Companies I Hope To Back

February 28, 2020

TL;DR I’m looking to invest in companies that widen access to opportunity.

I am honored to have been asked to be part of Atomico’s Angel Programme. I have been given 100,000 USD to invest in European early-stage companies (angel, pre-seed, seed). You can read more about the program details here.

I’ve already received a lot of investment requests from a wide variety of founders. To help entrepreneurs find the right investors for their company, I wanted to write about the kind of founders and companies I would like to back.

Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not.

Improving access to opportunity and helping people around the world to reach their potential is one of the best ways to maximize our chances for a bright future.

In 2020 the country where I was born, Finland has one of the best free healthcare and education systems in the world and the country’s ascent to a prosperous Nordic welfare state from a poor agrarian state in 100 years is a testament to what can be achieved when we are able to give access to opportunity for everyone. I was among the 1981 cohort that benefited from these progressive policies. My life would look very different had Finland not given me the platform to reach for the stars.

Today the Internet has the potential to improve global access to opportunity beyond what any single nation-state can offer. We can leverage its power in building tools that connect people to information, capital, other smart people and new life-changing opportunities regardless of which city or country they happen to have been born in.

Backing founders building solutions to improve access to opportunity

I’m especially keen on backing founders building solutions to improve access to opportunity. If that’s you, I’d love to hear from you. If I decide to invest I will help you with all aspects of company building, including recruiting, product and follow-on financing.

The most interesting solutions are likely to include software, networks and might have surprisingly little to do with systemic education as we have come to know it. Solutions could help you start your own business, gain access to technology tools to leverage your creativity or connect you with your peer group over the Internet in a novel way.