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Helsinki startup ecosystem recognised globally

The world renowned startup event Slush gathers the world’s top entrepreneurial talent to Helsinki every autumn. Visit Helsinki/ Jussi Hellsten

Helsinki’s startup scene is thriving, especially in artificial intelligence, health and life sciences, and gaming, according to The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018.

The report is put together by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, and this year assessed 43 startup ecosystems in 23 countries, following a year of decade-high global venture investments in startups.

It highlights how deep-tech startups are introducing a new era, or ‘third wave’, in entrepreneurship, while ICT-related and Internet-focused businesses that drove the last entrepreneurial revolutions are on the decline.

The healthy state of Helsinki’s startup ecosystem was attributed to world-class universities, strong support from the national government, the pool of talent stemming from Nokia, as well as to the popular startup conference Slush.

For the first time, the report also divided the technology sector into 15 sub-sectors to inform readers where activity, growth and investments are really taking place.

The Greater Helsinki area was included among the world leaders in three of these sub-sectors, including in artificial intelligence, where the growth in the number of new startups across the world is highest.

Gaming is another sector where Helsinki is thriving, following the success of Rovio, Supercell and scores of new Finnish gaming companies. Helsinki’s health and life sciences sector also drew praise, with the report singling out the ambitious research efforts of FinnGen and local success story Blueprint Genetics.     

“I started my first tech startup more than a decade ago, and today it is impossible to understand how much Helsinki has developed as a startup hub since those days,” Tommi Lehtonen, CEO at Blueprint Genetics states in the report. “Something happened and today we have a great, informal and very active community of entrepreneurs, investors and advisors, and it is extremely easy to connect to European, US and Asian peers.”

Published on 18.04.2018