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What Makes Finland a Hotbed for Startups?
Finland has been in the limelight for all the right reasons, making it an ideal place for the establishment and growth of technology startups.
FREMONT, CA: The startup ecosystem in Finland is highly conducive. Recognised as a ground to nurture startups, Finland provides entrepreneurs with opportunities that are unique from several perspectives. What makes the country stand out is its approach towards innovation and its eagerness towards supporting the development of advanced technology. The country which has given birth to many global technology brands, is today one of the leading IT hubs in Europe. Finland invests substantially in research and development, with about 3 to 3.5 per cent of its budget being allocated for funding R&D companies. Apart from the favourable funding scenario, many other factors have contributed to shaping Finland in general, and Greater Helsinki, in particular, as a global startup destination. This article talks about the forces behind Finland’s reputation and why entrepreneurs should flock to this European nation.
• High Connectedness
According to Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019, Finland ranks among the top 10 countries in the world when it comes to connectedness. The report considers global, as well as local connectedness, along with the presence of R&D infrastructure as factors while calculating connectedness scores. While global connectedness is a direct measure of how well-connected startups from a particular region are with their global counterparts, local connectedness gives a measure of local networks of investors and experts that support startups in the area. By placing Finland among the top 10 countries in the list, the report makes it clear that startups in this region have the advantage of a dynamic network of knowledge and support that can boost the chances of success. The connectedness also translates into an easy inflow of funds into the startup companies setting shop in Finland.
• Access to Skilled Workforce
Finland's education system is appreciated across the world. Due to its streamlined and vocation-oriented courses, the country consistently produces skilled personnel that can be easily absorbed into startups. Building a pool of talent is one of the most important steps for entrepreneurs, and in Finland, companies have easy access to well-trained individuals at reasonably lower costs. Finland was the first country from the EU to formulate a National AI Strategy in the year 2017. AI education programmes created under it found more than 90.000 takers worldwide. The IMD World Talent Ranking 2018 has ranked Finland seventh, which reinforces the European nation's potential in offering valuable talent.
• The Booming Technology Industry
Be it advanced technologies like AI and analytics or gaming, Finland has already seen several ventures that have found global success. Finland has always been the leader in the digital game development industry, with some of the world's most loved games being created here. Even as the global mobile gaming market matures and heads towards stagnation, the Finnish market shows no such signs. Apart from that, Finland offers several opportunities for startups looking to develop AI-powered solutions and robotics products and services.
• A Small yet Strategic Market
Another factor that makes Finland suitable for startups is its market size. Finland’s current population stands at 5.53 million, which is ideal for startup companies looking to test products, services, and capabilities. Test runs can be conducted efficiently so as to determine the market value and acceptance of new offerings before they are extended to other markets. This opportunity is crucial since it enables startups to make product development foolproof.
Finland has been able to maintain its first rank in the World Happiness Report of 2019. And with the above factors coming into play, the country also qualifies as one of the best destinations in the world for entrepreneurs looking to build technology startups.