Serial entrepreneurs Sampo Parkkinen and Gavin Weigh launched on Monday a new programme LandInChicago to help Finnish startups enter the US market using Chicago and its technology hub 1871.

“Chicago is a natural fit for Finnish growth companies to use for their market entry with an extremely diverse economy, the fastest growing growth company ecosystem in the US and an abundance of B2B-customers across industries,” Parkkinen said in a statement.

Parkkinen and Weigh sold their previous startup RapidBlue Solutions to Chicago-based ShopperTrak in 2013.

“Chicago has a history of being the launchpad for foreign companies entering the US market and the local technology hub, 1871, is already working with numerous other technology centers across the world. Its logical that Finland would become part of this network as well.”

The 12-week market entry programme focuses on business development and customer acquisition in the United States and is followed up by a crucial 9-month support period that brings longevity to the company’s U.S. market entry.

“We’re adamant that startups doing their own sales activities and being here on the ground is imperative to their US market entry success,” Parkkinen said.

Applications for the first batch of the programme are open until June 15.

Photo courtesy of 1871.com