Tempo – accelerating the early-stage growth of startups
Who can apply?
The Tempo funding service is intended for startups that have been operating for under 5 years and are registered in Finland. Tekes can offer funding for promising startup companies, which aim to enter the export markets and whose product or service idea has a competitive edge in the chosen market area.
What do we fund?
With this funding, the company can test the functionality of the business concept, obtain feedback from potential customers, explore demand in a new international market and rapidly implement the first demos or prototypes.
- The company understands what need the product or service idea meets.
- The company has identified a potential customer base and earnings model and intends to grow its business internationally.
- The company has estimated the size and business potential of the target market.
- The company has sufficient resources and funding for its early stage development.
- Key employees are committed to the company.
- The team has versitile expertise and at least one full-time employee, who is responsible for the business development of the company.
How to apply?
The application for funding is made by using the Tekes online services. Before submitting your application, please contact us by presenting your idea via the Team Finland service form. This will help you find a suitable funding service for your situation and speed up the application process.
What can the funding be used for?
With Tempo funding, a startup can rapidly begin testing demand for a new product or service concept before entering the export markets. For example, the company can develop the first prototype or demo of a product and test it alongside potential clients, commission market research, explore customer needs and perform test marketing in a new market.
During the application stage, the company and Tekes will agree on 2-5 clear and measurable goals which the company will aim to meet using the Tempo funding. The selected goals will be based on the company's potential, in such a manner that they promote its growth and internationalisation. The goals may be as follows:
- Realisation of customer pilots
- Growing the company's turnover
- Increasing the number of customers
- Development of internationalisation processes
- Strengthening the partner network
- Creating product features
- Making progress with funding arrangements
- Strengthening the team, advisers and/or Board of Directors
Goal achievement will be an important factor when considering funding for the possible next stage of the project.
Amount of Tempo funding
The maximum amount of Tekes Tempo funding is €50 000. The funding covers 75% of the overall budget for the project.
After the funding decision, Tekes will pay 70% of the grant (max €35 000). The remainder of the grant will be paid on the basis of the costs reported by the company following the completion of the project.
Company's own funding share
The company must have sufficient assets of its own for the project's completion. Generally Tekes requires the company to have €30 000 own funds: equity or capital loan (subordinated debt according to the Finnish Limited Liability Companies Act).
De minimis grant
Tempo funding constitutes a de minimis grant, which the company does not need to repay.
De minimis aid is state aid for small development projects defined by the European Commission. A company can receive a maximum of €200,000 in de minimis aid over three fiscal years. Tekes may award companies up to €150 000 in de minimis grants during the same time.
At the application stage, the company must assess how much de minimis aid it has received in previous years. Such aid is granted by a range of public organisations in addition to Tekes, such as Finnvera and the ELY Centres
How to apply
Before submitting an application for funding, please contact us in order to identify the funding service that is the best match for your goals. We will be in touch in a week.
Send the application, with attachments, through Tekes online service.
In the application, you are asked to describe the current status of your company's business, staff and resources, the vision for growth, project objectives, project plan and cost estimate.
The project plan
Your funding application should include a free-form project plan. You can write the project plan either directly in the Tempo application form or send it as an attachement to your application.
The Tempo project plan template below is there to help you to draft your plan. It is not mandatory to use the template.
- Instructions for preparing a project plan for Tempo project (rtf)
- Template for Tempo project plan (docx)
Please attach an accounts ledger from the current accounting period to your application. The accounts ledger should include an income statement and a balance sheet no more than 2 months old.
Tekes may ask also other financial information during the application process if necessary.
The company and Tekes agree jointly on concrete project targets that are entered in the funding decision. Once the project has been completed, the company will report to Tekes how well the targets were achieved. The report is submitted to Tekes via Tekes Online Services.
It is important for companies to follow their expenses in Tempo projects and to keep the material about purchased serviced obtained through Tekes funding, and information about those who worked for the project and the salaries paid to them.
Please note! Tekes has started a pilot to facilitate the reporting of Tempo funding. Companies that have received a Tempo funding decision after 1 June 2017 do not have to report the project's actual costs nor submit the auditor's report to Tekes.
- Read more from Tekes news article 1.6.2017: "Easier reporting of Tempo projects to Tekes"
Tekes will approve costs starting from the date when the application was sent to Tekes at the earliest. Eligible costs include:
1 Salary and purchased professional services in accordance with the project plan
- A maximum of EUR 19/h (EUR 3,000/month) can be entered in the project accounts for the owners' salaries, if their holding is at least 10%.
2 Indirect personnel costs
- Indirect personnel costs may not exceed 50% of the salary paid.
3 Purchased services
- Purchased services must be put out to tender in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, if the sum of a single purchase or series of linked purchases is EUR 60,000 or more.
4 In addition, other costs will be accepted up to 20 percent of the sum of salary paid and purchased services. No other costs need to be itemised.
The project cannot cover
- expenses incurred during the routine activities of the company
- costs incurred in supporting exports or from export marketing
- direct investments in the construction of a distribution channel
Get in touch
Find the right funding service
Introduce your business plan via a secure online form. We will contact you within a week.
Team Finland Customer Service
Tel. +358 2950 20510
weekdays 1 pm to 3 pm
Advice about Tekes and Team Finland services for companies seeking to grow in the export markets.
If you have received funding from Tekes in the past, you can also get in direct touch with your contact person at Tekes.