A Year In Review: The Next Wave

A lot has happened since we last paused to reflect on Wave’s journey. During the last twelve months, Wave’s portfolio has grown from five companies to a total of twelve, our team in Sweden has grown from one initial member to a group of three, and to top it off we successfully handed over the fund’s operations to a new and extremely talented investment team.

Wave Ventures pioneers the student-run venture capital fund model in Europe

Launched in early 2017, Wave Ventures is the first student-run venture capital fund in the Nordics and the most international one in Europe. The fund was founded by students from Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, all of whom had previously worked together at Slush, the leading tech conference in Europe. Wave’s first fund of 1.5M€ is backed by some of the leading venture investors and serial entrepreneurs from the Nordics, including the founders of Nordic success stories such as Supercell and Skype.

We invest in audacious founders building scalable companies to tackle the problems of tomorrow

As Wave Ventures is run by students, the intention of Wave has been to encourage learning by allowing a wide investment focus for the fund. However, some guiding stars persist in our thesis: we like to back mission-driven founders solving big problems, to whom we can provide valuable guidance on their journey. Being millennials ourselves, we are in a unique position to perceive ─ and bet on ─ the trends of tomorrow, as they are directly relevant to our generation.

As a pre-seed fund, Wave Ventures usually provides the first institutional capital for the companies it invests in. The fund has made twelve investments to date, with portfolio companies ranging from university research spin-outs, such as Surgify and Carbo Culture, to consumer-facing marketplaces such as Blok and TPH. As supporting young founders being one of Wave’s core ambitions, the team has also joined efforts with bright minds at Fifth Corner Inc, Insurello, Sumpli, and more.

We want to be the go-to investors for Nordic founders looking for their earliest backers

Jumping straight into the hot seat, our new investment team is looking to double down on working closely with the founders we back, further enhancing Wave’s position as one of the go-to pre-seed investors for Nordic founders. We’re also looking to further increase our presence in all Nordic countries through active participation in community events and meetups.

Continuing the tradition, the new Wave team draws from a variety of backgrounds, with studies in business, engineering, social sciences, and law ─ and with work experience ranging from startups to corporates.

Wave represents a unique opportunity to learn from the best

For student managers, the time at Wave provides a unique opportunity to take the leap into early-stage investing, as well as to learn from exceptional founders. We’re also lucky to get to work with several of the top investors in the region on common investments, as well as to engage our experienced advisory board when evaluating investment opportunities.

What we hope to take with us from Wave is the right skill- and mindset for being able to either continue in the venture capital industry or to start companies of our own. Or do something completely different.

Former teams form an active pan-Nordic alumni network

From the very early days, our mission has been to build the leading European student-run venture capital fund, something that requires participation from team members both old and new. Guidance from previous investment managers will prove invaluable during the regular transition of Wave’s management duties.

As the investment teams keep on rotating and the student managers become advisors, they become part of a strong pan-Nordic alumni network that fosters the creation of Nordic success stories for years to come. We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

//This post was co-authored by both the old and the new team of Wave Ventures. Wave’s fund is now managed by: Oskari Tempakka, Julia Jutila, Tomi Mäkäräinen, Simo Kaartinen, Pauliina Meskanen, Felix Lundqvist, John Scherrer, and Ludvig Dietmann.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in Wave Ventures’ journey of uniting a bold blend of ambitious young minds, experienced partners, and venture capital. Follow us on Twitter @WaveVentures to stay up to date on our journey and reach out to us at team@wave.ventures!