A few days ago during our 2019 team strategy meeting down at the hospital tunnels (our CEO can really surprise us), we made a round of all the different learning experiences 2018 brought us. Without a doubt, we all agreed that Maria 01 started with this amazing concept of what it could be and who it would be for, without actual idea of how to do it. Just doing, revamping and iterating. 2018 made us stronger and more aware of our capabilities. We are extremely thankful to all our 800+ members floating in the same boat with us. 2018 was an amazing year and these are the highlights:
PS: Want to look into to our numbers with more detail? Download our 2018 Impact Report here.
1. The Maria 01 Expansion Plan Was Launched
In 2017 the City of Helsinki released an open call project for the expansion of Maria 01 into a startup and growth company campus. This came after seeing the results of two successful growth years for Maria 01 and further needs to develop the Finnish startup ecosystem. The project began with the search for a consortium. The winning consortium was launched during December 2018 led by Keva & YIT, together with 23 other supporting partners that will help steer the project in the right direction. Maria 01 is adding 50 000 sq m meters to its existing space and 5000 more tech folks will be joining the campus. More info here.
2. The Games Factory Opened Its Doors
With games being said to be one of Finland’s biggest exports, there was a void for a space in Helsinki that could showcase the Finnish Game Industry. Games activists and studios got together and opened the Games Factory last June. It was a natural step for a bunch of games enthusiasts to join Maria 01 and the City of Helsinki in opening a showroom and community for the Finnish games industry in Helsinki, as previously explained by their CEO, Jose Jacome. With 17 games studios moving in, the house is alive with monthly events and over 100 individuals. Keep track of what they are doing here.
PS: Nowadays it’s called Arcade 5, check them here.
3. We Hosted Our First Ever Demo Day
We are sometimes known for the good parties. This year we wanted to have a good party but also something more to celebrate our second year anniversary of operations. With a very tight schedule we were able to pull off in September out first ever Demo Day, where we brought to the spotlight promising startups from Maria 01 to a pitching stage and hosted 550 attendees. Besides that, we arranged a nice startup alley with startup Q&A’s to continue bragging about the good stuff we have here. It was an amazing Demo Day.
PS: For 2019 we are planning crazy good events, so make sure you follow us here.
4. The Community Grew Bigger And Remains Diverse
No old hospital can be ran with ghouls from the past — it needs a good living set of people. 2018 was the year the community grew from 671 to 857 members. All these 857 members are startup founders, team members, investors and community builders. We are equally happy to see 29 nationalities represented at Maria 01 and we are happy to see that our community has a good diverse representation. However, only 16% of our startups are founded by women — a number we believe should be more balanced in the future. We believe there are amazing startups out there being founded by women and other minorities. WE WANT YOU!
5. Our Community Is Maturing
No startup hub community is legit without a good dose of in-house VC’s. At Maria 01 we are lucky to have some of the most prominent VC’s in Finland sitting side by side with the startups and other startup organisations. This year, some of our in-house VC’s started investing out of a new fund: Gorilla Ventures (10), Maki.vc (12), Inventure (10). Icebreaker.vc started the year as being one of the most active VC’s in Finland and closed 16 investments. Superhero Capital made three investments. In total more than 50 investments mere made by our in-house VC’s.
Our in-house startups were also in the spotlight as 22 funding rounds were made. Finland based startup Kodit.io landed 1.7 million-euro in funding making it the largest of the year at Maria 01. With this increasing activity, we will expect to see our startups being more active with their recruiting and growth next year. Next year is the year when we hope to see some more Maria 01 members growing out of their space, become alumni and enjoy their growth spur.
Want to look into to our numbers from 2018? Download our 2018 Impact Report here.