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19 Secrets Exposed
We are leaking the stories of 19 companies built all around Helsinki. Take a look around, follow our hints, and find the locations that have shaped the companies that, in turn, have shaped our future.
Aiven provides a data platform on the cloud, immediately deployable and available to all. Founded in 2016, this unicorn now has teams all over the world, from Tokyo to Toronto.
Walk to a Georgian restaurant by Rikhardinkatu to find where this was all first imagined.
Blok was founded in Helsinki in 2017 to make the buying and selling of apartments stress-free and affordable. The idea to found Blok came from Rudi, Founder & CEO, and his personal experience in the housing market.
Find the full story at (60.165540, 24.929870).
Bou is a new-school brand company – formed by marketers, writers, designers, and developers, shaped by tech. They work with 100+ trendsetting brands in Europe and the US – including the likes of Klarna, Supercell, and Polestar.
With nothing except great chemistry and a shared vision, four Bou founders went from a 10m2 windowless room to a building with a gilded crown, a team of 25 in-house creatives, and 2000+ curated freelancers. That’s what we call character development.
Head to Helsinki Railway Square and look for the building with a golden crown. So shiny, isn’t it? Now, go get your complimentary coffee upstairs.
Carbo Culture, a climate technology company, has created a technique that is used to convert CO₂ from plants into stable carbon. This stable carbon can be locked away for 1,000 years.
Head for a restaurant near Elielinaukio, and you’ll find where the co-founder of Carbo Culture was visiting Finland for the first time and needed some help around. He decided to ask directions from a local. That local turned out to be their future investor from Lifeline Ventures. What a small world, right?
ICEYE has created small, agile radar satellites that can help us monitor natural catastrophe monitoring and floods across the world. This allows us to make critical, precise decisions based on data from anywhere on Earth, at any time, no matter the weather.
Look up – 505 km from where you are right now is where the first ICEYE satellite established contact with Earth.
Inklusiiv has helped redefine the status quo of diversity, equity, and inclusion for 120+ companies. In fact, Inklusiiv is actually internationally recognized for its work in the DEI field but operates out of a pretty unexpected place.
Where, you may ask?
Find the hospital-turned-coworking space in the city center where many parts of Finland’s startup ecosystem flourish.
Lifeline Ventures is a sector-agnostic early-stage investor that wants to partner with founders from the very beginning of their journey and support them throughout their growth.
Lifeline Ventures made their first investment in Sofanatics, a startup creating virtual stadiums where fans meet during the matches. Allow yourself to be immersed in the world of virtual stadiums and the power of first-times: trek upwards to the eigth floor of Stockmann.
Maki.vc is a Nordic-based venture capital firm investing internationally, having invested in companies like Enfuce and IQM Quantum Computers.
At a corner by the Alexandar Theatre, Maki.vc made an investment that turned out to be the world’s first climate-positive textile fibre – aka Spinnova. Direct your gaze to knee height at the traffic lights.
Oura Health has created their wearable to improve people’s lives by helping them track their fitness, stress, sleep, and overall health.
The first brick-and-mortar store where you could buy the Oura Ring on the spot is located in Aleksanterinkatu – a well-known place for any Slush attendee who has visited our Pre-Badge Claim point.
Port 6 turns hand movements into liberating and intuitive human-computer experiences using AI-powered wristbands.
It wasn’t all just smooth sailing for Port 6.
Find out exactly where Co-founder Jamin tried to pitch their first prototype over a plate of sushi, and what happened next by going to the central shopping center, Kluuvi, in the middle of the city.
Smartly.io is a company that helps create billions of advertisements and campaigns across the world, many of which you’ve probably laid your eyes on before.
The company moved to an iconic building smack-bang in the center of Helsinki in 2018, and to find out its impact, visit the camera shop in Postitalo.
14 years ago, the first-ever Slush event took place. With a mere 250 people, Slush kickstarted a movement to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship.
Today, Slush brings the global startup ecosystem under one roof annually and has become the largest gathering of venture capital on the planet.
Head to the “Culture Factory” to see where the first Slush happened.
Slush’s first office
This since-closed restaurant was the first “office” that Slush’s team used to coordinate meetings a decade ago. Slush’s office wasn’t the only thing you could find here: this restaurant was actually seen as a bit of a startup hotspot in the early 2010s.
Go near the former KY building, the construction site of Wolt’s future office, and read the full story.
Solar Foods is a Finnish food technology company that has introduced the natural protein Solein, essentially making food out of thin air.
The original story of how the Solar Foods team met (and when!) can be found on the bottom floor of a building that translates directly to “Electricity House”.
Varjo is a Finnish company that has been reinventing reality through advanced VR and XR headsets for a massive range of uses over the last 6 years.
Along the street of Eerikinkatu, you can find the location where Varjo got a €1M investment promise almost by accident and who gave it to them.
Veri is a food intelligence startup focused on improving people’s lives by tracking their metabolic health with a wearable glucose sensor.
The founders of Veri decided to officially start their company while they were in the fortress of an island well-loved by Finns, dotted with historic buildings, and surrounded by the Baltic Sea.
Take the ferry and go to the castle where Helsinki was defended for hundreds of years. Make your way to the south of the island to find where this all went down.
Wave Ventures is the Nordic student-led VC firm investing in pre-seed Gen Z founders.
Check out the iconic “Mail House” in the center of Helsinki, where one month ago, Erik Kymäläinen, the CEO of Wave Ventures, closed the final investment to Wave’s second fund of €2M, making it the largest student-led fund ever raised in Europe.
Wolt is a Finnish technology company focused on delivering food to people across the world, initially a small Finnish startup which has evolved into a household name.
One may wonder where the first-ever Wolt delivery took place, and we can tell you it’s closer than you think. Visit the quaint café within eye distance of the Kamppi metro station, serving huge cups of coffee and delicacies for all.
Continue Exploring Helsinki
Helsinki is the city for a good life – and excellent business opportunities.