Ever since 1967, the President of Finland has recognised a small group of Finnish companies and communities for their exemplary activities benefiting the Finnish economy and the important role they play in promoting international competitiveness. This year, we’re humbled and excited to announce that Team Finland’s Board of Directors and the President of the Republic, Sauli Niinistö, have recognized Maria 01 with the Community Award. The three other companies to receive the award are Relex, Peikko Group, and Bayer.
Our CEO, Ville Simola, together with Maria 01 Chairman of the Board, Santtu Von Bruun, accepted the award at the ceremony hosted by Business Finland today, November 19th, 2021. “ We are very honoured to receive this award. It’s hard to imagine a more prestigious award than one that you receive directly from the President. We’re also extremely happy that we received this award as Maria 01 community, not just as a company”
An International Community since its Beginning
Maria 01 was founded in 2016 with the mission of bringing together the most promising early startups developing their ideas, investors looking to fund the stars of the future, and larger corporations providing the startups with international development opportunities and partnerships. Right from the start, it was clear that Maria 01 wasn’t founded to simply serve as a home for Finnish startups, but to become the connecting point for the international startup ecosystem.
“Maria 01 has been an international community since its beginning and it’s something we take great pride in.”Ville Simola, CEO of Maria 01
With internationality being one of our community’s core values, it’s something we truly live by, and something that is seen in everything we do. For example, the official language of our community is English and we celebrate the many nationalities and cultures we’re fortunate to be surrounded by within the community. Today we have people from 39 different nationalities, or probably already 40 at the moment you’re reading this, working from the Maria 01 Campus. Being recognised with the Community Award definitely means a lot to all of us. “The purpose of Maria 01 is to provide startups the best possible environment for growth. An extensive network plays an essential part in achieving this“, says von Bruun.
With every desk and office space found on campus being used to its fullest capacity, we’re happy to see Maria 01 expanding and growing into one of Europe’s largest growth and technology hubs. Up until now, Maria 01 startups have created an estimated turnover of almost EUR 200 million and some 4,000 to 5,000 jobs, and at the end of 2020, the current and alumni companies had accumulated a total of EUR 640 million in capital investments. With more than 50, 000 square meters of new construction planned for the campus area, this ambitious project is, however, sure to change the Finnish startup scene as we know it today. “I’m hoping that we can finally start competing in attracting highly skilled talent to move to Helsinki”, Simola continues.
Is Finland falling behind in attracting international talent?
While the development of the campus has surely sparked the hope among many Finnish startups in finding their next home within the Maria 01 community, we cannot overlook the importance this development has on the whole country and our ability to become a stronger contender in terms of attracting international talent to the country. International growth requires international talent.
We at Maria 01 truly believe that the road towards more international work communities is something that all Finnish companies out there need to take in order for us to ensure the existence of sufficient and competent talent and joint wellbeing. Here, we at Maria 01 want to serve as a role model and encourage others to take the necessary steps towards creating a more internationally inclusive working life. “I think it’s important we acknowledge that there is a risk of Finland falling behind with attracting and integrating international talent. There is still a lot of work to be done around the bureaucracy and the attitude environment we as a society portray”, Simola points out.
Although the work towards building a more international and inclusive working life continues, we are extremely grateful to Team Finland and the President of the Republic of Finland for already recognising our hard work. The impact our members have on strengthening the international networks within the startup ecosystem and broadening the area of knowledge within all Maria 01 companies is inevitable.