State of the Startup Ecosystem in Finland
This post is about a topic that cannot be discussed enough – the startup ecosystem in Finland. Finland is often referred as “the Silicon Valley of Europe”. There has been a huge increase in the number of different players supporting startups and the startup ecosystem. I was approached last week with questions “What is the Y Combinator of Finland? What is the organisation that one should turn to for the best results in making a world class startup? What is the best place to make one’s startup a potential unicorn?”
It’s just amazing how couple of innocent questions can lead into a long discussion about how those questions are wrong questions. I couldn’t answer those questions back then. I decided to ask my Facebook bubble. There was a slight doubt in my mind about what the answer would be, since so many of my friends are related to various startup entities and might get offended.
I think I’m still alive and these people will still talk to me when I see them, but for the sake of the discussion, I’ll share some of my thought behind the topic. Feel free to comment, disagree and suggest new things.
What makes something “the Y Combinator of Finland”?
The answer is “nothing”, or Y Combinator – should they setup presence in Finland. Y Combinator is one of a kind thing. No entity is like them nor should anyone be like them. The brand and the reputation of Y Combinator represents something unique…. hold on… I had to go and read what Y Combinator is really all about.
To me it really looks a lot like what many of the early stage accelerators do. Or at least what I think they do.
Is there anyone who really knows what the early stage accelerators and likes are doing? And what is the outcome?
What is a good place for a startup to grow?
And most of all, how do we measure that? In my opinion, we need to define what a startup needs to achieve before we can really evaluate what is good for them. Only once we can understand that, we can move forward. Let’s take a look.
Potential criteria from “customer perspective”
Would any of these criteria work? Are they something that a startup or a founder would need?
- A unique idea and concept proven to have
- Becoming “fundable”
- Has potential to be a unicorn
- Has potential to be a solid business
- Is disrupting something meaningfull
- Founders have learned how to run a company
- Founders have learned how to aim to be a unicorn
Reason to exist
Or, is it about the accelerator trying to produce something?
- N or N% of super successful companies
- N% of not failing companies
- Rate of graduating startups
- Level of funding
- Level of revenue
- Number or % of exists
- Number of companies
- Big brand and good reputation
So, what is that good place then? Let’s keep naming them!
There can be many kind of metrics, but I can’t tell which ones are the right ones. Thus I’m asking you to help in defining the criteria for a good startup support organisation.
Please help me out in the comments. Also, please give examples of the ones that are fulfilling that criteria.
Thank you and sorry!
Q1: Name a criteria for a good startup place?
Q2: Name a startup place that applies to that criteria and the numbers they have?