Genaro Explores the Tech, Startup and Blockchain Spaces in Finland

Helsinki May 28–31 — The final week of May 2018 saw Genaro Network participate in a series of meetings, workshops and conferences in the Finnish capital of Helsinki as part of a delegation which included a number of China-based startups. The events led to several opportunities to learn about the future potential for blockchain in Finland.

The trip was organized by Radii, a new venture centered around strengthening Sino-Finnish ties in business and was intended to boost Helsinki’s profile as a “Landing Platform for European Business Development.”

Key events included the Helsinki Startup Day at the city’s Town Hall, meetings with celebrated Finnish designers and marketers such as the Design Forum Finland and award-winning creative agencies Make it Simple and Hellon. A wide-ranging workshop session with legal firm Kolster centered on the details of registering and protecting copyrights and patents in Finland, the EU and globally.

Among the subjects discussed were Finland’s often overlooked position as the EU capital closest to the Chinese megacities of Beijing and Shanghai, along with the country’s special attachment to education, health (including MedTech), welfare and multilingual openness (70% fluency in English). The delegation heard about the range of incentives in place for foreign businesses, especially tech startups, and the strong tech knowledge of the country’s workforce (“One in six Finns is a tech nerd” becoming a familiar mantra over the course of the week). The country’s telecoms and internet infrastructure being second-to-none in Europe was also a point of pride in the presentations by Finnish business and government representatives.

Genaro Network’s EU Business Development lead and English-language Content Manager Luke Sheehan joined the delegation. A busy week also saw Luke attend in-depth discussions on cryptography by scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs already involved with crypto in the Nordic country. Said Luke, “This trip was a good opportunity to both understand the Nordic tech startup ecosystem as well as to introduce the Genaro Network to another community that is eager to further embrace blockchain.”

Luke also observed that “This background of telecoms-development was not surprising, and it was easy to connect it to the rise and decline of Nokia.” The story of the homegrown mobile giant was a subject that arose several times during the week’s many workshop sessions, not without a note of regret. However, many professionals also observed that this history left positive legacies for the country, including the experienced cohort of engineers now encouraging the growth of startups and foreign investment.

On the subject of blockchain, individuals involved in related industries (and operating within the space itself) noted that the crypto-ecosystem is relatively underdeveloped in Finland — surprising considering the intense interest in new technology which otherwise reigns supreme. Nevertheless, a meetup titled ‘Make or Break: the Quantum Blockchain Barrier’ organized by the CryptoDocks group saw a trio of complex talks on the potential future intersection of quantum processors and the functionality of blockchains. Debate and discussion following this highlighted the viability for development of crypto-projects in Helsinki, whose scientists, engineers, designers and other professionals continue to show a flair for recharging innovation and growth in their (relatively) small Northern-European nation.

Overall, the connections Genaro Network made during the five-day program will provide a good foundation for ecosystem development and opportunities in the Nordic region, which also includes Estonia, a hotbed for tech and entrepreneurship in the blockchain sector.

Luke Sheehan and Elias the Teaching robot at Helsinki Business Hub Startup Day in Helsinki Town Hall. For details on how Elias uses AI-supported teaching tools to help kids worldwide, see: www.utelias.io
With CryptoDocks event attendees including Anna Lekanova from crypto-startup Fluence (left) and Svante Lehtinen (second from left), founder of Heat Ledger (heatledger.com).

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Originally published at genaro.network.

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