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Innovation ecosystem

Enter the ecosystem of sustainable growth and innovation

Welcome to the innovation driver of Finland. Espoo is where Finland's most valuable corporations are located. As are Finland's two most important sustainable innovation players — Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Slush, the leading startup event in the world, and most of Finland's unicorns were born here. So was the whole Finnish startup miracle. 

No wonder international companies come to Espoo to find out what's next in innovation. And it's so easy to do so. Espoo is part of the Helsinki capital region — only 30 minutes away from Helsinki Airport and 10 minutes by metro from the centre of Helsinki.

"For a global company like Beiersdorf, it is essential to be present in all the places where innovation happens. Finland, and especially Espoo, is such a place." Dirk Ploss, Head of Digital Technologies Scouting and Advisory, Beiersdorf.

New era of quantum science and business

Discover Finland's microelectronics and quantum technology RDI hub — Kvanttinova

Finland's 20-qubit quantum computer, built by the local players VTT and IQM, is in Espoo. So will be Kvanttinova, an industry-driven piloting and development facility for microelectronics and quantum technology. Kvanttinova contributes to the European technological leadership on chips.

Kvanttinova RDI hub Find out more

The source of Finnish deep tech and home of startups

Want to tap into Finland’s treasure chest of technology innovation? You’ve come to the right place! 

Unicorns such as MySQL, Rovio, HMD Global, and Supercell came from here — as do about a hundred startups every year.

VTT is the largest applied research institution in the Nordics with a strong track record of commercialising research to business. VTT is also the main source of Finnish deep technology — in an ecosystem that specialises in deep tech startups. 

Aalto University is Finland’s #1 university for technology, business, art and design. It was also from Aalto that the Finnish startup ecosystem emerged in the late 00s. Thanks to the Aalto students, Espoo is now the driving force of the Finnish startup scene.

  • Aalto is creating the largest startup ecosystem in Europe.
  • More than half of Finland’s university-related startups come from Aalto.
  • Aalto Startup Center is ranked in the top 5 university business accelerators worldwide.

Discover Espoo's startup ecosystem

"Enter Espoo made it easy to reach Finnish startup companies, which is generally difficult." Masami Sumiyoshi, Manager, Hitachi Vantara

Find technologies and startups, invest in or get access to Espoo’s innovation ecosystem

Enter Espoo matches international corporations and investors with the right startups, technologies, and investment opportunities in Espoo’s innovation ecosystem. We give you easy access to the leading innovation hub in the Nordics.

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Finland’s biggest companies joined by international innovation players 

Next door to Finland’s hottest startup hubs, you can find many of the most valuable Finnish companies. Fortum and Neste pave the way in clean energy while KONE builds a foundation for even smarter cities. And don’t forget that Nokia is still here. The former mobile phone king is now a leading global 5G developer.

International innovation organisations like The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Business Incubation Centre in Finland and The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) in Finland are located in Espoo.  

They are joined by many official Finnish innovation players, such as Finnish Center of Artificial Intelligence (FCAI), FinnCERES (lignocellulose and materials bioeconomy), Smart Otaniemi (smart energy), and Synbio Powerhouse (synthetic biology). 

Naturally, the strengths of Espoo’s innovation ecosystem are recognised internationally, and Espoo has the rankings to prove it: 

  • The most sustainable city in Europe (2016, 2017).
  • The most intelligent community in the world (2018).
  • Finalist in the European Capital of Innovation Awards (2019, 2020, 2022). 

find key players in Espoo

"In Espoo, everything is very open when creating innovation. The place is driven by passion — not just money." Neri Friedlaender, Innovation & Partnerships Manager, Daimler AG 

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A city of quality living and talent 

Espoo is Finland’s second-largest city — with a quality of living that’s second to none. Espoo residents are the healthiest and among the happiest in Finland. The city’s living environment is family-friendly, green space is in abundance, and the living costs are decent. 

Espoo is an international city of talent:

  • The highest density of international talent and the highest education level of all Finnish cities.
  • 52% of residents over 24 years old hold a university degree. 
  • The city is home to over 150 nationalities.
  • Residents can get high-quality public services in English. 

Espoo has it all — welcome to Espoo’s innovation ecosystem!