Finland – the New Silicon Valley?
Over the past few years, Finland has been attracting more and more investors. This month, the cultural centre in Helsinki, Kaapelitehdas will be bursting with numerous entrepreneurs looking for businesses to invest in. No less than 5,000 visitors are expected to take part in this event, organised by Slush.
Due to the recent increase in venture capital investments in Finland, large numbers of companies and entrepreneurs are looking to invest in Finland, making it the technology hub of the North where great start-up companies and best talent gather.
There are many reasons this is happening, one of which is the fact that university students are keener than ever on starting up growing businesses. A perfect example of this is the Aalto University which started as a merger between the Helsinki School of Economics, the University of Art and Design in Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology. A few examples of successful companies which have started with this exact same mindset are Rovi0 (the creators of Angry Birds), Supercell (video game development company) and Fingersoft (apps and games development company).
And even the current economic status of Finland can become an advantage as succesful start-up companies have brought on their own international business experts to help them deal with any potential risks.
However, Finland isn’t quite ready to become the next Silicon Valley. The unique feature of a real Silicon Valley is that investors, should they wish to pull away from the companies, they can do so through a corporate merger or by going public and going public hasn’t happened many times in Finland nor have there been many mergers or acquisitions of Finnish start-ups. Therefore, the only way to pull away from a company currently is by selling to a foreign buyer.
Despite a very active start-up environment, Finland is said to need a bit more communication between fledging companies and Finnish industry because this could lead to more acquisitions or increased and more rapid growth. Finally, the Finnish stock exchange would also need to list new companies.
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