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. It can for example be used to strengthen a team, to develop a business model and growth strategy, and to open up new markets.

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 is a Young Innovative Company like?

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


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.

Preconditions for funding

Tekes can grant Young Innovative Company funding only, if the company meets the following preconditions:

Age and size

  • Tekes must make the funding decision before the company reaches 5 years of age. The funding will end, at the latest, when the company has been registered for 8 years.  (The company's registration date that is of crucial importance.) 
  • 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.

Ownership and background

  • The company must be independent and administer its own IP rights.
  • The company should not been formed through a merger nor continue the operations of another company.
  • The company should not have distributed profits.  

Strong efforts in innovation 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.


Funding in three stages

The maximum amount of Tekes funding 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.

The funding is granted in at least three phases. The funding for the first phase is a €250,000 grant; typically for the period of 6-12 months. 

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.

How to apply

Before submitting an application for funding, please contact us in order to identify if the Young Innovative Company funding service is the best match for your goals. 

Funding applications are submitted through the Tekes online service. In the application you are asked to describ 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

Please include a project plan and a business plan in the application. The plans are free-form.

Confirmation from an auditor

At the application phase, the company must provide a confirmation from an auditor that it meets the preconditions for the Young Innovative Company funding.

Financial information

Please attach the following financial information to the application:

  • an accounts ledger from the current accounting period. The accounts ledger should include an income statement and a balance sheet no more than 2 months old
  • a monthly cash flow forecast
  • an annual financial forecast (previous accounting period and the three following periods). 

You can use your own templates or fill the templates below to submit the financial information to Tekes. Please note that the templates are not mandatory and the information can be submitted to Tekes for example as part of your business plan.  


Tekes pays out project funding on the basis of reports and cost statements.  Progress with the project must be reported to Tekes in accordance with the schedule announced in the funding decision. Submit the report and cost statement to through Tekes online services.


Evaluation panel 

Tekes evaluates the progress of a Young Innovative Company project after each funding phase. During the end of 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. 

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).