People in Business Tampere: Senior Business Advisor in Funding Tapio Siik14.4.2023
Four years ago, Tapio Siik made a return to the Tampere region. Back in the day, he did his studies in electric engineering in Hervanta, Tampere. Life and work took him to the Helsinki Metropolitan area, the United States, and the Netherlands but now it was time to return to Tampere. “Part of this was driven by personal reasons, I wanted to be closer to my parents but after all, isn’t this a wonderful place to live”, Siik says.
He highlights especially the waters of Tampere and praises that it is good to live between two lakes. Considering businesses, Siik says that in Tampere there is a successful cooperation with the framing municipalities, and you can always get help here. “Moving businesses forward is comprehensive in Tampere and there are no moats between cities, like in the capital region”, Siik thanks. He also praises the distances in Tampere – you don’t need to reserve an hour to move from one side of the city to the other.
Siik has been involved in founding the startup house Platform6, located near the railway station. The name of the house also comes from him. “It is worth walking in if you are interested in serial entrepreneurship. In there you can certainly find peer support, knowledge and understanding.” In Business Tampere, Siik runs a financial clinic and meets businesses in different stages of development. Together with the entrepreneurs he maps the situation and studies what the business could do to get the funding.
“I have read thousands of funding pitches during my career. I can help to make them, and I can even simulate being an angel or capital investor.”
He considers, with the entrepreneur, whether this kind of application could secure the funding. “I do not make the funding applications, but rather comment on them and through my networks I can guide the entrepreneurs to talk to the capital investors. I can also tip good guys from Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment but also from Business Finland, who can help find the correct funding instrument.”
Siik has decades of experience in the financial sector. He has worked, for example, in Vaasa for ABB in programming work, and in Nokia he started in 1994. There he spent 15 years and Siik worked in both online and mobile departments. His latest work was at the Aalto university, where he worked in the startup center. “I have always been somehow connected to the startup businesses in my work”, he explains. Siik is also on the board of five startup companies and acts as their anger investor. “Sometimes work and free time get mixed up, when I am constantly working with financial matters.” Siik does not really have a typical workday, mut it is always somehow connected to business development. “During my workday I am either at the funding clinic, Platform6 or at the university. I am also helping to commercialize the university’s research-oriented companies.” Siik says that he has experienced his best successes in his work precisely when he has really been able to help and promote the growth of companies.
To counterbalance his work, Siik is interested in both music as well as sports. After turning 60, he has learned how to play piano. He also owns an alto saxophone. Being in good shape, Siik has completed the Pirkka circuit, which includes skiing, cycling, rowing, and running, a total of ten times. He has also run several marathons. “Now I have slowed down the pace a bit but before I ran ultra-distances and cycled a lot. Once, I got excited and cycled in Norway from Trondheim to Oslo in one sitting. It took me 22 hours and 46 minutes”, Siik smiles.