Editor’s note: This is a sponsored post with our partner UK Trade & Investment
A number of companies from the Helsinki region have moved operations to London to take advantage of the networks and connections available around London’s Tech City. Among them count Foodie.fm, who has built a presence in Tech City to help bring their grocery shopping solution to the UK market, as well as Kiosked, the platform that turns images, videos, and applications into interactive storefronts.
These Finnish companies are in good company. To see how many name-droppable companies are located in Tech City, here’s a cool map charting everything out. Nordic Connection, a grassroots group of Nordic companies located in Tech City is also compiling their own map of companies with local roots, and you can get in touch with them here.
We spoke with Kiosked CEO Micke Paqvalén about his experience and reasoning for opening an office in London, where they currently boasts five employees. He explains the reasons for expanding to London were fairly straightforward. As Kiosked works in at the intersection of so many industries, such as international brands, advertisers, media, and e-commerce, London provides a hub of nearly every kind of industry.
On top of that, the media industry is huge in London, so it’s a great place to make connections to the press. And as our readers may have noticed, there are a lot of VC funds based in London, so it’s also new inroads to capital. With these in mind, Kiosked CEO Micke Paqvalén puts it, “It’s kind of the only place you should be in Europe.”
Many startups have their eye on the massive U.S. market, and London provides the best gateway there from Europe. Paqvalén explains that you’re a couple hours closer to the U.S. market, and there are enough similarities in the law between the U.S. and the UK that you can begin to position your product correctly.
As a sponsored article, UKTI pictured this article focusing on companies’ expansion into Tech City, but Paqvalén had enough enthusiasm for UKTI’s support that I think it’s worth mentioning so that others can take advantage of their support.
“I have no connection to UKTI, but they’re one of the best managed organizations in the way they work,” says Paqvalén. They’re very professional and customer focused.”
He gives the example as when Kiosked needed office space, they connected Kiosked with service providers. They also gave advice on housing, and connected them with a good PR firm. On top of that UKTI helped Kiosked with promotion on social networks, as well as helping them build a presence at Digital Shoreditch, the tech conference taking place at the end of this month.
“They’re really stretching and trying to help all the time,” he says.
Speaking of that festival, Digital Shoreditch is running from the 20th to the 31st of May, and is definitely one of the better times to see and get plugged into London’s tech scene. Tickets can be found here!
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. They also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy. Their extensive network provides market and sector specific information, location and office space guidance and practical help (e.g. company establishment, taxation and hiring personnel) to get your UK operation up and running. Their services for Finnish companies are confidential and free of charge.