November 30, 2016

Our innovative approach at Slush

Hanna Marttinen-Deakins

Director, head of industry, ICT & digitalisation, Finpro

Finland is globally renowned as a technology innovator and we have made sure we keep it that way with our vibrant digital start-up scene. Today Slush is pulling investors and the tech enthusiastic to our capital Helsinki from all over the world to experience the largest ever start-up crowd in the Nordics. What is the unique x-factor of Finland?

Finland is the breeding ground for innovation. With our world-leading education system, we create geek brainpower at a continuous mode. Finland’s emphasis on interdisciplinary education, diversified IT ecosystems, business platforms and extensive ICT competencies ensure an outstanding position in digital innovation creation. The atmosphere of the country hence supports innovation and entrepreneurship, and provides the platforms to build new ground-breaking solutions and assists with international expansion.

The government encourages innovation with different grants and innovation programs to make the threshold lower for people to commercialise their ideas. There are also multiple incubators and accelerators where new products and services are developed with agility to respond to the needs of such areas as fintech and bank co-operation, edtech and e-health.

Finland is also the leading nation in hackatons. The world’s first Industrial Hackathon was conducted by a Finnish company. Now, many of our corporations utilise the Hackathon method to enable innovation work with start-ups and cross-industry teams. The Finnish government is facilitating 100 public sector hackatons leading up to the 100th anniversary of Independent Finland next year. These hacks are done to enable crowdsourcing of ideas to digitalise public sector services to a level that no country has ever seen before.

Problem-solving and curiosity for new ways of doing things is in our DNA. We are a dedicated test-bed for new innovations and love to embrace new solutions. In fact, many international companies use Finland as a testing ground thanks to a highly receptive market to new technologies and services. Finland has gained the world’s leading position in many areas within digitalisation.

Finns are renowned for creating user-driven solutions and sought-after technologies, in large part due to our holistic understanding of digitalisation and the entire digital value chain. Our dynamic clusters in areas such as gaming, IIOT, big data, Robotics and AR/VR/AI, cybersecurity, UX and Design, printable electronics, fintech, ecommerce, digital health, digital learning, ITS, photonics and mobile application development are part of the building blocks that will help us to create the future success stories together with our global partners.

We could say that Finland is the net sum of superb technological expertise across multiple domains, natural drive for problem solving and DNA that lives digital. We combine various building blocks from our know-how to serve different end-customer segments. We believe that sharing our know-how is caring and hence we are excited to co-operate with our global partners ­– with you. We like to call ourselves, “the land that makes digital difference-together”.

You are warmly welcome to experience our digital DNA at Slush 2016!

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