Finnish Startup ecosystem

Päivitetty: 23. tammi 2020

In 2018, startups in Finland attracted the most venture capital investments in relation to GDP among European countries.

In 2018, companies in the early stages of development and startups in Finland raised a record 479 million euros. Of this amount, venture capital investments amounted to 203 million euros, which corresponds to 0.096 percent of GDP. This is the highest percentage in Europe and twice as much as the European average.


Small Giant Games, ICEYE and HMD Global in 2018 received the most significant volumes of venture capital investments, which almost doubled the total volume of venture capital invested in Finnish companies. In turn, 2019 does not look so bad: Relex raised 200 million euros, Wolt - 130 million, and Nordcloud - 20 million.


The winners of the Slush Hack - a series of events organised by the Helsinki Center, NewCo Helsinki, Helsinki Business Hub and Helsinki Ventures in Saint Petersburg and Moscow on October 22 and 23 - won tickets to the most significant start-up event of the year - the Slush conference, as well as the opportunity to participate in a three-week acceleration in Helsinki led by Helsinki Ventures.

The Slush Hack program included pitch sessions of innovative teams ready to scale to international markets, speeches by experts from NewCo Helsinki, Helsinki Business Hub and Helsinki Ventures on Finnish startup ecosystem, services and support tools for foreign companies, as well as the main topic - participation in Slush, the correct and effective preparation for the conference and the realities of the largest startup event in Northern Europe.

The event’s partners in Saint Petersburg were ITMO University’s Technopark and Saint Petersburg Technopark, the Moscow Innovation Agency, the Digital Business Space and the Moscow Export Centre in the capital.

34 teams from Staint Petersburg and Moscow took part in the pitch sessions at Slush Hack, of which 9 winners were selected. They became the following projects:

  • Baraban Tech - Technology for the rapid removal of frost and compressed snow

  • COEX - an open source platform for STEM education and creating drones of the future

  • Deflamel (Statanly Technologies) - a platform that allows you to create a unique design using artificial intelligence

  • Fonemica - solutions in the field of speech analytics (speech recognition speech-to-text, speech synthesis, speech biometrics)

  • Ninsar - Personal AR Guide & Travel Guide

  • Sleepik (Unicorns Farm) - Mobile Sleeping Sets

On November 11, the winning teams will begin to prepare for Slush under the guidance of experts from Helsinki Ventures. This time, a three-week acceleration program, organized with the support of the NewCo Helsinki State Business Development Center, focuses around Slush: how to properly prepare for the conference, structure the pitch deck, reach the right partners and investors, what to expect from participation and how to make it the most effective. These and many other issues will be addressed during the first two weeks of the program. The last week will be devoted to analyzing the effectiveness of team participation in Slush, as well as processing the results obtained over two days of the event.

The main goals of the acceleration program are to help teams develop existing skills, conduct customer development, more clearly formulate a commercial offer to the needs of foreign customers and adapt the product to European (and subsequently global) markets, as well as promote the international expansion of companies that begins in Finland.

Look forward

#startups #helsinki

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