I had a chat on Skype today with Christian and Peter from Disruptive.nu about differences and similarities in the startup industry between Finland and Sweden. After a long chat, which I will post online later, we had to conclude that there aren’t that many differences in the end – although Finland is admittedly slightly behind by a year or two.
I argued that there are two major weaknesses with the Finnish startup industry; the lack of second (and third) generation entrepreneurs with experience as well as a bridge to fill the gap between the public finance vehicles and venture money. The first part I find to be grown through successful attributes in society in general for startups. The entrepreneurs must have a reason to build a successful company in Finland again and not flee overseas with their exit money (something that you can’t really argue against considering the current state of affairs). The second point is slightly more difficult, however even more important I believe. We need to limit the availability of public finance to a certain amount, something I don’t know yet, to stop supporting unhealthy companies that fail to create their business on market demand.
Christian and Peter stated that the biggest problem in Sweden at the moment is finding talent and money to build succesful startups. I’d believe, though not undermining the shortcomings, these are somewhat universal problems in the startup industry. Talent is something that can be usually found more of in terms of poor macro economic perfomance as companies lay off talented people in hopes of saving a penny here and there. Yet another reason why starting a company in times recession is a good idea. Which brings me to another important point raised in the discussion – we all agreed that times of recession have less of an effect on startups as they’re short on resources no matter what the economic climate is.
I’ll be doing some editing on the video interview and releasing it in the near future. If you’d like to do a video interview with us, don’t hesitate to contact me at antti (at) arcticstartup.com and we’ll see what we can do.
Photo by flo_p