It looks like everyone is jumping on the startup ship. From governments, to corporations, to media, people are getting excited by what by now looks like a movement.
Just last week, we met up with GE Healthcare Finland, who are looking for ways to transform their four-five building complex in Helsinki into a startup welcoming collaborative complex.
In speaking with Didier Deltort, Global Vice President & General Manager of Monitoring Solutions as well as the President of GE Healthcare Finland, you get the sort of feeling when you would talk to any ambitious startup entrepreneur, which is extremely refreshing.
Perhaps that is because Deltort started out his career in a startup, but maybe it is because the actual corporate culture is changing and is becoming more welcoming towards startup companies.
The idea they have at GE is to free up office space for startup companies, and not just a few hundred meters either. Deltort told ArcticStartup that they want to free up a couple of floors, with some small spaces, some full-blown offices and some open-space co-working areas.
For some startups, it will be completely free but for others there might be a price tag attached. It all depends on the stage you are in and your negotiation skills, as Deltort commented: “Depending on the stage, we will offer different conditions. We obviously do not want to make money on this thing. It will be a little bit a la carte.”
It is great to see leaders who look at the big picture and are investing in the future, as opposed to scouting for immediate results. After all, this sort of initiative will take time to bring tangible fruits for GE, but it does bring innovation and people to their site.
“The goal is to create a manageable chaos on the site. I want the people to meet my teams at the cafeteria, in the sauna at the gym. You do not innovate if you do not collaborate.” says Deltort.
There is already a few companies that have started working on-site and GE is looking for a lot more. Of course it helps if you are a healthcare startup, but GE is interested in talking to everyone: Sensors, wireless, mobile, healthcare, IT, cloud services, etc. They even gave space to a couple of students who just had an idea and little else.
The second part of the strategy, of course, is to form relationships with participating companies. Deltort aims to invest into some of the companies, have a tech collaboration with others or even distribute products for some. Eventually, they are even aiming to bring GE Ventures, the equity investment arm of GE, into Finland on regular basis.
“I used to say 10 years ago this country was about connecting people. Then you got a great company here which is moving people. Together with start-ups, we could rally have a big way of caring for people. Finland is in a really good position for doing that. I do not ask for permission to do what I do here. I just do it. This is the new GE.” says Deltort.
So if you need space, Deltort’s was open enough to share his e-mail publicly: didier.deltort (åt) med.ge.com. You can also contact mikko.kauppinen (åt) ge.com