During its first two years in operation, the student-led venture capital fund Wave Ventures grew its portfolio from zero to a total of twelve companies, expanded its operations to Sweden, and successfully handed over the fund’s operations to a new and extremely talented investment team.
Launched in early 2017, Wave Ventures is the first student-run venture capital fund in the Nordics and the largest 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.
📌 Wave represents a unique opportunity to learn from the best
The turn of the year marked a milestone in Wave’s journey, as it was time for the funds founding team to pass on management duties to fresh pairs of hands. Waves management team rotates gradually, but regularly, to ensure continuity in the funds student-run operating model. Continuing the tradition, the new Wave team draws from a variety of backgrounds, with studies in business, engineering, social sciences, and law ─ with work experience ranging from startups to corporates.
“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,” says Oskari Tempakka, Wave’s new CEO and an entrepreneur himself. “Team members get to work with several of the top investors in the region on common investments, as well as to engage an experienced advisory board when evaluating investment opportunities,” he continues.
What team members at Wave Ventures aim to develop is the right skill set and mindset for being able to either continue in the venture capital industry or to start companies of their own. Or do something completely different.
“During its first two years in operation, Wave Ventures has established a unique position within the field of venture capital, demonstrating its student-run operating model’s value add,” says Kai Backman, Partner at Lifeline Ventures and the Chairman of the Board at Wave Ventures. “Working closely with the founders they back, Wave has helped its portfolio companies with, for example, legal issues and recruiting talent” he continues.
📌 Former teams form an active pan-Nordic alumni network
From the very early days, Waves mission has been to build the leading European student-run venture capital fund, something that requires participation from team members both old and new. 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.
“Through team rotations, Wave’s steadily growing group of alumni will evolve into an invaluable network of bright, curious minds, guiding new investment managers on their journey” Tempakka articulates.
📌 Aiming to amplify its impact within the Nordics
The new investment team at Wave Ventures is looking to double down on working closely with the founders they back, further enhancing Wave’s position as one of the go-to pre-seed investors for Nordic founders. The team is also looking to continue increasing its presence in all Nordic countries through active participation in community events and meetups.
Wave’s first CEO Andreas Saari, who moved on to perform CEO duties at Slush in early 2018: “Wave Ventures was founded on the idea that young star-performers with a really steep learning curve can absolutely be decision-makers in an industry that substantially affects our future through the kinds of companies that are being built. This has proven to be a thought that raises
great interest abroad, too; other student-run funds have been set up around Europe. Wave is the first one to go international, and we want to keep on being the trailblazers in this.”
Wave Ventures’ new management team:
Felix Lundqvist: Industrial Engineering and Management, Linköping Institute of Technology
John Scherrer: Industrial Engineering and Management, Lund University
Julia Jutila: Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto-university
Ludvig Dietmann: Industrial Engineering and Management, Lund University
Oskari Tempakka: Finance, Turku School of Economics
Pauliina Meskanen: Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto-university
Simo Kaartinen: Law, University of Helsinki
Tomi Mäkäräinen: Finance, Aalto-university