The MIT REAP team from Finland initially included eight representatives, including two from government and policy, four from regional and economic development, and two from universities. Finland’s team has co-champions, both from the Finnish Ministry of Employment and Economy. To learn more about the team’s strategy please visit the “Team Strategy” tabs below.
Innovation Ecosystem Stakeholder Model
Champion Ministerial Adviser - Ministry of Employment and the Economy
Champion Professor, Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Aalto University
Veli-Pekka T. Heikkinen
Project Manager - Joutsa Municipality
Senior Manager - PwC
Head of Planning & Development at the Agora Center - University of Jyväskylä
Challenge & Opportunity
Strategy & Action
For Finland, the main issues are improving the efficiency of the current entrepreneurship support networks and inspiring global ambition among Finnish entrepreneurs.
Scalable enterprises are often purchased by multinational companies and moved out of Finland.
One notable exception is Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds game, which remains headquartered in Finland with over 500 employees.
The team representing four local regions formalized a plan for raising entrepreneurship ecosystem development to the level of national policy.
“I got an inquiry from the Prime Minister’s office about making the startup issue one of the key development areas for next year. And now I have all the strategies and a system to show that we are working with this issue already,” said Pirjo Kutinlahti, Ministerial Advisor at Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland and the Finnish team champion.
The team worked with government representatives to launch Startup Finland—a common national platform for accelerators and incubators. Modeled after the MIT REAP program, the initiative was applied to organizations at sub-regional and local levels.
Launched Finland’s 30 M€/year Innovative Cities Program to create internationally attractive innovation clusters in Finland based on top-notch talent.
Innovation clusters include companies aiming for growth that can create brand-new products and services for the international market. The focused clusters are:
Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial Ecosystems are regional environments that effectively support startups focused on addressing global markets based on technological, process or business model innovation.
Ability to develop new to the world innovations from inception through to the market.