Filicon Valley is Born
Rewind two days ago in a mass-centre middle in Helsinki. Nokia has called up an extra gathering to stamp the decision to sell the phone business to Microsoft. Average age of attendance: 60? Re-rewind another week: another big space in Helsinki, this time old cable factory. The biggest new entrepreneur event ever -Slush -is opened in Helsinki. Entrepreneurs, funders, innovators gather all over the world to build relationships and business. Average age: 30?
At the time, Nokia brought Finland to everybody's lips. it sucked in all the talented engineers and catapulted them into great careers, often very international ones. Now-crashed Nokia (to be risen again) did a last great favor for Finland. It freed hundreds of well-trained professionals - quite a few of them with good stash of money in their pocket - to start the next phase of their life as entrepreneurs. Through Bridge program only -designed to help disembarking Nokia-people for their next step -500 new firms have been born.
Then you factor in the new generation of savvy techies who are wizards to ride on the great wave of experience economy. And you get Rovio and Supercell and there will be many others to follow. What is really interesting here is that it is not only products that are superior but the company culture and business model. Actually, these three factors form the golden triangle for success.
According to GEM -Global Entrepreneurship Monitor - There is not much growth and internationalization in Finnish small business world. Maybe this all is changing now that new generation of ambitious and spirited people are starting to forget what used to be the standard thing for any young professional: to go to work for big company. It is so much more fun and rewarding to do it on your own.
Finland is clearly now becoming a Silicon Valley in Europe. Having spent considerable time in the last two years in California, the spirit there really kicks me out. Even though we can't import their weather (which is clearly too bad) we can observe and help the reincarnation of its entrepreneurial spirit. For Finland, it is about the jobs and wealth creation. For people, it is about opportunities to make working life worth of struggle and long days. For Europe, I guess, it is about showing way out of deadlock of melancholy caused by financial crisis aftermath.
It is time again for Finland to show the way