Finland, Helsinki come to promote start-ups and innovation in Singapore

During 12 – 19 September more than 20 companies from Helsinki will be in Singapore to seek partnerships with Singapore companies – especially start-ups to develop breakthrough AR and VR technologies and digital solutions in healthcare and wellness.

Visitors will be able to experience Helsinki an Finland in Singapore via both virtual and augmented reality (VR & AR) exhibits at the Virtual Helsinki booth at Slush Singapore – the ‘premier launch pad for start-ups in Southeast Asia’ which brings together investors and entrepreneurs and innovators across the globe.

Virtual Helsinki is created by the Finnish firm Zoan which specializes in interactive VR and 3D environments and the creator of Moomins (popular Finnish cartoon characters) in VR, as well as a number of real-estate projects and virtual experiences from Mars to Finland’s nature.

Also, on display will be a slew of digital VR and AR innovations used in healthcare and wellness environments. One of these is a mobile health game to aid chronically ill children during medical treatment by the Finnish start-up, Triumf Healthcare. Triumf is part of the Finnish ICory consortium which partners include research institutions, hospitals, start-ups and other bigger corporations. ICory will be exploring collaboration with two hospitals in Singapore: KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH)and National University Hospital (NUH).

Finland’s Ambassador to Singapore H.E. Mrs. Paula Parviainen

“In Finland, investments into start-ups have hit a record high of €349 million in 2017. A report provided by the Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN) and the Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA), highlighted that the most significant change has been the increase in the number of foreign investors in Finland, as foreign investments surged by 33% to €208 million while the number of foreign investment has increased tenfold since 2010,” states Ms Paula Parviainen, Ambassador at Embassy of Finland in Singapore.

“These figures show that Finland is now a strong magnet for start-ups and investors. We are therefore keen to reach out to Singapore and the region to encourage their start-ups to partner our Finnish entrepreneurs and technopreneurs to come together to collaborate and develop more cutting-edge innovations and solutions and open new markets. We want to match make and nurture win-win partnerships between Finnish and Singapore companies,” the ambassador continues.

One of the schemes that companies in Singapore can participate is the Finnish Start-Up Permit scheme which allows them to benefit from Finland’s vibrant start-up ecosystem. The permit is meant for innovative start-up founders coming from countries outside the European Union.

“At Business Finland, we create new growth by funding innovations and supporting companies to go global. Our role is to build up Finnish start-up community to the next level together with the stakeholders and investors. We identify digital innovations at a young stage and help them build scalable business models in various industries,” says Ms Marjo Ilmari, Executive Director, Start-up & Fast Growth at Business Finland.

“To grow this community, we plan to attract both talent and investments to Finland and therefore we look forward to work with Singapore to expand our eco-system and network of start-ups and investors. We are showcasing in Singapore – several Finnish companies and their innovations at a series of events which include Slush 2018, the launch of the Nordic Innovation House, holding of HeathTech workshops and more.”

With more than 140 Finnish companies based in Singapore, Finland hopes to strengthen its business and innovation links with Singapore, particularly in ICT and healthcare sectors. Thanks to its robust talent pool and research expertise, combined with Finland’s leadership in IT and communications, form a vibrant med-tech industry in the Helsinki region, Finnish firms have become some of the early pacesetter in health-related digitalisation with Finland having the world’s highest number of digital health start-ups relative to the size of the country.

Demand for VR and AR solutions is also rising rapidly. Between 2015 and 2016, the combined revenue of Finnish XR or extended reality companies in Finland increased by 94% and combined XRspecific revenue increased by 368%. XR initiatives can get funding and support from a new incubator programme – Nordic VR Start-ups

About Helsinki
Helsinki, the most functional and sustainable city in the world, built on social cohesion, famous for its design and high-tech, committed to bringing people together through authentic experiences, interesting spaces and nature explorations.

Helsinki provides a platform for entrepreneurship and supports businesses to innovate and create new while remaining sustainable. Joint efforts of the city, its citizens and businesses is turning Helsinki into the world’s leading test bed for solutions that tackle global problems. The unique mix of Helsinki combines functionality, reliability, holistic view on sustainability, arts and culture offerings, hi-tech skills, great use of open data and a comprehensive understanding of human-centric design.

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