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Is Helsinki Europe’s startup capital?

Finland is one of those countries that is always getting things right. Whether it is topping international league tables in education, standing out as a circular economy trailblazer, or establishing itself as a capital of Europe’s buoyant startup ecosystem, the country seems to effortlessly lead from the front.

The Maria 01 startup campus in Helsinki is a case in point. Part-owned by the team behind the ever impressive and visually unforgettable annual Slush startup conference held in Helsinki, the former hospital is on track to become Europe’s ‘largest growth company campus’ under the new stewardship of CEO Ville Simola. With plans in place to increase the campus from 10,000 sq m space to 70,000 sq m by 2023.

“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,” said Simola.

When another converted wing of the old hospital opens next month, the available space will double to 20,000 sq m, with the addtional 50,000 sq m due to be ready by 2023. The City of Helsinki, along with YIT and Keva are leading the consortium that will deliver the expansion.

“This project will not only hugely impact the Nordic area’s startups and scale-ups but it will also help make the region a more desirable place for international companies to come and use as a launchpad into European markets,” added Voitto Kangas, former CEO of Maria 01.

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Written By

Iain is a creative writer, journalist and lecturer, and formerly an editor of two international business publications. Iain is now editor of Innovators Magazine, as well as the strategic content director for OnePoint5Media.


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