The City of Helsinki is a cooperation partner of the Slush event, which will take place at Messukeskus (Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre) from 30 November to 1 December. This year, Slush, one of the largest startup events in the world, will bring roughly 13,000 participants and 3,000 investors to Helsinki.
“Slush is an important partner to the City of Helsinki in our efforts to attract new business, investments and experts to Helsinki. The event has played a major role in increasing awareness of Helsinki and the city’s vitality and attracting growth companies. Establishing new contacts and deepening existing ones is at the core of Slush cooperation, and we’re very proud of the fact that Slush has consolidated its position as a significant international event in Helsinki,” remarks Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen.
The City of Helsinki has invited several international investors and other guests to Slush’s main and side events. The event will introduce investors, companies looking to expand their operations, startups and the international media to the business opportunities available in Helsinki and the range of services offered by the city.
The City of Helsinki will also host a Helsinki Lounge at the Slush main event, offering a wide range of information sessions for target groups ranging from investors to startups.
Digital technology and green solutions draw interest
High-growth entrepreneurship is a significant factor in solving global problems. Green, sustainable growth and solutions are sought in fields such as circular economy, the built environment, the electrification of the transport system, and health technology, among others. The growth companies that have gathered the most funding in recent years focus on digital technology in their business operations.
“The City of Helsinki has the ambitious goal of becoming Europe’s leading platform for pilot projects, innovative business operations and impact investments. In order to meet this goal, we must also succeed in attracting international experts, and Slush, our partner, plays a major role in these efforts,” emphasises Director of Economic Development Marja-Leena Rinkineva from the City of Helsinki.
Helsinki and Slush engage in diverse cooperation in the field of communications, among other things. They will also conduct an attendee survey at Slush to survey growth companies’ interest in Helsinki and develop the city’s attractiveness further based on the answers. Helsinki also offers the event participants information on business and investment activities and tips on things such as the city’s restaurants and cultural activities during Slush.
Business opportunities in Helsinki and the City’s services for growth companies in the spotlight
The value of the startup companies operating in the Helsinki region can already be measured in the billions. The City’s actions have also contributed to this. Helsinki is a testbed (‘Testbed Helsinki’) that offers companies the opportunity to carry out pilot projects in an actual urban environment. This also yields solutions to various challenges in city life.
Slush will showcase the FAIR (Finnish AI Region) project coordinated by the City of Helsinki, which supports the use of artificial intelligence by SMEs. Launched last year, this project was chosen to receive partial funding as part of the Digital Europe Programme of the European Commission and a network of 151 European digital innovation hubs.
“Helsinki gives early-stage startups a boost by providing them with coaching services and industry-specific incubator services in the fields of health technology, learning technology and innovative urban solutions. The City’s focus areas also include close cooperation with higher education institutions. Business incubators are meeting places for top Finnish researchers, entrepreneurs, students with entrepreneurial spirit and the entire innovation and business community of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, along with their international partners,” sums up Director of Business Services Paula Miettinen from the City of Helsinki’s Economic Development Department.
Services offered by the City of Helsinki and its partners for growth companies
Maria 01 is a non-profit startup cluster and the leading startup campus in the Nordic countries. Maria 01 provides premises for startups and growth companies, venture capital funds and other startup ecosystem operators.
Read more about Maria 01(Link leads to external service)
Testbed Helsinki is a testbed extending across an entire city, where companies, as well as research, development and innovation operators, can pilot and develop new products and services in cooperation with the City.
Read more about Testbed Helsinki(Link leads to external service)
Business Helsinki Accelerator supports startups and teams in the incubation and acceleration phases, particularly those that are aiming to enter international markets and have progressed beyond the conceptual development of a product or service. The accelerator’s services are free, and companies can access them at any time.
Read more about Business Helsinki Accelerator
Helsinki Partners is a company owned by the City of Helsinki that focuses on international city marketing and attracting investments and experts. Helsinki Partners offers foreign companies and investors a path to the local ecosystem and brings hundreds of international journalists to Helsinki.
Read more about Helsinki Partners(Link leads to external service)
The Urban Tech Helsinki incubator seeks sustainable urban solutions. Its focus areas include clean energy, mobility, sustainable construction, circular economy, waste management and urban food production. The incubator’s goal is to draw experts and businesses to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, and to support and expedite the establishment and early growth of new, especially research-oriented companies.
Read more about Urban Tech Helsinki(Link leads to external service)
Health Incubator Helsinki is the only health-focused long-term incubator programme in the Nordic countries. It supports the development of health innovations, research projects and expertise into international business and attracts experts and companies to Helsinki, even offering customised mentoring, coaching and support for business development for a three-year period.
Read more about Health Incubator Helsinki(Link leads to external service)
Through the Campus Incubators programme, the City of Helsinki supports the higher education institutions in Helsinki with establishing and maintaining business incubators on the key campuses of the educational institutions. The purpose of the incubators operating on campuses is to combine top Finnish research, students’ new ideas and the strong startup ecosystem of Helsinki. The objective of the programme is to create 100 new companies per year, support the development of the campuses into innovation and business hubs and boost Helsinki’s attractiveness in the eyes of international experts.
Read more about Campus Incubators programme
The Helsinki Education Hub promotes high-growth entrepreneurship and new business related to learning and education technology. The incubation programme includes workshops, mentoring, weekly tasks and keynote speeches by industry experts. It also provides the close support of a network along the way.
Read more about Helsinki Education Hub(Link leads to external service)