Microsoft to establish an IoT foundation in Finland
According to the company, the aim of the 14 million-US dollar investment is to develop the growth and expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT).
The foundation named IoT Paja (forge in Finnish) will establish an IoT lab in Espoo, near Helsinki. The lab will provide IoT solutions to creative Finnish startups and machinery expertise and cloud-service support to small companies.
IoT Paja is Microsoft’s first project for Finland’s centennial year. After the lab has been established, it will be operated by its own staff, independently from Microsoft.
The lab is to open its door during the first quarter of 2017.
“One of the greatest challenges faced by startups in the development of IoT machinery is rendering an idea to a prototype,” says Pekka Horo, general manager at Microsoft. “Building the first prototype and proving the capability of seizing business opportunities requires funding. The aim of IoT Paja is to speed up this process regarding IoT machinery innovations.”
Through the foundation, Microsoft offers funding, facilities and support to Finnish startups and SMEs in two stages. In the first stage, the chosen startups will be given funding for the building of the first prototype and its testing in the IoT Paja. After that, chosen startups and SMEs will receive funding to build the IoT solutions.
On top of this, the companies will be helped in finding the right manufacturer for the product, defining its value promise and applying for capital.