In Finland, from the first day you start to feel support and faith in your startup
The founders of Russian startups that have successfully entered the Finnish market told Сo-founder and CEO of GoTech Innovation consulting company Irina Kalashnikova about the reasons for choosing a neighboring country to develop their business. We recommend that you read the answers of entrepreneurs if you are thinking about scaling a business, considering Helsinki for life and registration of a legal entity. Until September 20, applications are open for the Finlanding program, organized by Helsinki Center in St. Petersburg in cooperation with NewCo Helsinki and Helsinki Business Hub. The program has been running for several years and has become a window to Europe for many startups.
Why did you choose Finland to develop your business?
Alexander Krylov, Board member of Suomzilla Oy (the self-service platform, providing digital solutions for publishers and advertisers). My partner and I accidentally learned about the Finnish Startup Permit program at the House of Finland in St. Petersburg. Since Finland provides good conditions for the relocation of innovative entrepreneurs, the choice was made rather quickly.
Ruslan Musin, Founder and CEO of VERSPEAK (the online simultaneous interpretation service for offline and online events with the number of participants from 2 to 50,000 people). In 2020, Finlanding turned out to be the most suitable for us, and in the future the fastest and most effective of all. In addition, Finland is a very comfortable country for living and doing international business. Already this year, members of the VERSPEAK team received a residence permit in Finland, we registered the Finnish company VERSPEAK OY, and now we are building sales on the European market.
What are the main benefits that you received from participation in Finlanding and relocation to Finland?
А.К. As far as Finlanding is concerned, from the very first day I was pleasantly surprised by the difference in attitudes towards aspiring startups in Finland compared to my homeland. Probably, what amazed most of all was the participation and empathy with which they treat you. From the very first day you begin to feel support and faith in your project. And this gives inner strength, motivation, and desire to start developing here.
R.М. I would like to highlight the comprehensive and qualified consulting support of Business Finland (one of the leading institutions for the development of entrepreneurship in Finland) and Helsinki Business Hub (one of Finlanding’s organizers). This was both at the stage of filing an application, obtaining a residence permit, opening a company, and later when establishing business cooperation in Finland and abroad.
How did the pandemic affect your plans to move to Finland?
А.К. Of course, the pandemic and closed borders have made not so positive contribution to business development. But already this year, fortunately, we began to actively work on the development of the company. Last year’s lockdowns let us take our time and calmly register a company, open a current account, get all the necessary advice from lawyers and accountants, and find good accounting services. Then the technical work began: the company’s website was written, designed, and launched, the entire technical platform for users was written. Now, we have already begun to receive incoming payments from new registered users and provide them with advertising services of our company.
R.М. The pandemic has accelerated the widespread adoption of online services for events, and my team and I are developing just such a project. Therefore, we did not postpone until later, and in 2021 we decided to go beyond the borders of Russia. Neighboring Finland helped us in this.
What advice would you give this year’s Finlanding participants?
А.К. Be patient and wait, finally, when the remaining covid restrictions will be removed.
R.М. Be sincere, purposeful and change the world for the better, then luck will always be with you!
The Finlanding program is a great opportunity to grow your business in Finland and enter global markets. It was organized by the Helsinki Center in St. Petersburg in cooperation with NewCo Helsinki and Helsinki Business Hub for companies ready to enter the international market. We are waiting for your application for participation in the selection until September 20, 2021. The Finlanding program is operated by GoTech Innovation.