Finnish startup campus Maria 01, owned by the owners of the Nordic’s biggest startup conference Slush, City of Helsinki and Helsinki Enterprise Agency, has begun the expansion to become Europe’s largest growth company campus. The campus will expand from its current 10,000 sq m space to 70,000 sq m by 2023 and will be led by new CEO Ville Simola. The future campus will attract approximately 650 new operators and new jobs for at least 4,000 people.
Built at a former hospital complex in downtown Helsinki, Maria 01 is a non-profit campus and home to over 120 startups and scale-ups, 12 venture capital funds, several ecosystem supporters, and over 1,100 members making it currently the biggest startup cluster in the Nordics. Maria 01’s diverse network, first-rate conditions for innovation, and immediate location next to capital offer a perfect formula to help startups grow and expand.
Not content with being the largest in the Nordics, new CEO Ville Simola has his eyes set on an even bigger target by making the hub the biggest in Europe after the new expansion.
“I’m excited to take up the reins of this ambitious project which is sure to change the Finnish startup scene today as we know it. I see a lot of challenges in the expansion but I’m no stranger to ecosystem building after my work with Startup Sauna,” explains Maria 01 CEO Ville Simola, whose previous work saw him co-found and grow the internationally recognized premier startup accelerator Startup Sauna before venturing into the corporate world.
Each and every company Maria 01 takes under its roof is chosen using strict criteria and is expected to move out after 3 years to make room for new startups and scaling companies.
“The Nordics are now challenging the established large European hubs and Finnish startups are sprouting faster than ever. Currently, only 16% of the startups who apply to work at Maria 01 are accepted so the new, larger space will help us to meet the increasing demand for our curated community while bringing new jobs to the area meaning huge benefits for the community, startups, city, and economy,” continues Simola.
Maria 01 is set to open a new wing of the former hospital in October 2019 under a previous agreement that will see the space double in size to 20,000 sq m ahead of the new 50,000 sq m expansion set to be completed by 2023. The expansion consortium will be led by YIT and Keva together with the City of Helsinki.
• Under the new plans, the hub will expand to 70,000 sq m by 2023, making it the largest startup campus in Europe.
• The campus currently plays home to 12 venture capital funds including Play Ventures and Inventure, with €1.8 billion combined assets under management and over 120 startups who have raised a combined €154M.
• According to data from the Finnish Venture Capital Association, Finnish startups attract the most venture capital in Europe relative to GDP.
Head of Unit Santtu von Bruun, City Executive Office, Economic Development, Innovations and New Experiments Unit, tel. +358 (0)40 357 7452, e-mail: santtu.vonbruun(at)hel.fi