Young Innovative Company funding (YIC)

What do we offer?

With the Young Innovative Company funding Tekes intends to accelerate the global growth of the most ambitious, rapidly growing startups in Finland. The funding can be used for  the comprehensive development of business activities.

Who can apply?

The funding is intended for a startup company that has been in operation for less than five years, and has proven its business concept, so that it already has customers. Tekes funding can be applied for by companies registered in Finland.

How to apply?

Tekes selects the most promising, rapidly growing startup companies to the Young Innovation Company funding programme. The companies have typically been in operation for at least three years, and have already used Tekes funding services.

What can the funding be used for?

Young Innovative Companies funding is intended to help startup companies grow rapidly on the international markets. Funding is primarily awarded for the development of business activities. It can be used to strengthen a team, to develop a business model and growth strategy, and to open up new markets.

The funding may be a good option to your company, if you have:

  • a scalable business model and the opportunity for fast growth in international markets,
  • evidence of promising business activities and customer references,
  • a clear plan to grow in international markets, and the capacity to implement the plan,
  • a competitive edge with which it is possible to attain an important market position,
  • a committed and competent management team,
  • the ability attract venture capital

Preconditions for funding:

Tekes can offer YIC-funding only for a startup company that:

  • is less than five years old
  • is small and independently administered
  • is making strong efforts in innovation activities
  • has not have distributed profits and not been formed through a merger.


Startups funded by Young Innovative Company programme

Since 2008, a total of 330 promising startups have been selected to the Young Innovative Company funding programme and 102 companies have reached the demanding goals and completed all the three funding phases.

Funding in three stages

Funding levels

The maximum amount of Tekes funding for young, innovative companies amounts to €1.25 million, of which a maximum of €500,000 may be funded as a grant, and €700,000 as a loan.

Tekes funds 75 percent of the eligible project costs in at least three phases. The funding for the first phase is a €250,000 grant; typically for the period of 6-12 months. The funding is granted for business development.


Tekes sets goals for the company in its funding decision, which, if realised, enable the company to move on to the next phase of funding. Goals are typically related to

  • the development of turnover
  • ability to get funding from other sources
  • expanding into new markets.

Preconditions for funding

  • The company is less than five years old

    The young innovative company funding must be granted before five years has passed since the company was registered. The funding will end, at the latest, when the company has been registered for eight years. Dormant companies also age; it is the company's registration date that is of crucial importance.

    Tekes has to make the funding decision before the company reaches five years of age. The funding application has to be submitted at least three months before this date.

  • The company is small

    The company must be classified as small, and registered in Finland. The number of personnel in a small company is less than 50 and, either its maximum annual turnover is €10 million, or its maximum final balance is €10 million.
  • The company makes strong efforts in innovation activities

    The company must substantially focus its resources on research and development activities. At the application phase, the company must provide a confirmation from an auditor that it has invested at least 10 percent of all its business costs in research and development, during at least one of the previous three years.

  • The company is independent

    The company must be independent and administer its own IP rights.

  • The company should not have distributed profits and not been formed through a merger


Tekes evaluates all the applications internally. The information submitted to Tekes by companies is treated as strictly confidential.

Evaluation panel after the first funding phase

During the first funding phase Tekes asks companies to present their ideas to an evaluation panel made up of investors and experts.

The panel evaluates the company's business potential, its growth potential and development needs and its suitability as an investment target and provide Tekes with a statement regarding the company's suitability as an investment target. The panel has an advisory role in relation to Tekes' funding activities.

The evaluation is performed on the basis of the material provided by the company, and on the basis of a corporate presentation. Companies participating in the evaluation panel draw up an English-language summary of their business plan and a panel presentation using standard templates.

The panel members are capital investors, business angels or board professionals. The pool has about fifty members, and 3–5 experts at a time participate in the evaluation event, convened about once a month.


Eligible costs

  • direct salary and wage costs, and the associated indirect personnel costs (maximum 30 percent),
  • purchases (travel, outsourcing of services, materials, supplies, machinery and equipment).

The following costs are not eligible:

  • outsourced services from associated companies (with the exception of services purchased from companies that belong to the same group),
  • voluntary insurance payments, gifts and stipends,
  • other costs that include public aid,
  • export-related activities, and the establishment and operation of a distribution network in other countries.


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.

Tekes experts

If your company already has a history of Tekes funded projects, please get in touch with your contact person at Tekes.

Applications for Young Innovative Companies funding are handled by Specialists in YIC funding (pdf).