Although Finland has one of the lowest population densities in the EU, it’s responsible for 10 percent of global startup exits. We’ve also seen a number of international success stories, such as Nokia, Angry Birds, and Supercell, come out of Helsinki. How did a country with such a small population become such a hotspot for tech talent?
Internally, the Finnish startup scene is extremely connected. In fact, The 2018 Global Startup Ecosystem report ranks Helsinki’s ecosystem as the best in the world when it comes to local connectedness. Finland’s startup scene is packed with networking events and workshops which bring the community together… with a touch of local flavor.
For example, Polar Bear Pitching is clearly a Finnish creation, challenging founders to pitch their company while wading in sub-zero temperature water. For those who prefer warmer climates, the Startup Sauna coworking space is a great place for growing companies to connect and combines different entities (such as Kiuas and Aaltoes) all under one roof. The Finnish startup ecosystem actively connects with the rest of the tech world through Slush, one of Europe’s largest networking events for startups and investors.
But does this sense of community actually matter? According to the study, startups with founders who have a higher level of connectedness are more likely to have higher employment growth rates and higher sales. Likewise, ecosystems with a stronger sense of community are more likely to see benefits like startup output, startup valuations, exits, unicorns, ecosystem value, and overall performance.
All we can say is kippis (cheers) to Finland’s dynamic startup culture.
Selecting the hottest young scale-ups in Europe
Together with payments tech company Adyen, we set out in search of the most promising new startups based on their performance, growth, and potential. The top-5 from each country will join the Tech5, a community of the hottest young tech companies in Europe and Israel. This year’s newcomers will then join us at the exclusive Founders Day (May 8) and TNW Conference (May 9-10) in Amsterdam.
Today we highlight Finland. We did our research, consulted with our advisory consortium of 100 investors, influencers, entrepreneurs, and experts across Europe and selected the five hottest young Finnish scale-ups.
Find out who Finland’s hottest young scale-ups are:
Zadaa is a marketplace app which allows you to turn your closet into an online boutique. You can both sell and buy high fashion clothing straight from someone else’s closet. Seems simple right? But Zadaa’s beauty comes from its simplicity. First of all, all the items you see on the app are items that fit your style and size (say goodbye to the days when you find THE PERFECT dress online only to realize at checkout it’s not available in your size). Secondly, everything is done through the app from taking pictures of the clothes you’d like to sell, to payment and delivery tracking. This convenience has been key to the company’s success. Since its founding in 2015, Zadaa has expanded its services to Sweden and Denmark and is planning to reach the UK, France, and Germany in the near future.
ICEYE provides reliable and timely satellite imagery to both commercial and governmental organizations. Using SAR technology, ICEYE is able to monitor acute issues, such as illegal fishing, oil spills, melting icebergs, and floods. The company launched its first micro-satellite (the world’s lightest of its kind) in January 2018 and a second one at the end of 2018. This is an incredibly interesting development in the so-called ‘new space’ movement, of which ICEYE is one of the frontrunners. The company has now raised $65 million in funding and plans to have a network of 18 satellites up by 2020.
Happeo unifies a digital workplace and collaboration platform into a social intranet. We’ll skip the buzzwords and keep it simple: it’s your company’s forever-homepage – the only browser tab you need for your digital tools. Employees connect by posting in channels and collaborate through rich integrations with G Suite and Slack. No need to open a tab for Google Docs, you can stay in Happeo and work on that big proposal, fancy slide deck or spreadsheet. It’s fully responsive and has a mobile app, so it makes your workforce independent of location and device. They’ve netted companies such as Givaudan, BMW and Randstad Sourceright and raised $8 million last year in a late seed fund.
For the hikers and festival fanatics among us, it’s often difficult to stay connected to the outside world without the help of power outlets. Finnish startup Tespack has the solution. The company designs and develops unique solar backpacks and solar-powered chargers that power smartphones and laptops. If you haven’t seen one in real life yet, you’re likely to in the near future, as they’re not only used by the military, NGOs, and astronauts but are also available at international sporting goods chain Intersport.
Customer service is important to all of us and one thing I’m sure we can all agree on is that the faster we answer our customers’ queries the happier we are. GetJenny is using the power of AI to help make the whole customer service experience better by allowing companies to set up their own personal customer service chatbot without technical expertise. The chatbot is available in over 30 languages and has been proven to be 2.5 times more efficient than the industry standard. They just closed a $2.3 million seed funding round and have already partnered up with the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce, and Slack.
Is your startup looking for funding and new clients? Come to TNW 2019. Startup rates start at just 299 euros and come with a ton of perks to help you grow.
By Daniel van Heusden and Andrea Hak
This is part of a series selecting the hottest young tech companies from all over Europe. Every day we cover a new country. Check out the hottest young tech companies from Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, The Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Poland, UK, Israel, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and a combined selection of other European countries.
This post is brought to you by Tech5.