Uplifting startups to transform society

Apply by September 27

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We are seeking startups solving global societal challenges through technology. Here at Vertical, we are all about supporting brilliant ideas and brilliant people to change the world. Our focus is in areas where technology can improve the quality of people's lives in the most significant ways, such as: wellbeing, health, especially preventative and mental health, supporting sustainability, safety at home and at work, and closing the gap when it comes to accessibility and diversity.

We are offering startups a tailor-made part-time program for validating your product/solution, making your service offering more compelling, and developing a demo with Samsung. All the interaction in this program is designed around the individual characteristics of each startup. Our venture analysts, designers and wide network of experts and industry professionals guide each team on their unique, personalized journey. Throughout the process, our team encourages a human-centric approach: we believe that technological features should be based on the needs of the end user. One-on-one sessions with seasoned technology & business experts will provide you with an opportunity to test and prove your product/solution, polish your service offering, and strengthen your go-to-market strategy, all with the support of Samsung.

Key Dates

    Application periods:
    - 27.08 - 27.09 for Oct-Dec ‘ 18 round;
    - 25.10 - 28.11 for Jan-Mar ‘19 round

    Dates for the Oct - Dec ‘19 round:
    - Kick-off workshops in Vertical in Helsinki: Week 41-42 (½ day agreed individually with each startup)
    - Slush in Helsinki: Week 49 (3-4.12)

    This is a rolling application!

What you can get out of this program will depend on your startup and your product readiness.

High-achieving startups could get:

  • Validated proof-of-concept/demo with Samsung technology
  • Media coverage with Samsung Nordics channels and other media outlets
  • Samsung devices for proof-of-concept and, potentially, for pilots
  • A chance to participate in conferences together with Samsung (Slush in Helsinki; Samsung Developers Conference in San Francisco etc.)

All participating startups will get:

  • One-on-one workshops, crafted for your individual needs
  • Access to the Vertical pool of 200+ technology & business experts
  • Access to technical support within Samsung
  • A hot desk at the Vertical office in downtown Helsinki at Maria01 (one of the most active startup hubs in the Nordics)
  • Connections to the vibrant Helsinki startup community
  • Better go-to-market opportunities through a shortcut into other Vertical network and programs, including the Vertical Growth Program

How does it work?

Step 1 - Leave your application and get a response within 1 month
Step 2 - Kick-off workshop with Vertical (Helsinki)
Step 3 - Work on improving your service together with Vertical and Samsung (Helsinki or remotely)
Step 4 - Present your demo for review to Samsung
Step 5 - Possible participation in major international tech conference(s) together with Samsung and Vertical
Step 6 - Further collaboration, mentoring and support

We review your progress after each step, to see if you will proceed to the next step of the journey.

Conditions & time allocation

  • Vertical and Samsung take no equity
  • Vertical and Samsung get no IP for the work done during the program
  • The program is free of charge to startups
  • The program is part-time. We expect startups to be able to attend the core activities (kick-off workshops and visit to Samsung Nordics HQ)
  • Most of the program can be done remotely. You can participate from anywhere in the world, with just one visit to Helsinki and one to Stockholm.

Is your startup a good fit for this program?

Here is the checklist:

  • You have a registered company and more than 2 people on your team
  • You develop a digital solution (hardware/software) aiming to improve human lives
  • You have a minimum viable product, that you are about to launch or have just launched
  • Your digital solution can work on one or more of the following platforms/devices within the next 3-6 months: Android; S-Health; Knox; Samsung Pay; Samsung Gear VR; Samsung Gear OR you develop an innovation elated to connectivity, sensors, various mobile features, voice, managing data, which could potentially be used on Samsung devices/platform
  • You can come for at least one visit to Helsinki and one visit to Stockholm (flight tickets & accommodation are not covered)
  • You are able to participate in the joint events with Samsung if agreed so (for example, Slush; conference tickets are covered)

How to Apply

Check out the FAQs below and the Application Form for more information. If you like what you see and find yourself wondering whether you could be among the leading global teams making an impact on society through technology — let us know! We will get back to you within a month after your application is submitted. If we see a good fit, we will invite you for an in-person or video-conference interview.

Additional questions? Ask us

Bogdana Gamburg

Project Lead

Pontus Vepsäläinen

Senior Service Designer


Who can Apply?

Here is the checklist:

  • You have a registered company and more than 2 people in a team
  • You develop a digital solution (HW/SW) aiming to improve humans life
  • You are about to launch or have just launched
  • Your digital solution can work on one or more of the following platforms/devices within the next 6 months: Android/ S-Health/ Knox/ Samsung Pay/ Samsung Gear VR/ Samsung Gear
  • You can be located anywhere in the world, but you need to come at least for a one visit to Helsinki and one visit to Stockholm (flight tickets & accomodation are not covered)
  • You are able to participate in the joint events with Samsung, if agreed so (for example, Slush - conference tickets are covered)

Where and when will the program take place?

We are providing a full flexibility to startups. the program could be taken in Helsinki or remotely with a minimum of two visits to the key events.

Can startups outside of Finland apply?

Absolutely. We have worked with startups on co-creation projects from all over the world.

What are the selection criteria?

Startups should meet the checklist requirements. We are especially interested in seeing how your technology is unique and how you can make a positive impact on human lives. Make sure to read through the checklist above to see if other requirements are met. 

Who will own the IP?

You. Neither we nor Samsung will have any rights to your IP.

Will it cost me anything?

No. We support startups for free and we take no equity for that. In return, we ask for your dedication, willingness to cooperate, and the ability to follow all the assigned tasks on time.

How many startups will you select?

We only accept a few startups at a time, but the application runs throughout the year. If we see that your startup is a good fit, we’ll make sure that we support you at some time in the future.

When will the next application period be open?

After the application period closes, we will reopen the next one straight away.

To date, Vertical has worked with more than 60 startups from all around the world, helping them to achieve their business goals, create innovative solutions and collaborate with larger enterprises for mutual benefit.