JETRO Global Connection -Accelerate Innovation with Japan-

Espoo local companies willing to collaborate with Japanese companies

Innovation Promotion Division
November 11, 2019

In the JETRO-sponsored Three Scandinavian Countries Open Innovation Missions (September 30 to October 4) (see the article on October 29, 2019), during the mission to Finland, which followed the mission to Sweden (see the article on November 11, 2019), the Japanese companies visited Espoo and Helsinki on October 1 and 2. Exchanges and business meetings were held between the local organizations and Japanese companies.

In Espoo, the Japanese companies visited the startup sauna (StartupSaunaA new window will open.), an entrepreneur support organization. Espoo MarketingA new window will open. and other local organizations provided an overview of Finnish startups. According to the company’s business adviser, Mayumi Shimizu, Espoo, the second largest city after Helsinki, is home to corporate headquarters, such as Nokia, Neste, and ROVIO, and 45% of the total trading volume on the Helsinki Stock Exchange is from Espoo-based companies. Additionally, 51% of residents over the age of 25 have graduated from college, and there are many highly skilled human resources. Espoo Marketing has implemented an initiative called “Espoo Japan Innovation Hub” to promote collaboration between Japanese and Espoo companies. To date, DENSO and Ryohin Keikaku have used this initiative to conduct investments and demonstration experiments in Espoo. One of the characteristics of Espoo Marketing is that it can provide detailed services to Japanese companies, such as by hiring Japanese employees. The networking events organized by Espoo Marketing, JETRO, and the Embassy of Japan in Finland provided a glimpse of the pro-Japan environment in Espoo, with many Japanese people attending from companies based in Espoo and government agencies. Additionally, business explanations were provided by JunctionA new window will open. , a planning organization for hackathons (Note), and SLUSHA new window will open. , one of the largest startup festival planning organizations in Europe.

In Helsinki, the Japanese companies visited Maria01, the largest incubation facilityA new window will open. in Scandinavia. Maria01 opened in 2016 and boasts more than 160 early-stage startups, accelerators, and funds and a network of over 1,000 specialists. Business FinlandA new window will open. , a government-affiliated organization, pointed out that Finland is highly digitized and that there are opportunities for Japanese and local companies to collaborate in the IoT (Internet of Things) and mobility fields.

JETRO plans to launch a mission in Munich, Germany, in early March 2020, to send a group of Japanese companies interested in open innovation.

The second countries following Sweden (see the article on November 11, 2019) in the JETRO-sponsored Open Innovation Mission in the three Nordic countries (September 30 to October 4) (see the article on October 29, 2019) , During the Finland trip visited Espoo and Helsinki on October 1 and 2. There we did exchange and business talk between local organizations and Japanese companies.

Startup sauna located in Espoo (photo by JETRO)

Lecture by Junction (photo by JETRO)

Exchange of opinions at the startup sauna (photo by JETRO)

Presentation by Maria01 (photo by JETRO)

(Note) A word combining “Hack” that refers to software and other engineering activities and marathon. Engineers, designers, and marketing staff form teams and compete to develop services and systems in a short period of time.

(NAKAYAMA Takaaki)

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