Helsinki-StockholmSummer Study Tour

This study tour to Helsinki and Stockholm is an integral part of the Business Startup in Scandinavia course curriculum, and is designed to supplement your prior knowledge and experiences in Copenhagen. While in Sweden and Finland, two of the Nordics’ most innovative countries, you will learn the institutional set-up that has contributed to establishing them both on the world entrepreneurship map.

Stockholm is often cited as one of the top three most successful startup hubs in Europe. Within the city, there are successful tech companies across a broad range of verticals and a solid second generation of startups that have grown to respectable sizes, who are taking inspiration from international successes. Overall, Stockholm has abundant and affordable engineering talent, as well as an international outlook, a tech-savvy society with good broadband, and a government that contributes to the startup ecosystem.

Just a few years ago, the Finnish startup ecosystem was relatively small and inward looking. However, today, Finland draws in the brightest high-tech minds and most innovative companies from around the world. Its unique combination of high-end research, education, innovation, and technology makes it stand out in Europe and the world at large.

Both the Finnish government and Nokia have contributed immensely to Finland becoming one of the major tech hubs outside of Silicon Valley. Another contributor to this success is the rich collaboration and knowledge transfer between startups and Finland’s higher education institutions and R&D centers. While on study tour, we will have the opportunity to explore this success criteria and meet with those that have been a part of making Finland thrive.

Tour Objectives

  • Gain insight into the startup eco-systems in Sweden and Finland, by understanding their main characteristics, key players, and recipes for success
  • Understand why and how entrepreneurs succeed in Scandinavia
  • Get an understanding of the Nordic way of public-private collaboration, and an insight as to how this impacts entrepreneurship and innovation communities in Stockholm and Helsinki

Possible Activities

  • Participating in a ‘pitch event,’ where you will present your business idea to professionals
  • Visiting Aalto University’s incubator and the inspiring entrepreneur co-working space, Startup Sauna, to hear Finnish students pitch their business ideas, and give constructive feedback
  • Visiting (i) the startup community SUP46 in Stockholm, which offers a converging point for meetings, hangouts, and inspiration for over 50 hand-picked Swedish startups, as well as (ii) STING (Stockholm Innovation & Growth), which has successfully incubated more than 150 startups since 2002.
  • Meeting with successful startup and entrepreneurship communities to then compare and contrast the business environments of Sweden and Finland with that of Denmark and the United States
  • Network with entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors