Co-creating the Future of the Finnish HealthTech Industry


Co-creating the Future of the Finnish HealthTech Industry

Alone we can do so little; 
Together we can do so much!

This famous quote by the famous American author, political activist and lecturer Helen Keller is true in many contexts – and not least in the HealthTech Startup Industry. To implement that beautiful thought, Upgraded had its first ever Annual Meeting, where the members (i.e. the startups) were the decision makers. It is a universally known fact, that assumption is the mother of all f*ck-ups, and by giving our members the final word instead of just assuming we know what’s best for them, we ensure that the decisions made are really relevant and truly to the best interest of the startups and innovations within the health vertical.

So what was decided then?

First of all, the framework for the Upgraded Strategy was presented to the members, as well as the more detailed Plan of Action for 2019. The ideas we formed at our kickoff sessions in August were adopted and seconded by the startups, which means that our strategic goals in the near future (approx. 2019-2020) will be

–>  to perfect the concept and execution of Upgraded Life Festival and other healthtech events offering startups valuable and relevant connections and opportunities. The focus is to be on quality rather than quantity – isn’t one really valuable contact better than 10 lukewarm contacts? We think so.

–> to bring on a dedicated, well-curated healthtech prize to enhance the visibility and to celebrate the innovations within our field. No good health innovation should be lost due to lack of knowledge about it!

–> to start building a Digital Platform for the Health Vertical to enhance growth and innovations – and to bring together all the actors within Health and Wellness. Unlike other digital hubs or platforms, this platform will connect all the relevant parties within one sector – e.g. healthcare providers, educational facilities, distributors, startups, vc’s, funding instruments, accelerators, students etc.

We’re excited to really get our hands in the mud and start making our way towards these goals, and in the name of Helen Keller, we’re inviting you all to join us co-create and co-develop these themes!

In addition to our strategic goals, the Annual Meeting also decided to lower the membership fee for startups – we don’t want anyone to be left out, and we don’t want the fee to form a threshold for startups to join. The membership fee for 2019 will be 150 €, and that of course includes all the same membership benefits as before.

Furthermore, we are introducing a brand new Upgraded Partnership programme aiming to produce and sustain even more valuable partnerships and cooperation with institutions and corporations and the startups and innovations. As an Upgraded Partner you will enjoy several benefits from exclusive event invitations and discounts to ensured visibility in our channels and of course, access to the Digital Platform once we have it up and running. So stay tuned, there’s more information to come! (If you can’t wait, please don’t hesitate to contact Sara!)

We also want to invite our partners to participate in the co-creation of our services! Again, by working together we can maximize the added value to all parties involved, and eventually really make an impact on how smoothly health innovations develop, grow and succeed.

So back to Helen Keller and why we find her so inspirational. Keller was born deaf-blind, and with the help of her dedicated teacher Anne Sullivan she fought her way forward, got a University degree, wrote 12 books and became a huge influencer e.g. in women’s suffrage and labor rights. Now we’re not saying that healthtech startups were deaf-blind, but we are saying that with the right kind of support anyone can flourish and do great things. For the startups, that support can just be a dedicated, well-functioning and dynamic ecosystem, and the culture of paying it forward.

Naïve? Maybe. Far off? Perhaps a bit. But as Keller has also said,

“the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision”.


Sara presenting the results of the Annual Meeting at Upgraded Life TALKS.
Photo by Bogdana Gamburg / Vertical


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