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Startups at Maria 01 make positive net impact

Startups at Maria 01 have contributed especially to key societal value chains, such as energy, payment and transport systems.

Tapio Auvinen / Maria 01

Startups at Maria 01 have had a positive impact particularly on society and knowledge, reveals a report published by the startup campus in Helsinki.

The 183 startups on the campus were collectively assessed a positive net impact ratio of 25 per cent primarily due to the role many of them have in societally important value chains such as energy, payment and transport systems. The startup campus has thereby been assessed a positive net impact ratio for three years in running.

Fortune 500 companies, in comparison, were assessed a net impact ratio of -46 per cent in 2021.

Developed by The Upright Project, the methodology used in the assessments measures how effectively companies convert resources into impact in the areas of health, society, knowledge and environment.

Maria 01 is Europe’s only startup campus to consistently and systematically measure the impact of its startups, according to CEO Ville Simola.

“As we are looking to expand the campus to over 70 000 square metres, it becomes even more important to make sure that companies inhabiting the premises are contributing to solving the world’s sizeable problems, not enhancing them,” he stated.

The campus is seeking to achieve this by complementing its membership application forms with questions about how applicants perceive their impact and alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Accepted members will also receive proactive advice and feedback based on the same methodology on how to improve their net impact ratio.

A positive net impact is important not only in itself, but also for startups’ ability to raise funding in an investment landscape where more and more attention is paid to environmental, social and corporate governance.

“Maria 01 is a leading example of how seriously we should be measuring and discussing the impacts of startups, who are innovating more rapidly and frequently than anyone else,” commented Erika Noponen, head of client projects at The Upright Project.

By: Aleksi Teivainen