

Leena Martin, Project Planner, City of Jyväskylä, leena.martin@jyvaskyla.fi, +358407596667

The programme is part of Jyväskylä's innovation ecosytem work. The innovation ecosystem work is based on an agreement between the City of Jyväskylä and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and is funded by the Regional Council of Central Finland (ERDF). 
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