26.11.2019 - SOHVI SALMELIN:


In the mystical Secret Garden at Slush 2019, Helen Ventures premiered as a platform for dialogue and collaboration. Read on for insights from the four inspiring keynotes and discussions that followed.


The Bees and Trees model from a publication by Demos together with Aalto University describes unique partnerships to co-create sustainable business. Satu Lähteenoja, a leading sustainability expert in Demos Helsinki, gave a keynote on the topic in the Helen Ventures launch event at Slush 2019.

Where innovative startups, the bees, have new and exciting ideas, they often lack the resources and knowhow to scale. Large companies, the trees, can be resistant to change, but do have the resources needed to accelerate innovations.

The Bees and Trees model shows how collaboration can work and as such help mobilize new ideas through cooperation. In the roundtable discussions the importance of aligning goals was emphasized. For a successful collaboration transparency, expectation management and openness to change are required from both sides. 


In his keynotes, Demos Helsinki’s Petteri Lillberg, expert in sustainable strategies, talked about the role of data in a future characterized by climate change and rapid digitalization, and about the future of mobility as electric, autonomous and shared.

Data can play a promising role in transforming the energy sector, including mobility, but an important question remains: who will build the data infrastructures needed? During the discussion it became clear that it is not about data alone. To make an impact, data analysis and conclusions are needed.

How can we use these insights in reaching carbon neutrality by 2035? The discussion continued on what people need to adjust their lifestyles so that their carbon footprints are cut significantly.

Satu Lähteenoja from Demos Helsinki argued, that when correct measures are taken, individual footprints could be drastically lowered. However, as was emphasized in the round table talks, those measures need to be enabled with technologies, structures and regulation.


“An important take away of these round table discussions is that there are so many different perspectives on how we can improve and disrupt the energy sector. The four themes discussed all show different angles and areas for innovation. To move forward, we have to find the intersections between those areas discussed here today.” summarized Terhi Vapola, VP Helen Ventures.

With Helen Ventures we play an important role in enabling new solutions that are needed for carbon neutrality. By joining forces to disrupt the energy sector, together we can supercharge the future. This launch event was a promising start of the dialogue that will guide our way towards 100% carbon neutrality by 2035.

Helen Ventures launch event was kicked off with presentations of Terhi Vapola, VP of Helen Ventures, keynotes given by Demos Helsinki, each followed by a round table discussion with participants ranging from startups to investors and large corporations.

Demos Helsinki is an independent Nordic think tank, working to impact the ongoing global transformations actively and aiming to build sustainable and fair post-industrial societies. The keynotes were given by Satu Lähteenoja and Petteri Lillberg. Satu is a geographer and a leading sustainability expert, who specializes in sustainable lifestyle choices and natural resource consumption. Petteri works with sustainable strategies, foresight and societal impact, helping companies identify future business and value creation opportunities.

The Bees and Trees publication mentioned in this article can be found here.

21.11.2019 - SOHVI SALMELIN

Building a community to disrupt the energy sector

“We are here today to start a dialogue. Discussing and sharing insights, learning from each other. Together we can find new ideas and build a community to disrupt the energy sector.”

Wise words by Terhi Vapola, VP of Helen Ventures during the Helen Ventures launch event at Slush 2019. Together with Demos Helsinki, the leading Nordic think tank, we led a series of roundtable talks in the Slush Secret Garden - what it takes to make a cleaner energy future reality.

Collaborating to accelerate energy innovations was not only the theme of the event; it is also the core of Helen Ventures. Helen's goal is to be 100% carbon neutral by 2035.  Helen Ventures will join forces with innovative growth companies and invest up to 50 million euros in world-changing technologies in the next five years.

We believe that corporations joining forces with start-ups plays a key role in accelerating energy innovations. For Helen Ventures, collaboration is not only financing new energy solutions, but also building teams, offering support and connecting ideas to open doors to new possibilities.

The launch event was a promising first step to start the dialogue. A diverse group of participants joining us in the discussions, ranging from startups to investors and big corporations. The dialogue will continue, as Helen Ventures continues to quest for a cleaner tomorrow together with innovative start-ups.

On our next Helen Ventures blog we will be sharing insights from the launch event keynotes and the discussion - stay tuned!


18.11.2019 - Terhi Vapola

Change is underway – jump on board!

Joining forces is more than just a slogan for Helen – it’s a way of life. This is in evidence, for example, in our new investment programme, Helen Ventures, which will be officially launched at Slush.

There are loads of things happening in the energy sector at the moment, and it is fantastic to be able to play a part in this transition. Then again, innovation is nothing new to Helen: we have a long history as a trailblazer in new energy solutions. For example, we were the first company in Finland to offer solar panels and energy storage to consumers. Innovative development is in our DNA, and it is of paramount importance to us on our journey towards the carbon neutral 2035 target.

We believe that partnership is the best way to meet the challenges of that target. For that reason, we have founded Helen Ventures. With Helen Ventures, we want to join forces with innovative growth companies in order to accelerate the transition of the entire energy industry.   Joining forces will not be just an empty rhetoric because we are prepared to invest 50 million euros over the next five years. However, Helen Ventures does not constitute only financing but, above all, partnership: through our solid expertise in the energy sector, we are able to offer strong substance, extensive networks and nifty piloting opportunities to start-ups and enterprises.

We are primarily guided by open-mindedness and curiosity in our quest for new partnerships. An interesting partner may be found, for example, in digital solutions or in the circular economy – and everywhere in between. The key requirement is a common vision of a carbon-neutral future.

Helen Ventures will make its debut in the 2019 Slush, for which we are hugely excited. As part of the event, we will hold a Helen Venture launch event, where together with Demos Helsinki we will lead interesting discussions with our guests, for example, about innovations that enable a carbon-neutral future and about the significance of data in these innovations. If you are coming to Slush and our vision resonates with you, why not come and see us for a chat!