Introducing Fortum – honorable mention in MSF 2020

Meet Fortum, who received the honorable mention in this year’s Most Startup Friendly Company in Finland competition, with Manager, Investments & Partnerships Valkea Growth Club, Tony-Frank Holmström sharing his insights about their startup activities.

Fortum is a leading clean-energy company developing and offering solutions for our customers in electricity, heating, cooling, as well as solutions to improve resource efficiency. We also provide services for the power generation industry and solutions for consumers so that they can be smarter in their energy choices. Fortum is driving the change for a cleaner world.

Fortum’s Innovation and Venturing unit

The mission of Fortum’s Innovation and Venturing unit is to build new significant high-growth businesses in close collaboration with business divisions, ensure renewal and growth opportunities through high-performance internal and external venturing, as well as learn and pilot new business models and technologies together with world-class partners and ecosystems.

The Innovation and Venturing unit at Fortum is responsible for ideating, incubating and accelerating new business at Fortum. We build and drive forward a funnel of activities, starting from great ideas all the way to successful growth businesses. Together with Fortum’s business units, we learn from the outside world and co-develop initiatives, making us competitive in the decades to come. Fortum Innovation unit supports all Fortum divisions to identify and validate ideas and accelerate the implementation of new solutions. Touchpoints for startup collaboration are:

Startup pilots – Introducing and facilitating startup pilots across Fortum to meaningfully impact operations and drive strategic transformation.

Fund Investments – Collaboration with selected VC Funds to find relevant startups and to translate research into actionable strategic analysis.

Startup Investments – Selective equity investments in growth companies building on Fortum’s strategy.

Valkea Growth Club – Supporting digital clean energy ventures on their growth journey – Offering support in the forms of expertise, development opportunities, funding and premises.

Valkea Growth Club team members

Benefits for both parties

Benefits for our company of having this unit are diverse. We learn from the outside world and co-develop initiatives making us competitive in the decades to come, piloting with startups allow purposeful access to valuable innovation and drives forward organizational development. Our goal is to build a cleaner future through transforming the energy industry. We’re finding startups with ideas about how this can be done and giving them what they need to do it.

Collaboration with us is very beneficial for the startup as well. The startup will get world class brand and reputation to support their goals, a network of our 8 000+ experts to guide their way, an access to our customer base, VC network and new markets and support from sparring to funding and investor referrals to concrete business advice.

Innovation is the key

It is hard to pinpoint one specific achievement but in general the work that we do at Valkea to support the growth of the startups and the advice we can give to them is something that we are proud of. Hopefully through this hard work we can achieve a valuable and healthy startup. The work of the innovation team at large is truly world class and the team is just amazing!

Innovation is part of the strategic priorities at Fortum and it is part of our DNA. We believe innovation is crucial for any company to survive and to be successful. That is the reason why we are putting so much resources behind our innovation activities and why we want to be even better next year. We have achieved a lot but you can always improve, and 2021 will be exciting for us. There are a lot of ideas we have in store for next year, and building a larger partnership network and wider ecosystem are just a few points on the agenda.

Want to be part of the future with Fortum?

Want to have a chat with us about innovation or startups, and discuss potential collaboration opportunities? We are looking forward to hearing from you! Please reach out to frank@valkea.club.

Think about what it is that your corporation wants to achieve with it all. Do you want to learn or just make financial investments. We want to learn and be actively involved in most startups we invest in to bring the wealth of knowledge back with us. Make sure you share information every day and with everyone. Involve colleagues and management. Have an open culture so any ideas are welcomed. That way you have a great chance to succeed with your corporate innovation and venture activities.

Tony-Frank Holmström, Manager, Investments & Partnerships Valkea Growth Club, Fortum


Tribe Tampere is awarding annually the Most Startup Friendly Company in Finland. In 2020 the award was handed out for the third time. The award aims to recognize exceptional achievements, which especially industrial corporations have done to foster startup collaboration methods and improve innovation and competitiveness. Tribe Tampere is convinced that the award will stimulate collaboration and investments in startup companies, and boost internal startup culture development in industrial companies in Finland.