Finland – The land of startup culture

For a couple of years, Finland has experienced a huge explosion of startups from all over the country. It can be said that the entrepreneurial culture in Finland has grown from early stage to tremendously booming. Young generations are becoming more and more entrepreneurial minded with innovative ideas aimed to better off our life and our world. Therefore, Finland has become a hometown of startup culture following the giant in this field: the United States.

There should be some explanations for this trend. Initially, Finnish education system could not be skipped. According to BBC news, in 2015, PISA released the world education ranking in which Finland was placed at 6th place. This means Finland is one of top 10 countries bringing the best education system in this world. Particularly, teachers are free to experiment new methods so as to improve quality of teaching and learning. And they define examination as a tool for diagnosing students than classing them. This is such a great implication on modern methodology in educating students. Furthermore, Finland has been on its way to become an international hub with multicultural relations. Obviously, Finland welcomes hundreds of international students in a variety of studying programs every year. In addition to studying, cultural activities are organized frequently aimed at creating a cross-cultural environment. It shows Finnish open minded attitude towards business and entrepreneurship.

Influx of startup accelerator organizations and functional programs

To name one of the most common supporting foundations concerning startups and entrepreneurs, Startup Sauna should be prioritized. Launched in 2012, Startup Sauna serves a very useful purpose. As it harnesses avalanche of successful inventors, entrepreneurs with inspirational stories and advanced expertise to facilitate entrepreneurs, even the ones who are in the very early stage of starting a business. The organization provides Startup Sauna as an accelerator program lasting five weeks targeted at startups from Nordics to Eastern Europe and Russia. Moreover, Slush symposium is presented as a leader in startup and investor conferences held annually in November. The event attracts more than 10,000 attendees from all over the world.

To name a few more… Shift is a two-day festival concentrating on technology and its application to fields containing health, learning and energy. The team’s main purpose is on make great impact on society and to push it up to move on with innovating.

Other startup events include Arctic15 which lasts two days and is held by a media agency called Arctic Startup Foundation. Interestingly, we – *ship crew – participated in this event as volunteers. We were divided into different teams so that we experienced more than one field of a startup event. In addition to main stage held by famous speakers, workshops and Arctic15 had mini stages which were held by several guests and a variety of topics supporting startups. Moreover, the event offered match-making program in which participants booked an appointment and discussed their problems personally with relevant guests.

Then it’s *ship turn

Following the trend and considering the entrepreneurial needs of Kymenlaakso region, we – Patteri Entrepreneurship Society – are pleased to bring you *ship The Startup Festival.

*ship is a two-day startup event to be held at Vellamo Maritime Center on July 27th and 28th. The idea behind our festival is to connect next generation of entrepreneurs with world-class mentors. The agenda consists of Pitch Captain competition with €5000 grand prize, one-on-one mentoring and interactive seminars and workshops. *ship is expected to welcome around 40 startups from Finland, Russia and beyond and approximately 500 visitors. The festival is considered to be the biggest startup event in South East Finland, and considering the high unemployment rate in Kotka, with every fourth young person without work, *ship is definitely a fresh approach towards community building in the region.

Author: Trinh Tran is an International Marketing student at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. She is passionate about writing and wishes to use the power of words to enhance entrepreneurship that may change the world. She is originally from Saigon, Vietnam.