Nordics-China creates Artificial Intelligence Fund

Chinese business accelerator COMB+ and the Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI) have announced (in connection to Slush 2017 in Finland) the creation of a new Artificial Intelligence Fund with a target size of €65 million. The fund will focus on international technology start-ups entering the Chinese market.

Photos: Else Kyhälä

The fund is part of the Comb+ Sino Track accelerator program, which was launched a year ago. Already 19 Nordic start-ups have participated in the program, which is now expanding globally.

The pitching competition at the event included 10 finalists – jury selected children’s franchise Dibidogs as the winner, opening a shortcut to the Sino Track program.

“We are very happy to announce our new fund with the Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation as part of the Sino Track program,” said Leo Zhu, CEO of Comb+. “We see Helsinki, Beijing’s sister city, as the best place in the world to launch our fund.”

Their CEO said that by opening the Sino Track program to all exceptional technology and cultural start-ups aspiring to enter the Chinese market, their ambition is global.

The Comb+ Sino Track accelerator program has previously included Finland’s Flexound, an acoustic tech startup, which has since opened sales channels in China through a partnership with electronics retailer GOME.

“China is the number one country for Flexound,” said CEO Mervi Heinaro. “Besides the great market potential, we also appreciate the speed at which things get done. In our minds, China is the best place to go global.”

The Sino Track program connected the Finnish company with over 20 relevant Chinese investors and institutions, including major media company Xinhuanet, and GOME, which operate over 2000 retail and online stores. Through the introductions, Flexound managed to open a sales channel in China in only three weeks.

Photo: Else Kyhälä

Meanwhile, Finnish investment firm Pivot5 launched the first business accelerator between the Nordics and China, the ‘Nordics-China Innovation and Start-up Acceleration program’ – also run in cooperation with Beijing-based business incubator COMB+. This accelerator aims to help start-ups based in the Nordics establish and grow their presence in China.

Comb+ (owned by SkyOcean, a publicly listed company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange) is a full-lifecycle entrepreneurship service platform based in Beijing, China. It is dedicated to creating an ecosystem for global entrepreneurs and start-ups to realize their dreams. As a new-generation innovation incubator, it has a unique “platform + investment” business model. Comb+ focuses on providing entrepreneurship services to and investing in early-stage start-ups in the technology and cultural industries.

It has two campuses, with room for hundreds of companies, as well as an established investor network.

Photos: Else Kyhälä

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