Turku contributes to the start-up ecosystem in the Baltic Sea region
The Cities of Turku, Aarhus and Gothenburg are increasing the co-operation between their start-up communities. At the same time, the Baltic States are also being included in the activities. The opportunities for co-operation were set up at the beginning of April in Turku.
The representatives of the Baltic Development Forum (BDF), a network for business and political decision-makers, the Cluster innovation consulting company Future Place Leadership AB, The Nordic Council of Ministers, the Swedish Agency for Regional & Economic Growth, the Cities of Aarhus, Gothenburg and Turku, and their start-up communities discussed closer co-operation between the Nordic start-up ecosystems in a meeting arranged on 5 April in Turku Science Park's SparkUp. In addition to the participating cities, two capital cities, Helsinki and Tallinn, shared their experiences in the co-operation on the subject.
“There is already plenty of co-operation between capitals. Now we have a chance to build co-operation between other medium-sized cities as well. They hold a lot of potential”, said Torben Aaberg, Head of Public & Digital Affairs at BDF after the meeting.
Niclas Forsling, Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM), attended the workshop in the capacity of Programme Manager for the flagship BSR Stars Programme within the Baltic Sea Strategy.
”Startup Sweden connects regional ecosystems with ecosystems of excellence. Finally, incubator to incubator collaborations between smaller regional hubs for entrepreneurial exchange and capacity building were also high on the agenda.”
“It is clear from the meeting that participants saw a value in connecting cities beyond the Nordic region, to include also the Baltic region. The examples of e-residency and start-up visas put forward by Ms Triin Mahlakoiv from StartUp Estonia demonstrate that start-up ecosystems also include improvements of the regulatory frameworks.”
Erik Lehtonen, Director, Services for Start-up Companies at Turku Science Park Ltd says that further measures will be taken swiftly.
“We will continue the preparation of the processes and start to work up concrete ideas right away around the start-ups and spearhead lines of business.”
Pärtel-Peeter Pere (the CEO of Future Place Leadership AB, Stockholm) noted the high demand in the market for such international co-operation, which means developing new innovation and networking projects for the Autumn.
The meeting was organized by Turku Science Park Ltd, BDF and Future Place Leadership AB as part of the project "Connecting Digital Start-up Ecosystems in Nordic Cities", co-financed by NCM as part of the branding of the Nordic region and inspired by the BDF’s report titled ”State of the Digital Region 2016, Cities Connecting the Digital Economy in the Baltic Sea Region”.
Next funding round for projects 5 000 € - 50 000 € will be opened in Q2 2017.