Helsinki Female Tech Founder Frontrunner (HFTFF) is an international mentoring programme that helps women launch new and grow existing businesses in the digital/technology space.
HFTFF lasts for six months and offers its participants training and skills development through a proven, hands-on programme. Each participant gets:
Hands-on mentoring: by two hand-picked Finnish/international “Rockstar” mentors to match individual mentee needs.
Skills development: training in the key skills needed to launch, grow and scale tech businesses. These sessions (a mix of online and physical events) are delivered by Finnish and International experts as part of the Programme’s own ‘Business School’. You can see examples of the Business School programme here.
Access to Office Hours: one-on-one advice from Finnish and international business, legal, financial, technical, communications and other experts.
Access to Global Tech Advocates’ international ecosystem of tech leaders, investors, experts, potential clients and partners.
The programme is organised by Tech Nordic Advocates and its partners, and is complemented by our community platform on Discord. It is also linked with Tech Nordic Advocates’ wider international Women-in-Tech communities on Discord and LinkedIn.
The Programme will be run in three cohorts (maximum 20 participants each) in 2022. The cohorts start in February, May and August.
The Programme is aimed at highly motivated women with an entrepreneurial and growth mindset. You are either a founder of an early stage startup or have a great business idea and are ready to launch a new business in the digital/tech sector. Either way, this high-impact Programme will help you launch and/or grow your business.
Specifically, the programme is tailored for (aspiring) female tech founders in Helsinki and Finland who are:
Pre-startup (Group 1): Women with a great business idea who are on the verge of launching a digital/tech startup and need support from female peers, role models and mentors to get started.
Early stage startup founders (Group 2): Digital/tech startup founders who would like support, new skills, guidance and advice from peers, mentors, investors and professional advisors to grow their early-stage businesses.
Revenue generating / scaleup founders (Group 3): Founders with a revenue generating digital/tech startup, who would like support from Finnish and international experts to accelerate their growth and expand to international markets.
Selected applicants must be:
Able to commit 6 months part-time to the Programme
Committed to completing the Programme and required output (see next section)
Dedicated to solving a defined problem using innovative technology
Committed to launching/growing/scaling a digital/tech sector startup
Driven and collaborative with an open mindset.
You need to be able to commit 6 months part-time to the Programme. This means attending (and preparing the required materials for) 1 to 2 mentoring sessions and 3 to 5 Business School sessions per month.
In addition, at the end of the Programme, participants are required to produce and submit:
An executable business plan to launch and/or grow a digital/tech startup
The Programme is designed to give participants the support they need to achieve that.
The Programme will be run in three cohorts (max. 20 participants each) in 2022. The next cohort, Cohort 3/2022, kicks off in late August.
There is no cost – the Programme is funded by the City of Helsinki, Tech Nordic Advocates and various partners.
Applicants selected for the Programme pay a joining deposit of €300. This is returned on completion of the Programme and required output (business or growth plan). Deposits are not returned to participants who do not complete the Programme and the business plan.
Co-founder & Chief Product Officer, Breath to Belong
What is the role of Mentors?
Finnish and international mentors play a crucial role in helping Helsinki Female Tech Founder Frontrunner participants, and the programme as a whole, to launch, grow and scale digital and tech businesses.
Our programme is aimed at high potential prospective and early stage female founders in Finland and mentoring is one of its cornerstones. Each selected participant will be matched with two Finnish and/or international “Rockstar” mentors, based on their stated needs and preferences and mentor profiles.
We are currently looking for Finnish and international mentors of any gender with a mix of:
entrepreneurial business/ technical/ sales/ marketing/ specific industry sector expertise
a track record as entrepreneurs, business leaders, experts or investors.
What is required of Mentors?
Mentors must be able to offer-up to 5 hours of mentoring per month (meetings, email and document review time), to be agreed between each mentee and her two mentors directly.
Mentees ‘own’ the responsibility for their time on the Programme. Mentors support by adding expertise and experience in specific areas, general advice, review of draft documents, access to own networks and moral support.
The Programme is run in three 6-month long cohorts (max. 20 mentees in each). The cohort start dates are in February, May and August 2023.
What is in it for Mentors?
Mentoring has become an established practice across sectors as mentorship can provide many benefits for mentors and their mentees. It can help both to learn new skills, expand their networks and grow as professionals. Read more about the value of mentoring here.