- The mentoring program supporting Nordic life science start-ups continues
- The Danish Novo Nordisk Foundation is funding the program with 1.8 million euros
- In Finland, the program is implemented by Turku Science Park Ltd. and Vertical
The Nordic Mentor Network of Entrepreneurship (NOME), an elite Mentoring Program for Nordic life science startups, has secured 1.8 million euros (13.5 million DKK) from the Novo Nordisk Foundation for the next three years. The new funding will allow NOME to expand its operations by onboarding more companies, new mentors, additional partner organizations, exploring new research fields such as industrial biotech, and growing NOME into nearby regions.
Two promising regions are Northern Germany and the Baltics. Firstly, both of these regions represent high innovation and expertise, where NOME can broaden the pool of top-level mentors and secure an inbound traffic of innovation and talent to the Nordics. Secondly, establishing a presence in these proximate regions will provide the companies in NOME with entry points to important foreign markets.
The Nordics are among the most innovative countries in the world but are less effective in translating the innovation into new companies with scaling potential, compared to other leading life science regions. The NOME mentoring model fills a gap in the ecosystem and will continue to facilitate long-term mentorship by 2-4 mentors with complementary backgrounds by company.
“Our ambition for NOME is to continue the work of establishing a well-functioning Nordic Life Science ecosystem, with the goal of supporting the best Nordic start-up’s that can be transformed into commercial successes. The highly experienced mentors share their knowledge and global network to both accelerate the business development phase as well as long-term level of success”, says Kerstin Jakobsson, CEO, Medicon Village Innovation in Sweden.
The new funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation allows NOME to expand its well-proven mentoring model, and with that, help Nordic companies, mentors and funding to cross borders in order to create the biggest possible impact for future health- and industrial biotech solutions.
In Finland, the NOME network partners are the Turku region development company Turku Science Park Ltd. and Vertical, which specializes in supporting the growth of startup companies. The ProHealth Growth program implemented in Turku Science Park supports the success of Finnish life science innovations and growth companies aimed at professional use and thus often subject to regulation.
– For life science companies, NOME is an important network in finding mentors to support growth and internationalization. We therefore appreciate the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s decision to continue funding its operations. The international investor contacts brought by NOME are also important, as in Finland the private equity investors and venture capital in the industry are unfortunately poorly available, says Tero Piispanen, Senior Execitive, HealthTurku.
Since its start in 2016, NOME has enrolled 40+ promising companies from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, which together have raised more than 180 million euros (1.4 billion DKK), and onboarded 75+ highly-experienced investors, serial entrepreneurs and high-profile life science executives in the Nordics and the U.S. as mentors. The mentors provide value in the form of introductions to investors and commercial partners, assist with license agreements and transactions, and provide pivotal input to business strategies and product development.
The NOME network currently has seven members. Finland includes Turku Science Park Oy and Vertical. Other partners include Acclerace in Denmark, Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator and Aleap in Norway, and Karoliniska Institutet Innovations AB and Medicon Village in Sweden.
NOME website here.