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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Zalando Opens Tech Office in Helsinki: What Does That Really Mean?

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Yesterday was the official opening day for the Zalando office, Helsinki. That may seem like not that big of a news to you, after all companies open offices all the time. Even in Finland, we have seen Google, Huawei and a number of others put down significant investments.

However, we think this is a little different. It is the very first time when a company with true “startup roots” opened their tech office in Finland with plans to hire more than 200 people in the next two years.

Every startup community and city wants to be the next Silicon Valley, but let’s be honest here. The only “next” Silicon Valley that we can expect is Silicon Valley itself. There is no competition, not really. The best some regions can hope for is to be recognized on the global scale and to start receiving more talent, companies, investments than their neighbours.

Zalando‘s decision to open up in Helsinki is exactly that type of recognition. They could have gone anywhere, but they chose Finland for a multitude of reasons and this should make everyone in Finland proud.

It is one thing to build great companies that are known worldwide, and we seem to compare the regions by the amount of such great companies being launched. Everybody knows just how good the Nordics are at that. However it is a completely different thing to have already grown up unicorns decide to come live in your neighbourhood.

As a disclosure, we are indeed a little biased, because Zalando asked us to host and arrange their opening party the other day. However even that is something that shows what type of an effect these large “startups” can have on the local community. Instead of organizing it themselves, they found someone local and wanted to engage the whole community right away.

So we want to say is: “Welcome Zalando, hope you enjoy your stay and that your actions will help other unicorns come join you in our back-garden. Be it Finland or other parts of the Nordics and Baltics!”

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