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Press Releases, 11/10/2015

Finland to host rising talent from developing markets

Press release 246/2015
10 November 2015

This week Finland will play host to more than 50 startupers and tech hub leaders from developing markets. The set goal is to establish contacts between players in developing countries and Finland, and give competent people from developing countries a chance to network, look for partnerships and find international financing.

“Thanks to the current strong economic growth and a forward-looking atmosphere in many developing countries, a lot of new innovations and business activity are now emerging there. This is a means for us to encourage social and responsible companies which contribute to development in their own countries. At the same time, we enable Finnish companies to discover partnerships in developing markets,” explains Lenita Toivakka, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland.

Among the participating companies and tech hubs, 40 are participants of the Slush Global Impact Accelerator Programme managed jointly by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the startup event Slush, and the World Bank. The participants were selected among 770 applicants following national competitions held in 15 countries. Over 1,600 people took part in various events held in the margins of these selection rounds.

While in Finland, the participants will attend workshops discussing the scaling up of business, get practice in selling their company’s story to investors and learn about innovation activities in Finland. They will also take part in the international innovation conference Start up to scale up: Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit, organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and UNICEF (9–10 November), and in Slush (11–12 November).

Some companies and tech hubs will arrive from Vietnam via the Innovation Partnership Programme (IPP) and from Tanzania via the TANZICT programme. These programmes receive financing from Finnish development cooperation appropriations.

In addition, there will be nine journalists arriving from developing countries, visiting the events and gaining knowledge about the Finnish innovation environment.

The companies, tech hubs, and journalists are arriving from Finland’s current and former development cooperation partners, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Vietnam.

Read more about the participants:

Further information: Mika Vehnämäki, Senior Adviser, Development Policy, tel. 0295 350 984, Aki Enkenberg, Senior Adviser, Development Policy, tel. 0295 351 528 and Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to Minister Toivakka, tel. 040 552 8200.

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