Entry for July 20, 2008

The Seattle-Helsinki Technology Connection

Given the prominence of various subsectors of the tech industry in both Seattle and Helsinki, such as communications, one would think there’s opportunity for collaboration between the two cities and their surrounding regions. This could be amongst entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, companies or universities. I am biased, as evidenced by my Finnish heritage, a little bit of time spent in Helsinki and currently home in Seattle.

An issue I continue to read about is the risk averse nature of parts of the Finnish business community. While entrepreneurs in the country produce many innovate ideas, one can’t help but believe they don’t all get the audience they should. The Finnish VC industry is active, yet relatively small. There might be an opportunity here for financiers in the Seattle area to explore investment ideas in Finland, especially in communications and wireless. Beyond the linkage of tech subsectors, the connection between the two cities also includes the Nordic, including Finnish, influence in Seattle thanks to the many immigrants from the region a century plus ago. Along with possible new investing opportunites for Seattle VCs, entrepreneurs in Helsinki would be able to present their ideas to a group that might have a different perspective than what is normally found in Finland.

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