Helsinki rides the Slush wave toward a booming startup future

Six VCs share their thoughts on Finland's tech ecosystem

In September 2020, Helsinki’s City Council approved plans for an expansion of the existing “Maria 01 Campus,” a former downtown hospital complex. Even before it starts spreading its acreage, the facility is already home to 120 startups and 12 venture capital funds. The campus is part-owned by the City of Helsinki and the Helsinki Enterprise Agency, but, significantly, also by Helsinki’s ‘Startup Foundation’. This is the non-profit which also owns and runs the biggest startup conference in the Nordics, Slush. Maria 01 is slated to become one of the largest, if not — possibly — the largest tech startup campus in Europe, at 70,000 square meters (or 75,3473 square feet) by 2023.

The scale of the project speaks to the confidence and ambition of the Helsinki startup ecosystem, which has grown immeasurably over the last 10-15 years.