Study trip 2017-2018 to Finland and Sweden. Part 1-Helsinki

In today’s technological environment, while studying business management it is imperative to understand how tech-businesses were born and the answer was ‘start-ups’. To gain an insight into start-ups, we visited Finland and Sweden.

 

Finland has become an innovation ecosystem by attracting the maximum funding for start-ups for the sixth time in the entire Europe and its capital city-Helsinki hosts the world famous start-up event – SLUSH which attracts entrepreneurs worldwide. It is the home of major companies like Nokia, Rovio and Supercell.

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Source : Nokia Bell Labs, Helsinki (2018)

Day 1

Company visit # 1: Start-up Sauna

The day began with a visit to Start-Up Sauna, it is home to young entrepreneurs who are students. It is not unusual in Helsinki for students to start their own business during school as Finnish culture inculcates a true sportsmanship spirit of perseverance – ‘Sisu’ from an early life. Start-up Sauna offers mentorship and coaching programs in form of accelerator programs which enables entrepreneurs to have space to work from, connects them with other entrepreneur as great business flourish when they collaborate.

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Company visit # 2: Aalto ventures

Aalto ventures offers accelerator program and their business model is to co-create entrepreneurship. I was rather amazed during their presentation as they had an element of panel which comprised of their current Aalto students and mentor who amicably shared their experiences whilst answered the panel’s questions. One of the student remarked how most entrepreneurs look for solutions even before they figure out the problem.

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Company visit # 3: xEdu

Post lunch, we visited X-Edu, this company runs accelerator programs for Edtech. Education is forecasted to be one of the leading industries by 2030 and with use of technology there will be new future in learning. xEdu not only offers mentorship and coaching programs, but also real-life testing environment for new business in the education sector.

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Company visit # 4: Inventure

Inventure is one of the leading venture capital firm in the Nordics which has invested substantially into the growing start-up industry and we were fortunate to gain current insights from the investment experts regarding how they invest and the future trends of the market.

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The day ended with a scrumptious dinner at Ravintola Kuu Restaurant where we enjoyed Finnish cuisine!

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Day 2

 Company visit # 1: Nokia Bell Labs

We began the day at Finland’s famous company Nokia. It was interesting to know how Nokia diversified their business post the market failure in the recent years. Under Nokia Bell Lans, the company fosters innovation through research and scientific development in the tech industry.

nokia

Company visit # 2: Spinverse

Spinverse is the Nordic leader of innovation consulting. They encourage open innovation and offers funding to established start-up companies with good ideas. Their current project is the Luxturrim5G project which is the future of 5G and connects the smart city. Currently, they are already experimenting smart city solutions in the Espoo region of Helsinki.

10nokia group

 

Then we took a break near Helsinki cathedral for lunch.

group cathedral

Company visit # 2: Maria01

Our next stop was at the largest hub of start-up in the city of Helsinki, Maria01. The government of Finland has supported the start-up ecosystem and donated a 130-year old hospital building which now pompously hosts upcoming start-ups of the region. The membership and rent for offices in this hub is 10 times relatively lesser than to the cost of starting a company in London or Berlin. We were introduced to few start-up companies like Sino track, Chaos architects.

 

Company visit # 3: Avanto Ventures program

This is a venture capital company based in Maria01 and offers funding to early start-up companies. They enable companies in innovating themselves internally and externally with the use of venture capital. A big thank you to the hosts for the welcoming ice-cream in the humid climate.

 

During the evening, we had some time for leisure. Some of us headed to experience the famous Finnish Sauna at Loyly Sauna while few of us visited the Helsinki City museum and were amazed how even in the museum they reminisced history with use of technology. We experienced the time machine through VR and one of the segment of the Lake badom  murders during 1960’s particularly caught my attention, click here to find out how!

Day 3

Company visit # 1: Microsoft Flux

At Microsoft Flux, we experienced how big multinational tech are supporting the ecosystem. At Flux, entrepreneurs have access to good network, Microsoft resources to set-up their businesses and co-working spaces to collaborate with one another.

 

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Tour time: Helsinki District tour

To explore the designing culture of the Helsinki. From historical building turned, to the famous Alvar Alto vases which depict use of nature in design to exploring the famous comic character-Moomins, designed by Tove Jansson. We were amazed at the artistic abilities of this region in home décor, textiles and furniture.

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Company visit # 2: Rovio

One cannot complete their visit in Finland without exploring it’s the booming gaming industry. Our last visit in Helsinki was at Rovio. Rovio is the developer of the famous game – Angry birds which has plenty of editions since the first release in 2009. At Rovio, we saw the transition of Angry birds into a first franchise and then a movie. What’s coming next has to be watched out!

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Following the company visit, we headed to Stockholm to experience more innovations in the Nordic region !

-Sakeynay (Sammy), Batch of 2017-2018

 

 

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