An entrepreneur’s guide to Helsinki
By Chris Petersilge
The Nordic country of Finland may be small in population, but boasts a plethora of services and activity for startups looking to do business in the European Union. Here are some highlights from my week meeting the local players in Helsinki.
The Nordic’s largest startup ecosystem
Maria 01 aims to become one of biggest startup campuses in Europe (growing from 20,000 sqm to 70,000 sqm in 2023) as they continue to reclaim an old hospital and build a thriving startup community.
Connecting the university, city, and community in downtown Helsinki
Helsinki Think Company brings the sauna experience to downtown Helsinki with Finnish oak paneling throughout the space, and connecting with students and the public in a central location.
Helsinki’s veteran accelerator
Kiuas at Aalto University’s Startup Sauna support 50 early-stage startups through their accelerator programs each year.
UN & European Space Agency incubators
The Startup Center is connecting their business generator programs with the European Space Agency and the UN Tech Innovation Labs incubators on the Aalto University campus.
Using the university environment to coach students
Startup School at Haaga-Helia have adopted an innovative teachers-as-coaches model to allow uni teachers to upskill in coaching and use these skills to support university students with entrepreneurial aspirations.
Convinced Helsinki is the place for you?
The Helsinki Business Hub is a great starting point for investors and entrepreneurs getting started in Helsinki. Boasting services for investor, foreign investment, and soft landing services, the hub should be your first port of call in Helsinki.
Best time of year to visit
While the magic of endless days during June’s midsummer are great, the most startup activity happens at the end of the calendar year with the Slush Conference.