Moscow has the real business potential
- Moscow is as far as Saariselkä from this point, from the city of Helsinki. If you want to make profitable and growing business, choose Moscow in spite of Finnish Lapland. I am working for Skolkovo Foundation in Moscow as a senior advisor and I can guarantee that the Russian society really wants to improve its start-up entrepreneurship climate, Mr Pekka Viljakainen opened his keynote presentation in Seed Forum seminar in Helsinki on Tuesday.
– Some days ago I had a speech in a high level meeting with foreign bankers and company leaders. I asked them four main issues they have in their minds about Russia. They listed corruption, vodka, bureaucracy and prostitution – absolutely the same topics we have almost everywhere. The audience did not mention the fact that Russia has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for three months. This is more relevant than those four everywhere existing features, Viljakainen continued. – We have layd Skolkovo Foundation like Tekes in Finland – all processes for new innovative firms are similar and their applications will be handled in the same timeline like Tekes use in Finland. Please, Russian markets are so close to us and now it is the time in going there, Viljakainen hurried the seminar participants up.
Nordea's high quality services to startups
Nordea hosted the very successful seminar and the Old Bank Hall is the most valuable place arranging events of this kind. Area Director Jussi Mekkonen emphasized the willingness of the bank to offer very good and solid service to their corporate customers including new startups.
New investor incentives
The Member of the Parliament Lasse Männistö from the National Coalition Party opened the very essential reforms the Finnish government decides in its budgetary frame meeting on Thursday. – The government wants to support growth companies and investors to find each other. Seminars like this Seed Forum can really be effective tools creating contacts and clarifying investment possibilities for both sides. The government offers new incentives to investors. As an example there are the tax reliefs when investors put their capitals in a new, unlisted firm. This will partly help young companies finding money in their growth efforts, Lasse Männistö explained the plans the Finnish society tries to offer to the newly established companies with interesting ideas.
The ambassador, HE Leidulv Namtvedt opened the Seed Forum Helsinki seminar and invited the whole audience in his residence in the evening reception.
Five Start-Up Center firms at the stage
After keynote session eight firms presented their very well practiced sales pitches for investors. Five Finnish companies were trained in Aalto Start-Up Center-incubator. In addition we had one firm from three different countries: Sweden, Norway and Latvia. – This was the first Seed Forum Seminar in Helsinki from 2008. The next one takes place in October and before it we have the very effective training program for companies willing to join the educational process of Seed Forum. The start was good with big audience and the interest in the autumn event is growing – we have already now several serious taken contacts waiting for the possibility. This is the only well planned training program focused on seeking investment in newly started companies, Seppo Rantalainen, the Seed Forum representative in Finland summarized the results of the seminar.