The workshop was a one-day event during SLUSH festival in Helsinki, it attracted interest on global scale: the guests came from 9 countries in Europe, South America and Asia and various business areas, including policy makers, platforms and API developers, professional services, multinational corporation and startup communities (incubators, accelerators and hackathons).
The idea behind hosting such workshop was to introduce key stakeholders to ecosystem development framework that helps in targeting various activities and measuring the impact of these activities, and also assist in better understanding the relations between different areas.
- Providing common language and terminology to use in relation to startup development stages
- Defining the startup ecosystem as a core part of local/regional economy
- Presenting balanced ecosystem framework and metrics
- Identifying the key contributors to the ecosystem
To showcase practical applications of the theory, we had several inspiring presentations from the companies already working (and succeeding) in this space:
- Urban Mill - Accelerating urban life via Smart Innovation Ecosystem Platform Service
- Ultrahack - The biggest hackathon platform in Europe.
- Think Company - Entrepreneurial community at the University of Helsinki run by students and researchers
- NewCo Helsinki - Introducing Startup Exchange Network to provide an easy first access for startups to markets relevant to their business development.
- Tiimiakatemia - Creating entrepreneurship by combining the worlds of business and education within Jyvaskyla University of Applied Sciences.
- Crowd Valley - Enabling investment processes online via digital finance framework.
We would also like to say thanks to our esteemed partners – EY and University of Helsinki / Think Company for their excellent assistance during the workshop, as well as for City of Helsinki, Head of Unit, Tommo Koivusalo for the kind words and encouragement for shared efforts that systematic development of vibrant Startup Ecosystems requires.
The video streaming was not provided at the event, but we highly recommend to watch this video of Valto Loikkanen presenting at DOKU: TECH 2016 on “Raising ecosystems from the ground up”.
From talking to our guests it became obvious that ecosystems and their development have become an urgent topic in many parts of the world. That is way we are taking on an ambitious goal for 2017 to host 12 workshops around the world. We welcome all stakeholders who are wishing to collaborate on various areas for such event (place, coffee, food, communication, etc.). The concept and main themes for the workshop can be found here. Please get in touch to discuss opportunities for partnership!
And for the readers, keenly interested in the subject, we provide detailed excerpts from the workshop on specifics of ecosystem development.
- Definitions - it is generally mixed along the line of concepts such as solo entrepreneurs, family businesses, micro companies, small & medium companies and startups. Each of these business formations has concrete demands, they require clear understanding of the stages they are moving through along the way. Even more so, being dynamic organizations by nature, these entities require specific support and effective coordination among the different supporting players for each of them.
- Different parties and stakeholders approach the startup ecosystem from different perspective, as they are operating and contributing at different stages, using different terminology, having own understanding and looking at the ecosystem as a whole in a very particular and individual way, with their own definition about the meaning of successful startup ecosystem. Alignment across these different players is needed for the startup ecosystem to deliver its full potential.
- Developing startup ecosystems is multidimensional process that involves seemingly independent, but inherently connected activities and processes as well as multiple organizations and stakeholders with varying focuses and agendas. A startup ecosystem acts as a medium for communicating complex connections via “ecosystem thinking”, and in this process there is a danger that some tools and activities like policy, services model or funding instrument aimed for specific area of the ecosystem may also have unintentional side effects for some other measure of the ecosystem elsewhere. Therefore, when there is lack of effective support structure for startups, it’s important to introduce a holistic framework to help develop the ecosystem in balanced manner, begin to understand the connections, relations and impacts of various actions and policies, as well as to have a framework to communicate which area a specific action aimed at and to measure impact of such action.
- Navigating through uncertainty includes significant waste of time and resources, where, without metrics, you have no way of knowing if you have just taken one step forward or two steps back. Only things that can be understood, can be developed, and only things that can be measured, can be improved. That is the reason why it is of highest priority for any startup ecosystem to design and implement set of metrics that can give objective information to modify, adjust or refine its current action plan and accelerate things.
- New digital investing models and related processes accelerate startup and SME ecosystems knowledge, especially with reference to funding processes and investor expectations. From a general perspective the digital finance market is all about better access, transparency and efficiency. This, along with the data that this digital market generates, leads to even faster learning, lower risks and further development.
2017 promises new innovations and closer collaborations among various agents to bring these innovations to life, so don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss how you can contribute to growing successful startup ecosystem in your region!