iEER project: learning about the Helsinki-Uusimaa entrepreneurial ecosystem

​The objective of the iEER (Boosting innovative Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Regions for Young Entrepreneurs) project is to promote cooperation between different actors to support entrepreneurship among young people as well as to improve regional innovation capacity and competitiveness by improving the services offered to young entrepreneurs. Project actors from Finland and nine other European countries visited Helsinki in late November to learn about the Helsinki-Uusimaa region's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Laurea is also taking part in the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council-coordinated iEER project. Other participating partners are from Poland, Romania, Germany, Denmark, Italy, France, the UK, Spain and Ireland.

General overview of entrepreneurship services in Uusimaa

The three day Peer Review visit by iEER actors in Helsinki kicked off on Tuesday the 29th of November with a visit to Maria Hospital's old facilities, where Helsinki's newest and largest start-up hub Maria 0-1 has flourished.

Tuesday's programme began with an introductory speech by Teemu Polo, Head of Services at NewCo Helsinki, which covered the different actors in the Helsinki and Uusimaa entrepreneurial ecosystem. Following this, presentations were held on Tekes, the Uusimaa ELY Centre and Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and discussion centred on funding of growth enterprises.

In the afternoon, the programme continued as a side event for Slush specifically highlighting practical case studies. The Aalto Entrepreneurship Society (Aaltoes), the Turbiini Start-up Accelerator in Vantaa as well as start-up entrepreneurs themselves were also able to tell about their activities. Laurea's expertise in entrepreneurship was represented by Laurea alumnus and entrepreneur Simo Takanen, Alejandro Santacreu the man behind PuzzlePhone, as well as Veera Lehmonen and Ida Mänty from Cuckoo Workout Additionally, Aaltoes chairman as well as Pauli Isoaho from Arctic Robots, which was originally a start-up at Turbiini, spoke at the event.

The topic of the day's final presentation was the coming regional government reform and its impacts on promoting entrepreneurship. The regional government reform was presented by Ministerial Adviser Mikko Härkönen from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. Helle Knudsen from Denmark also added her viewpoint on the reform and talked about Denmark's regional government reform.

"Young entrepreneurs the centre of focus"

Finnish start-up culture obviously cannot be discussed without mentioning Slush. For this reason, iEER actors had the opportunity to experience the Slush event while they were in Helsinki.

On Wednesday, as a part of Slush, the iEER project organised a lunch meeting in Haaga Helia's Pasila-based premises near the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre.  President of the European Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula also attended in the lunch.

In his speech, Mr Markkula emphasised the vital role public actors played in promoting entrepreneurship in Europe.

- Entrepreneurship and its promotion are a key part of my work in the Committee of Regions. This is why I feel it is extremely important that this project focuses on services that specifically support entrepreneurship among young people, Mr Markkula said.

Learn more about the iEER project. 

Modified 12/14/2016 1:41 PM
iEER project entrepreneurship ecosystem uusimaa region markku markkula committee of the regions

​Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions at the iEER project meeting.