Helsinki has several key advantages for attracting startups
The City of Helsinki and the startup event Slush have a common goal: to support the environment for growth companies and raise awareness of Helsinki. Slush will be held once again at the Helsinki Exhibition Centre on 17–18 November. The City of Helsinki is a Slush event partner.
“The success of Helsinki depends on the emergence of new business and the ability to attract talent. To increase the vitality of the city, Helsinki’s image and reputation must be actively developed in international arenas, and Slush has an important role in this,” says Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki.
Growth entrepreneurship is also an important factor in solving the global problems facing the world. Slush and Helsinki are working together to make Helsinki a leading growth location for new solution-oriented companies.
“Helsinki wants to be the best place for growth companies to do business in. Our aim is to be Europe’s leading platform for experimentation and innovation by 2025. A key issue is how we succeed in attracting much-needed talent to Helsinki, and Slush’s reputation plays a big role in this. We also share the goal of sustainable growth, and Helsinki wants to be a city whose growth also improves the world,” says Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development at the City of Helsinki.
Helsinki wants to remain at the forefront of growth business development
The value of startups in the Helsinki region is already measured in billions. This is also influenced by the city’s actions as Helsinki is a test platform that incubates and accelerates ideas together with companies. The city offers opportunities for and encourages experimentation by businesses in a genuine urban environment. The experimentation activities aim to help the developed solutions to break into the open markets.
“The city’s aim is that research, development and innovation cooperation with companies will promote the companies’ product development and business activities. The city can provide real-life environments for the co-creation, experimentation and piloting of new solutions. Co-creation enables companies to better deliver products and services based on the needs of end users. The experiments are useful from the city’s point of view because they also offer solutions to real urban life challenges,” says Kimmo Heinonen, Team Leader of the City of Helsinki’s Innovation Services team.
Business incubators and accelerators generate success stories and create communities
Through business incubator and accelerator services, the city provides entrepreneurs with concrete support on-site. Incubators and accelerators include close cooperation with partners and networks. Often, it is the city that provides expert advice and a platform for encounters and the emergence of new communities.
“The incubators are places where top Finnish research, entrepreneurial students and the entire innovation and business community in Helsinki meet,” says Heidi Humala, Head of the Companies’ Operating Environment unit.
Together with its partners, the city already supports entrepreneurs with the following business incubator and accelerator services:
Helsinki Partners is a city marketing, investment and talent attraction company owned by the City of Helsinki. Helsinki Partners matches Finnish growth companies with the most relevant global inverstors and help international startups set up in Helsinki. Helsinki Partners help business to find the best business opportunities in Helsinki and raise the business to new international heights.
Maria-01 is a not-for-profit startup hub and the leading startup campus in the Nordic countries. Maria-01 premises house startups and growth companies, venture capital funds and other actors in the startup ecosystem.
NewCo Accelerator supports startups and teams in the incubation and acceleration phases, particularly those aiming to enter international markets that have progressed beyond the conceptual development of a product or service. The accelerator’s services are free, and companies can access them at any time.
Urban Tech Helsinki is an incubator for clean and sustainable urban solutions. It focuses on clean energy, mobility, sustainable construction, circular economy, waste management and urban food production. The incubator aims to attract experts and businesses to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area as well as support and accelerate the creation and early growth of new startups, especially research-driven ones.
Health Incubator Helsinki is the only long-term incubator programme focusing on health in the Nordic countries. It supports the development of health innovations, research projects and expertise into an international business and attracts experts and businesses to Helsinki by providing customised mentoring, coaching and business development support for up to three years.
Helsinki Education Hub promotes growth entrepreneurship and new business in learning and education technology. The incubator programme provides workshops, mentoring, weekly assignments and speeches by experts in the field as well as strong network support along the way.
Under the Campus Incubators programme, the City of Helsinki supports Helsinki’s higher education institutes in establishing and maintaining incubators on their main campuses. The on-campus incubators aim to bring together top Finnish research, new ideas from students and Helsinki’s strong startup ecosystem. The Campus Incubators programme aims to create 100 new businesses a year, to support the development of the campuses into innovation and business activity hubs and to increase the attractiveness of Helsinki in the eyes of international experts.