The Nordic Mentor Network of Entrepreneurship (NOME), a Mentoring Program for Nordic life science startups, has secured new funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation for the next three years.
The new funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation will allow NOME to expand its operations by onboarding more companies, new mentors, additional partner organizations, exploring new research fields such as industrial biotech, and growing NOME into nearby regions.
On the initiative of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, NOME was founded in 2016 and Accelerace, a startup accelerator in the Nordics, was chosen to build the network, initially for a five-year funding period. The vision for NOME was twofold. Firstly, to propel the most promising Nordic startups into internationally renowned commercial successes by leveraging the knowledge of high-profile mentors with global networks. Secondly, to connect the Nordic ecosystem across the life science sector to facilitate knowledge exchange and create critical mass to attract global capital and partnerships to Nordic life science companies.
“NOME effectively activates a huge untapped resource by providing access for new entrepreneurs to the knowledge of the most experienced leaders in the life science industry.”
“NOME effectively activates a huge untapped resource by providing access for new entrepreneurs to the knowledge of the most experienced leaders in the life science industry. We are thrilled about the new funding and the opportunity it gives us to carry out our plans and further develop the NOME network as a ‘must have’ with maximal impact and value in the Nordic life science ecosystem,” says Peter Birk, Accelerace.
Run by 7 partner organizations in the Nordics
Since the foundation more than 40 companies have been enrolled in the mentoring programme, DKK 1.4 billion has been raised by NOME companies, and more than 75 mentors have onboarded from the Nordics and the United States.
“Seven partner organisations in the Nordics run NOME; Denmark-based Accelerace, Norway-based Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator and Aleap, Sweden-based Karolinska Institutet Innovations AB and Medicon Village, and Finland-based Vertical Accelerator and Turku Science Park Ltd.”
Today seven partner organisations in the Nordics run NOME; Denmark-based Accelerace, Norway-based Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator and Aleap, Sweden-based Karolinska Institutet Innovations AB and Medicon Village, and Finland-based Vertical Accelerator and Turku Science Park Ltd. As different countries and regions have different strengths and challenges, sharing expertise and mentor resources is a way to optimize the allocation of resources between the Nordic countries.
Growing NOME into nearby regions
Two promising regions are Northern Germany and the Baltics. Both of these regions represent high innovation and expertise, where NOME can broaden the pool of top-level mentors and secure an inbound traffic of innovation and talent to the Nordic, it states.
In addition, establishing a presence in these proximate regions will provide the companies in NOME with entry points to important foreign markets.
Establishing a well-functioning Nordic Life Science ecosystem
The Nordics are among the most innovative countries in the world but are less effective in translating the innovation into new companies with scaling potential, compared to other leading life science regions, states NOME. The NOME mentoring model fills a gap in the ecosystem and will continue to facilitate long-term mentorship by 2-4 mentors with complementary backgrounds by company.
“Our ambition for NOME is to continue the work of establishing a well-functioning Nordic Life Science ecosystem, with the goal of supporting the best Nordic startups’ that can be transformed into commercial successes. The highly experienced mentors share their knowledge and global network to both accelerate the business development phase as well as long-term level of success,” says Kerstin Jakobsson, CEO, Medicon Village Innovation.
Photo: The BioInnovation Institute/The Novo Nordisk Foundation