Right now, a lineup of Finnish companies at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is proving why Finland remains a technological superpower. While Nokia already stole the show by announcing a beautifully convincing reboot of the Volkswagen Beetle of cellphones, the 3110, there’s plenty more to get excited about. Here’s our line-up of cool companies, showcasing their top tech at the Finland Pavilion, who we think are worth a closer look.
Going viral is the holy grail of digital marketing. The idea of hundreds of thousands or even millions of people organically viewing your stories sends us marketers dizzy with joy. Sadly, it’s notoriously difficult to achieve, especially in Finland with its small population. One criterion is to create your content in English, as we do for Very Finnish Problems and as Tieto, the Nordics’ largest software and service company did for their now notorious sing-song Value for Life video.
Reportedly produced for internal reasons, Value for Life is filled with good intentions and wonderfully obscure lyrics. There are “no options for duality” and “old is where we come”. Tieto also “take the ball to the build” and while I have no idea what that means, it’s certainly conjurors up an intriguing image. Yet despite its unusual lyrics, hit and miss singing and awkward style of production, reminiscent of an episode of British comedy classic The Office, Value for Life is a huge win for Tieto. Of course, the company themselves may not currently view it like that, but there are plenty of reasons for them to be cheerful.
With Helsinki’s Slush having grown into a behemoth of a startup conference, Finland now has a reputation as a hub for high-tech startups and their financial backers. With great education and a pool of engineering skills still bubbling after closing of Nokia’s previous chapter in mobile, Finland produces a number of interesting tech startups as well.
We thought we’d take a look around and list some of the most interesting companies that we’d love to see succeed in the coming year.
After WWII, Finland was still a poor country, which ended up playing a pretty weird hand of cards well during the global economic boom that transformed much of the world. From education, healthcare, water and welfare, Finland has a lot of things worth saving and adapting for the future.
It’s justified to argue politically about the global future of policies mimicking mid-century social democracy. But quite frankly, without the policies of the past, this place we call home would probably have ended up radically bleaker and poorer.
If Finland and the other Nordic counties were to fail at taking care of the legacy of ‘big-state’ investments, we’d arguably sit on one of the saddest wastes of potential in human history. Such is the contrast between the cold, barely inhabitable and famine ridden 19th century Russian Grand Duchy of Finland and the current high-tech republic.
It’s that time of the year again when Helsinki is the epicentre of the technology universe. Movers and shakers from across the globe descend upon the Finnish capital to do deals and talk tech. Yes, Slush is here and don’t we all know it. For 48 hours, the tech world goes crazy celebrating its own wonderfulness and for a mere 500€ you can join the party too. But, don’t get sucked in by the relentless hype. There are some very good reasons why you shouldn’t bother going at all.