Why now is the perfect time to invest in Helsinki

Discover why Helsinki is having a “Goldilocks moment” with its strong economy, supportive business environment, and high quality of life. Learn how you can invest in your future and enhance your quality of life by relocating to this beautiful city with the 90 Day Finn Programme.

Peter Forsgard

Sameer Narula, the Managing Partner at August One, is what you would call a global citizen. He was born in New Delhi, went to university in the United States and has since lived around the world, and for 90 days he was a Finn. Sameer participated in the 90 Day Finn Programme run by Helsinki Partners in 2021.

With a focus on digitalizing traditional industries and promoting a “planet first” mindset, Sameer found Finland to be a valuable market due to its successful family businesses in the food industry and their expertise in regenerative food and efforts to combat climate change.

Finland has successful family businesses in the food industry. They have a lot of know-how and technology in regenerative food and are serious about climate change.

Sameer Narula, 90 Day Finn Programme 2021

Exploring Investment and Collaboration Opportunities in Helsinki

August One, an investment firm and family office based in Singapore specialises in helping companies in traditional industries digitalise their businesses, and bring in a “planet first” mindset to help them access new markets in Asia.

With previous connections to Finland, Sameer aimed to not only explore investment targets but also find collaboration opportunities. Through the program, Sameer was able to expand his network and engage with successful family-owned companies, startups, scientists, academics, and public officials to discuss potential partnerships in the regenerative food value chain.

A Gateway for Finnish and Asian Companies to Enter New Markets

As August One focuses on smaller markets that pack a punch, Finland was a natural fit for their next investment fund. With Singapore as a gateway for Finnish companies to enter the Asian market and Helsinki serving the same purpose for Asian companies, the two cities are natural partners. August One is preparing a new investment fund in Finland, focusing on the regenerative food value chain and is planning a “regenerative food sauna” next year to bring together business executives from progressive food companies in Europe and Asia to explore sustainable food practices.

I wanted to meet relevant people in companies, universities, family offices and government to talk about collaboration opportunities. Business Finland and Helsinki Partners were great helps and set up many relevant meetings for me.

Sameer Narula, 90 Day Finn Programme 2021

Finland’s ‘Goldilocks Moment’ in the Future of Food

Born in New Delhi and having lived all over the world, Sameer was drawn to Finland for its gravitas, language, culture, and nature, particularly in Lapland. He found that Finland’s lack of natural resources has led to necessity-driven inventions in food fermentation and food chemistry, making it the right place at the right time with the right people to make a positive impact on the future of food and the planet.

Finland cares about the environment out of need. Finland has few natural resources, so necessity leads to invention such as food fermentation and food chemistry. This is really a ‘Goldilocks moment’ for Finland. It is the right place at the right time with the right people to make a positive impact on the future of food and our planet.

Sameer Narula, 90 Day Finn Programme 2021

Sameer joked that for him the 90 Day Finn programme is still ongoing. August One has taken three Finnish companies into their accelerator program and now they are working on a new investment fund in Finland. The fund will focus on the regenerative food value chain – food as a solution.

Interested? Apply to be a 90 Day Finn

If you’re interested in learning more about the programme and its requirements click the link below. Applications are open until February 24th, 2023.

Diverse group in a snowy forest
© N2 Albino

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