The aim was to create an overview of the cooperation promoting entrepreneurship.
A workshop held at the Leppävaara campus of the Laurea University of Applied Sciences on 20 January brought together a large number of people engaged in entrepreneurship-related activities in Espoo and elsewhere in the Helsinki Region. The event was hosted by Laurea and the City of Espoo.
Tuula Antola, Director for Economic and Business Development of the City of Espoo, and Krista Keränen, Laurea’s Director, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and International Business, acted as the facilitators of the Yrittäjyysekosysteemi @Espoo workshop. About 30 people took part in the event and they represented a broad range of different entrepreneurship actors in the Helsinki Region.
The purpose of the workshop was to get an overview of the actors and services promoting entrepreneurship in Espoo and to identify the services that might still be needed. The participants also discussed the role of the City of Espoo, cooperation between actors and the question of achieving better results through cooperation.
Using the prize-winning CoCo Cosmos co-development tool, which has been developed at Laurea, the participants, working in smaller groups, discussed the overall concept of the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The groups identified a large number of entrepreneurship actors: accelerators, research and training organisations, public sector actors and enterprises. Enabling cooperation and partnerships, creating operational prerequisites and producing an overview were seen as the main tasks of the City of Espoo. The participants also voiced their hope that the City of Espoo would become more active as an innovative test platform and test environment for new enterprises.
After the workshop, Tuula Antola expressed her satisfaction with the discussion generated at the event:
- There has been a clear need for a novel workshop in which participants are also able to familiarise themselves with the work of other actors, she said.
- The discussions at the event also reinforced the view that people play a major role in this ecosystem. The organisation is often the sole focus of attention even though it is the people that form the networks. For this reason, it is very important that the City of Espoo too provides people with an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas.