Enter the city of the startup miracle
Imagine a place where Slush is happening every day. There, students drive disruption with ground-breaking startups. It’s a community fuelled by the encounters of sharp minds from startups, scaleups, international corporations, and academia. In this place, the infrastructure exists to enable people’s success and to make meaningful encounters an everyday occurrence.
This is happening in Espoo’s innovation ecosystem — the place of origin of the Finnish startup scene.
"Enter Espoo is our entry point to discover the Finnish startup ecosystem." Katrin Bacic, Managing Director, Wayra Germany
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Student and deep tech-driven startup ecosystem
When Nokia's mobile phone business hit hard times at the end of the 00s, it was the Espoo-based startups that electrified the creation of a new Finnish innovation culture.
Aalto University students burst on the scene and led a new startup movement from the ground up. They were accompanied by startups spanning out of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Nokia, whose battle-hardened experts were already firmly rooted in the deep technology expertise and international business culture of Espoo’s innovation ecosystem.
Soon, Slush — created by the Aalto students — became the European go-to startup event phenomenon while startups like Rovio and Supercell went on to conquer the world.
Startups enabled by Finland’s key innovation players
The seismic shift that renewed Finland’s innovation culture more than a decade ago is still happening here.
Aalto is creating the largest startup ecosystem in Europe by revamping old university buildings to co-working spaces. A Grid, Aalto’s 25 000m² startup hub, already hosts about 150 startups and other players like Aalto Startup Center.
Aalto Design Factory, Aaltoes and Startup Sauna (all powered by Aalto) continue to harness the next generations of startups by giving students the freedom, tools, and facilities to try and fail, succeed and conquer.
Then there are the dozens of accelerators, incubators, and other innovation players who make Espoo’s startup ecosystem even stronger and more diverse. For example:
- European Space Agency (ESA)
- Tech startup incubators like VTT LaunchPad
- Accelerators alike Kiuas, EIT Digital Accelerator and Sampo Accelerator
- Co-working and business home enabler Innovation Home
- Co-creation platforms like Urban Mill
- Entrepreneurship networks of local universities of applied sciences, such as Laurea Entrepreneurship Society (LaureaES)
"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
Startup ecosystem that is easy to access and open for innovation
In Espoo’s innovation ecosystem, you’re in the epicentre of the Finnish startup scene. And we mean epicentre quite literally. You can find most of the key players in an area of about 3x3km. This dense area is also the perfect location for you to access the whole Capital Region of Finland.
The ecosystem’s way of working is based on open innovation. The players that are here — from startups to big companies and the City of Espoo itself — share the drive to build a sustainable future together.
Find startups and technologies or get access to Espoo’s startup ecosystem
Enter Espoo matches international corporations and investors with the right startups, technologies, and investment opportunities in Espoo’s innovation ecosystem. Through us, you also get easy access to Finnish innovation.