Helsinki develops reputation as next startup hub
International tech blog Geektime has published a glowing report on the emerging strengths of Helsinki’s startup scene.
The article points out that with over 500 established startups, Helsinki is developing a reputation that extends beyond its vibrant games ecosystem.
According to Marjo Ilmari, director of the startup program at Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, the tidal wave of success enjoyed by Rovio and Supercell is “paving the way for other companies from areas such as health tech, Internet of Things and ed tech”.
The growth of the startup scene is also attributable to educated people and a stable business environment.
“There’s no corruption and government gives loans and grants to early stage startups for product development,” the article quotes Pekka Koskinen, CEO and founder of LeadFeeder. “Finland as a market is very small, so companies should already in the beginning concentrate in international markets and not only stay in Finland.”
Alongside Helsinki’s livability and reasonable rent, the city’s location on the cusp of Europe and Russia ensures it is seen as a viable middle ground between vastly different cultures.
The city has also “risen to popularity for US companies that want to develop a bridge to Europe: It’s a ‘quick’ plane ride to the States, making it easy to expand and commute back and forth for events and client meetings without too much hassle”.
Koskinen also emphasises that due to high demand “there’s a big shortage of programmers in Finland and we’ve found that it’s been easier to find skilled programmers outside Finland”.
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