Finland

I am not the only one complaining about the weakness of Europe in terms of start-ups. Juha Ruohonen compared in his report VICTA (www.tekes.fi/en/document/42911/victa_pdf) the situation of Finland and Israel and he reaches similar conclusions to mine: not enough growth companies, a lack of ambition, and too many lifestyle companies.

His comparison table is self-sufficient:

finland-data.jpg

And his analysis of the reasons for problems are:

finland-probs.jpg

Finally his conclusions: There is a clear need in Finland:

  • To create a viable high-growth ecosystem
  • To multiply the number of VC capable growth companies
  • To eliminate the waste of resources to lifestyle companies
  • To provide a viable platform for fast international growth
  • To increase the corporate involvement and the number of corporate spin-offs/-outs
  • To better facilitate the transformation from research project into a fast growth start-up.

This can be achieved by:

  • shifting focus from quantity into quality
  • moving from project-based development to efficient long-term structures
  • creating structures to enable success of commercial players
  • attracting much more international talent into Finnish early-stage community.

My comment: you can replace Finland by Europe and the analysis is the same. Solutions are complex no doubt but I would add that betting on youth, on risk taking is essential (the “Stay Foolish, Stay Hungry” explained by Jobs, see the July 07 post) and that international exchange must also include discovering what exists abroad.

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