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March 25, 2012


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Timo Ahopelto

You are so right Ulla. I just got one 'top class' investor familiar with what happens in Finland. He knows Sweden well, and said after seeing some 10 startups here: "There is real tech innovation in Finland that I can't see elsewhere or in Sweden." Felf good as we Finns always wish to beat the Swedes. :)

Ulla Engeström

There you go. What actually got me to write this was a friend of mine who was wondering if Helsinki is as interesting as Stockhokm as a startup city. "Stockholm? What's happening there?", I asked. I guess there must be something going on there too. ;-)

Ted Valentin (Tripbirds.com)

Great stuff, Ulla. I think you nailed some things that people usually don't think about, like: #1 successful examples, #2 networks, #5 angels, #7 friendly media.

Nice to hear from you in the comment that Stockholm was in the back of your mind. As you might know, I'm part of the Stockholm startup scene. So, from my perspective: I think we have some successful companies, enough investors, world class competence in both design and programming. And here as well, the media is waking up. (tnx Adam Erlandsson, Josefin Jakobsson). What we DO lack is networks, like the ones you describe. I think you're way ahead of us there. We have Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship and Hyper Island, but that's about it. And for some strange reason, there are very few angels, almost none at all. That's really quite strange.

One thing that I think is a big obstacle in Stockholm is that young engineers and designers are rather complacent. Engineers are happy to work for Ericsson or ABB, and designers are happy to work for some design agency that makes them look hip. There's no incentive, or thought of, taking risk.

BTW, go Thinglink!


Just as I was leaving Finland in 2009, I could see the entrepreneurial world in Helsinki start picking up. I was hoping one of the new firms would be a big item in 2011, but I'll be happy with the great things happening in 2012!

And, it's great to see Peter in the picture (move over Stubbe!). He's tried so hard in the past 10 years to support Finnish entrepreneurs. I'm sure he's happy with the new scene!

Ulla Engeström

Hi Ted, hi Charlie!! Networks are certainly interesting, because in a way it seems to feed all the rest, and offer an interesting alternative and 'social shoulder' for stepping out of one's comfort zone.

I'm actually quite surprised to hear there is not much angel money around in Sweden. Why is that? At least it is not as bad as in Denmark.

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