This guide can be helpful for those moving to Greater Helsinki irrespective of whether you are an entrepreneur, startup jobseeker, or an established startup looking forward to extending their business in Finland.
Finland is opening up new avenues for start-ups in Northern Europe and is slowly climbing the ladder to become one of the top ten startup ecosystems globally. Greater Helsinki’s startup ecosystem is one of the fastest growing ones in the country which is attracting numerous groups of professionals. Here is a comprehensive guide of the startup ecosystem in Greater Helsinki and its various pros for understanding the entrepreneurial climate of the city.
Finland was ranked among the top 10 economies for national competitiveness according to a report by the World Economic Forum in 2017. The report took into consideration factors like technological readiness, government policies, and the labor market among the others. The city has a population of 1.4 million people, and many more are creating a home for themselves here by moving to Greater Helsinki for the business opportunities it offers.
Greater Helsinki’s GDP of $77 billion comes from a number of small and large industries out of which digital technology, metal and chemical processing, textiles, clothing, electrical manufacturing, and printing are some of the thriving ones. Entrepreneurs can leverage this strong foundation of the various industries for running startups that are based in these sectors. Greater Helsinki is the metropolitan region of the capital city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Startups in the Helsinki region hold a value of $3.4 million on an average with most of them concentrated in the Greater Helsinki region.
What Should Entrepreneurs Move to Greater Helsinki?
This Finnish metro offers all the right frameworks for a healthy startup ecosystem. The city is equally attractive to entrepreneurs, students and investors, thanks to the reinforcing business conditions in the city. Startup jobs in Greater Helsinki are plenty as a result of the growing startup ecosystem. The entrepreneurial community is a well connected one comprising of leaders and followers willing to help each other out in many ways.
Greater Helsinki Opens Up Access to an International Market
Startups wanting to explore a startup ecosystem that can offer a good share of international consumers should move to Greater Helsinki. The city provides international accessibility to numerous markets in the European Union, Russia, and Asia for startups of diverse niches. Startups targeting consumers in the Baltic market are also choosing to settle in Greater Helsinki. The city offers easy access to the Baltic regional market along with the other significant market mentioned above. Greater Helsinki is well connected via air, sea, and railway making it easier for goods and people to move in and out of the region. Companies whose business requires products to be transported to and from the city regularly can find the city’s robust transport infrastructure a boon. The city’s market may not be huge but present perfect conditions for products and services to be tested for running in the European market.
Move to Greater Helsinki for a Valuable Pool of Talent
Overcome the hurdle of finding the best talent for your company when you move to Greater Helsinki as the city is home to professionals from different fields and cultures. The city also has a fair share of universities and colleges that help replenish the talent pool with hundreds of students graduating from them each year. The growth of the job market and the startup ecosystem go hand in hand; with the steady growth of the startup ecosystem, startup jobs in Greater Helsinki are plenty as well.
Be Assured of an Exceptional Quality of Personal Life in Greater Helsinki
Startups in Helsinki are also increasing because the city has everything required for a high quality of life. According to a report by the German magazine Nestpick, the region scored high in aspects like social security which is an essential indicator of the high quality of life it offers. The crime rates in the city are minimal, and the community is warm and inclusive. The Fragile States Index 2016, named Finland as the world’s most peaceful and stable country.
Startups In Greater Helsinki Enjoy a Favorable Business Climate
Apart from a kickass idea and a strong motivation to start a business venture, a supportive government can go a long way in easing the processes of setting up a startup. The government of Finland has efficient and straightforward agencies in place to ensure that entrepreneurs do not have to go through tedious processes to establish their business. The processes only take 2-3 weeks, and the eligibility criterion is also not very stringent. This support is further strengthened by an assemblage of initiatives from the government to propel the growth of the startup ecosystem for entrepreneurs moving to Greater Helsinki. These policies are directed to help startups find a strong footing in the city. Business Finland is one such program that acts as an important catalyst to help Finnish startups succeed.
The favorable business climate in the region is also characterized by the co-working office brands, incubator organizations and accelerator programs like Helsinki Think Company, Microsoft Flux, HUB13, Mesta Coworking, and Minimum Viable Office. Some of these partners like Microsoft Flux and Helsinki Think Company offer free services for eligible startups.
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Other ecosystem partners that are nurturing the startup culture in Greater Helsinki include:
Espoo Innovation Garden
A Look at the Developing Tech Sector in Helsinki and its Strengths
Greater Helsinki’s tech sector has been grabbing the maximum attention in the overall regional startup ecosystem. Digital technology-based startups are doing wonderfully in the region, the success of which can be attributed to the local universities, tech giants, and founders who want to give back the community by creating a favorable economy for startups. Here are some of the sub-sector strengths of the Finnish startup economy.
Gaming Startups In Greater Helsinki
Gaming startups in Greater Helsinki are gaining international attention for its portfolio of companies in the region. Rovio and Supercell lead the way when it comes to successful gaming companies in the region. The sub-sector has seen an impressive rise in the number of gaming startups in Greater Helsinki which is further fuelled by collaborations between gaming developers and entrepreneurs. These collaborations are responsible for bringing together the various players in the gaming ecosystem in the region and enabling the delivery of the right resources at the right tables. The success of giants like Rovio and Supercell has enabled many of its employees to give back to the community by investing in the latest gaming ventures in the city.
Artificial Intelligence Startups In Greater Helsinki
Development of the artificial intelligence sector is one of the priorities of the Finnish government that has dedicated several resources for the same. It is the ‘common national vision’ of the national government of Finland to use artificial intelligence for better social conditions in the country. A notable success story of an excelling startup from the sub-sector is that of ZenRobotics( started by a Curious AI founder) that raised $17 million in funding. The company creates robots that use AI for sorting different types of trash. Some catalysts for the artificial intelligence sub-sector include Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. These institutions play an important role in the area of research and have companies born out them that are at par with industry giants like Facebook and Google. One such company is Curious AI which is an innovative product of the Deep Learning Research Group at Aalto University.
Health and Life Sciences Startups In Greater Helsinki
The health and life sciences startups in Greater Helsinki have created a number of products and services that have been acclaimed across the globe. The establishment of FinnGen, a research project that aims to create blood diagnostic tools to aid in the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic measures. Thousands of Finnish blood samples will be analyzed as a part of this research the results of which can revolutionize the health and life sciences startup scene in Greater Helsinki. The region has also grabbed the limelight with its groundbreaking treatment for opioid overdose cases in the U.S. One of the startups in Greater Helsinki that has helped bring attention to this sub-sector is Blueprint Genetics, a genetic testing firm, that has already got a customer base across 40 countries and funding of $17 million.
Moving to Greater Helsinki can be rewarding for entrepreneurs who are excited about being a part of a small yet dynamic startup ecosystem. The region has the perfect groundwork for startups in the dominant sub-sectors mentioned above. Startups in Greater Helsinki also get a chance to be a part of a number of startup events and activities that can help them get the right resources for their startups. All in all, Greater Helsinki is a continually evolving startup ecosystem waiting for its untapped potential to be explored.
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