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International Venture Academy 2020 is a journey between EBAN members, Sophia Business Angels NetworkBusiness Jyväskylä and Finnish Business Angels Network, who are targeting cross-border investments in innovative scale ups in preventive healthcare and global wellbeing. There is no need to explain why investments in this sector are now needed more than ever before.

As the world was suddenly faced with a global pandemic at the beginning of 2020, a need emerged for agile capacity to create innovative solutions faster than ever. Investors and entrepreneurs play an important role in this regard. Entrepreneurs need the trust, connections and experience of the investors to be able to move fast during times like these.

During the International Venture Academy collaboration, nine Finnish scale ups have improved their blue ocean strategies, built grow to market strategies based on their vision and planned execution and metrics. The first round of introductions to Sophia Business Angels mentors were made in March 2020 and detailed planning continues via remote-workshops throughout May. After four days of hard work on their growth plans, these scale ups will prepare for pitching to SBA mentors in June before proceeding to events in Business Rally Jyväskylä and Venture Academy Nice.

”I am thrilled to lead this awesome cross border partnership between the Finnish startup ecosystem, The city of Jyväskylä and Sophia Business Angels based in Nice , France and hence enabling Northern / Southern Europeans to engage in such exchanges through entrepreneurship and investments”, Sophia Business Angels President Emeritus and EBAN Board member Marcel Dridje commented on the partnership.

How is it possible to create this kind of impact in no time? The story of this collaboration began with EBAN Board members led by then Chairman of the Board Candace Johnson in July 2018, at the City of Jyväskylä Business Rally week during WRC Neste Rally Finland. The following year an EBAN Investor Day was organized in Jyväskylä, with the support of EBAN Director of Secretariat Jacopo Losso. During that event, all it took was one lunch with EBAN Board Member Marcel Dridje, and the idea of the collaboration to facilitate investor relations and cross-border investments was born. The trust between the EBAN members working on the joint International Venture Academy has been crucial in making the program a success – check out its details below!