Tampere wants more start-ups
The City of Tampere aims to increase the number of start-ups in the city and promote the growth and internationalisation of local businesses. By supporting start-ups, the city creates an internationally competitive and attractive operating environment for budding businesses.
- Tampere’s growth ecosystem should be built sufficiently strong and centralised so that growth companies have sufficient local peer support and services and they do not need to leave the Tampere Central Region in order to be successful, says Teppo Rantanen, Director of Growth, Innovation and Competitiveness Services.
In the past, Tampere has had challenges with a fragmented start-up ecosystem, scattered operators and weak attractiveness. According to Rantanen, a functioning ecosystem requires not only potential growth companies but also sustainable and functioning financing. Until now, Tampere has been lacking local companies that would invest also in budding businesses. Such companies would make investing more transparent to new entrepreneurs. Local coaching is also more likely to lead to local investments.
- Only when the two components meet will the region have many new growth companies, says Rantanen emphatically.
The goal of the City of Tampere’s business promotion fund is to promote and expedite the creation and growth of new businesses. It has been decided that a share subscription of approximately EUR 400,000 will be made from the business promotion fund in Finnish Impact Investment Ltd. The company will use the collected funds to invest in around 10 start-ups and guarantee the financing of the two most promising businesses. The company, established in 2017, specialises in investing in seed and early-stage companies.
- Finnish Impact Investment Ltd has a good picture of the local businesses in Tampere and is able to contribute to their development. They made their first investment in a local company already last autumn, says Timo Antikainen, Director of Business and Economic Development.
Early this year, Tredu decided to move out from its Åkerlundinkatu office. This opened up an opportunity for the city to initiate a project for a centrally located start-up house near the railway station, university campus and the cluster of small businesses in Pienteollisuustalo.
The house will be a one-stop-shop and cluster for start-up entrepreneurs. The development of the house’s business model will begin in March with Tapio Siik appointed as Project Director as of 1 March 2019. The goal is to have the house open by the end of the summer.
- The start-up house will have office space for smaller, early-stage companies and teams along with operators that promote start-up activities, such as investor, guidance and accelerator services. In the future, Tribe Tampere will also operate in the premises, says Antikainen.
The City of Tampere and Business Tampere are currently looking for an operator for an industrial cooperation accelerator. The accelerator will support the competitiveness of strong local industrial businesses and promote the growth and internationalisation of start-ups and technology companies. The service provider will be announced in April.
Start-ups will also be supported with a new Nordic Startup School training programme, organised as part of the 6Aika – Ecosystems of Growth project. In addition, a new Startup Tampere website has been opened for start-ups and investors and companies interested in them. In cooperation with companies, Business Tampere will organise a variety of service trials, pilot projects, events and other activities to promote start-ups and growth companies in the Tampere Central Region.
Text Raija Lindell
Photos Veli-Matti Lahdenniemi