HELSINKI, Finland (March 9th, 2022) The leading Nordic startup hub Maria 01 has announced its latest Impact Report, which takes a deeper dive into the hub’s 183 startups and their net impact ratio measured with Upright’s methodology. Net impact ratio is a measure of how effectively a group of companies turns resources into positive impact. The method measures how the startups impact the world around them in terms of environment, health, society, and knowledge.
The results show that Maria 01’s startups have been consistently net impact positive for three years, especially in the fields of knowledge and society, reaching a +25 net impact ratio in 2021. In society, many Maria 01 companies play a role in the value chains of essential societal infrastructure such as payment systems, energy, and transport – in addition to creating jobs and taxable income.
As far as we know, we are the only startup hub in Europe that has systematically and consistently measured our startups’ impact. As we are looking to expand the campus to over 70,000 square meters, it becomes even more important to make sure that companies inhabiting the premises are contributing to solving the world’s sizable problems, not enhancing them.”Ville Simola, CEO of Maria 01
To further their strategy of making Maria 01 the world’s largest and most impactful startup hub, they will implement new strategies in their process of accepting new companies. They will be adding new questions to the initial membership application form about their impact and how they align with the UN’s SDG goals. The answers will be reviewed and further questioned during the company interview, which is a part of becoming a Maria 01 member startup. After becoming a member, Maria 01 will give proactive feedback and advice for companies on how they can further enhance their net impact ratio, using the Upright method as the basis.
“We have been really impressed with Maria 01’s willingness to be open and transparent about their hub’s impact. Maria 01 is a leading example of how seriously we should be measuring and discussing the impacts of startups, who are innovating more rapidly and frequently than anyone else.”Erika Noponen, Head of Client Projects, Upright Project
“We don’t want our community to be a bystander when it comes to solving both societal and world issues. We want them to take impact as seriously as they are with growing their business,” Simola concludes.
The report also shows that Maria 01 startups are much more net impact positive than its comparison groups – for example, the Fortune Global 500 listing from 2021 had a net impact ratio of -46% – meaning that they are using more resources than what they are saving.
Aiming towards a positive net impact ratio is not a secondary value for startups anymore. With investors implementing more ESG strategies to their funding thesis’, startups are expected to show the fields and results in which they are contributing positively.
In addition to their positive impact, Maria 01 startups are successfully raising significant funding rounds, making many of them successful in their core businesses. In 2021, Maria 01 members raised €358M in 59 funding rounds, created 271 new jobs, and had 65 different nationalities on their campus.
One of the world’s biggest polluters is the clothing industry, causing up to 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Finnish startups have been forerunners in circular economy innovations, including Maria 01 alumni company Swappie. One of them is Emmy, the leading web store for pre-owned clothes, which provides a complete service for sellers and buyers. Emmy’s 40-person strong team is located at Maria 01.
“The circular economy only covers about 1% of the clothing industry now, but its role is growing all the time. We have already sold over 1 million clothes through our webstore. Maria 01’s campus has multiple impact startups, and we have been able to create a community within a community of companies whose business is built on sustainability,” says Timo Huhtamäki, CEO of Emmy Clothing Company.