Maria 01 news

The largest startup hub in the Nordics, Maria 01, is looking for a new CEO to lead its operations

Home to over 180 startups and 1,500 members, the new CEO will have a prominent role in accelerating Maria 01’s ambitions of becoming one of Europe’s biggest startup hubs as well as supporting City of Helsinki’s strategy as a Place of Growth. Current CEO Ville Simola has decided to move to new challenges from November 2023 onwards.

The largest startup hub in the Nordics, Maria 01, is looking for a new CEO to lead its operations

HELSINKI, Finland (August 29th, 2023) – Today, the leading Nordic startup hub Maria 01 opens the search for a new Chief Executive Officer. Current CEO Ville Simola will move to new challenges from November 2023 onwards.

Since being founded in 2016, Maria 01 has grown significantly – and the growth shows no signs of stopping. During 2022, the startups at Maria 01 raised a record-breaking total of €219M in funding. In the near future, the startup campus in Helsinki is set to expand from its current 20,000 sq m space to 70,000 sq m, aiming to attract up to 600 startups and 6,000 community members.

The entire Maria 01 community would like to thank Ville for growing the Maria 01 startup community to a leading one in the Nordics, and further strengthening the role of our lively startup culture. We wish him all the best in his new chapter,” says Chair of the Board Jarmo Hyökyvaara.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed these past four years being the voice of the Maria 01 community and leading an organization that is a rendezvous for various stakeholders, be it startup employees, investors, other startup communities, or bigger corporations. Maria 01 is truly a place for coming together and creating new solutions with likeminded people,” explains current CEO Ville Simola.

The recruitment period for the CEO starts today, on August 29th, and ends on the 17th of September. From their next CEO, the Maria 01 team is looking for extensive knowledge on the Finnish and Nordic startup scene, exceptional networking skills, and someone to act as a voice of the Maria 01 startup community, as the CEO is in charge of not only leading the Maria 01 organization but also the activities of the entire startup community.

As startups play a stronger role in the economy, attracting international talent is vital

Together with organizations such as the Finnish Startup Community, the Finnish Startup Foundation, and Slush, Maria 01 has a prominent role in working towards an even stronger startup ecosystem in Finland and the Nordics.

The startup ecosystem plays an increasingly important part in the Finnish society and economy. According to the Finnish Startup Community, its members are expected to have generated a turnover of 4.5 billion euros in 2022, and according to the current trend forecast, in 2030 the turnover may already be 15 billion – similar to those of the forest and metal industries. However, talent shortage poses a threat. As a response to the new immigration policies suggested by the Finnish government, Maria 01 highlights the importance of attracting foreign talent in maintaining and growing the startup ecosystem in Finland.

“We are currently the largest startup hub in the Nordics, and our new CEO will have the opportunity to support our goal of becoming the largest one in Europe in the near future. At the same time, talent shortage is a real challenge in Finland, and to ensure that the startup ecosystem keeps growing in Finland and supports our economic growth, we need to make sure that we are attracting international talents to come to Finland. Without them, the Finnish startup ecosystem cannot keep growing,” Hyökyvaara concludes.

For additional information:

Read more about the open vacancy

Media kit with pictures

Jarmo Hyökyvaara
Chairman of the Board
Maria 01

For media enquiries:

Sami Stormbom
+358 50 511 3275

Maria 01
Maria 01 is the leading startup campus in the Nordics. Our community brings together early-stage tech startups, recognised venture capital firms and international investors, startup ecosystem organisations, and large enterprises with a strong foothold in the tech community, helping each other succeed.

Founded in 2016 and located in an old hospital campus in central Helsinki, Maria 01 operates as a community-driven, not-for-profit organisation, co-owned by the Startup Foundation, Helsinki Enterprise Agency and the City of Helsinki. Currently, the campus serves as the home to over 1500 members, consisting of 180 startups, 24 partner companies, and 29 local and foreign investor network members. For more information, visit

Sign up for our monthly newsletter and stay in the loop.

Joining our mailing list will get you the latest trends and topics from the startup world, information about our upcoming events, as well as open positions within our community.