Top-notch startup services, genuinely helpful public sector actors, strong university co-operation and much more – Turku startup ecosystem has it all for entrepreneurs willing to innovate and succeed.
Turku startup ecosystem is open to everyone, supportive, truly international, and full of opportunities in different fields of business. This is why it is such a gem for people aiming to start or grow their own business.
Marketing Manager Janina Nieminen and Community Manager Elias Savonlahti from Business Turku stress that the strong university ecosystem is one of Turku’s key strengths.
– There is a lot of collaboration between different companies and universities, which also helps the companies to find talented workforce, Savonlahti says.
Many Turku-based startups are university spin-offs. The non-profit association Boost Turku promotes a startup mindset and entrepreneurial skills among the university students in the city.
Another strength of the local startup ecosystem is the variety of fields of business. The ecosystem of over 120 startups covers for instance ICT, healthcare and medical technology, cleantech and energy, gaming, and experience economy.
Nieminen stresses that in the Turku region, there are several interesting innovation hubs, which bring actors with complimentary interests together. They cover for instance ICT and biotechnology, maritime industry, circular economy, cleantech and MedTech.
Bringing Business-minded People Together
Business Turku offers a variety of services for startup entrepreneurs, for instance networking events, workshops, acceleration and growth programs, mentoring, and pitching competitions – all free of charge.
Business Turku staff are also experts in matchmaking, whether it is to do with business ideas and the right people, entrepreneurs and potential co-founders, or smaller and bigger companies.
– Our growth and business advisors also offer one to one help and sparring, Savonlahti says.
Nieminen highlights the startup-friendly atmosphere of the region: Business Turku, the City of Turku and other public sector actors are very eager to help new companies to find appropriate facilities and to succeed in their business.
Business Turku also has strong connections to various business networks in Europe, which helps startups in creating partnerships and breaking into local markets abroad.
A Growing International Startup Community
SparkUp is the low-threshold meeting point and community for business-minded people in Turku. Savonlahti describes the community as welcoming and diverse. He appreciates the giving-back culture among the community members.
– Once startup entrepreneurs get help from both the staff and other entrepreneurs in the community and become successful with their own businesses, they want to come back and share their knowledge.
In addition to the business services, there is also help available in getting to know people and finding your place in Turku.
– Life is not all about business. We also want to help with finding leisure activities, integrating to the community and building your life here, Nieminen says. With close connections to the capital city Helsinki and as a gateway to and from Finland, Turku is an excellent location for startups. Moderate living costs, easy logistics, closeness to nature and a vibrant culture scene ensure that life is pleasurable also out of office.