The blog was supposed to be a hobby but it blossomed into a media business. With its news of young growth businesses, its support of the entrepreneurial spirit and through the events it organizes, what ArcticStartup gets up to is keenly followed out in the world.
ArcticStartup came about from Antti Vilpponen’s passion for growth businesses, a passion that prompted him to begin writing a blog with Miikka Kukkosuo in September 2007.
― Already during those first three months we garnered a fairly keen following of readers despite publishing at a rather unimpressive writing rate. Inspired by this readership we began to write more regularly from the beginning of 2008. We were joined by Ville Vesterinen and Karri Saarinen, explains Managing Director Antti Vilpponen.
In the Spring of 2008 the men organized their first joint event which was attended by 140 people.
― That, as they say, was when the ball started rolling. We recognized that there was a significant demand for this service and in 2009 we expanded to the rest of the Nordic region and the Baltics.
Totally in a class of its own
ArcticStartup provides concrete help to businesses in many ways, such as by increasing awareness of new companies.
― It’s incredibly important that young people and new businesses are visible on the market, Vilpponen emphasizes.
― On several occasions over the years we have facilitated investment in Finnish start-ups which indicates that what we have been writing has awoken a desire to invest among potential investors. Companies have also received help in their internationalization efforts.
According to Vilpponen, Finland at the moment represents the cutting edge when it comes to interesting start-up businesses. The gaming business, for example, which has already been developing for a couple of decades, is totally in a class of its own when seen on a global scale.
― In the heart of the investment centres, such as in London, there’s an ever-growing interest in potential Finnish investment targets. For us this can be seen in the form of direct email requests for additional information about our markets and about interesting start-ups.
Northern Europe’s silicon valley
Vilpponen praises young Finns’ enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.
― A big debt of thanks is owed to the various student organizations, such as the Aalto Entrepreneurship Society. The State also provides fairly good support for entrepreneurs even if the ‘subsidy jungle’ can be a bit of a struggle. Finland has every possibility to develop into Northern Europe’s silicon valley.
ArcticStartup is continuing to develop its operations in the Nordic and Baltic regions both on the media and the event front. A good example of this is the Arctic15 conference being organized in September, pitching 15 growth companies together.
― Here 15 hand-picked companies will compete for the title of Northern Europe’s start-up with most potential and the chance to win 10,000 euros and 5,000 euros for marketing. We’re looking to attract hundreds of companies and investors. On top of that we’ll be drawing keynote speakers from the US and Germany, for example, explains Vilpponen.