Tampere's Startup Community: the power of input and output31.10.2019
Community is an important driver when it comes to growth. Not just personal growth, but also the growth of a business or an organization. The benefits that come with being part of a business community are various: meeting talents, exchange of knowledge and information, building or growing your network, access to resources.
The startup community in Tampere manages to connect different institutions and players of the startup ecosystem: The city, startups, local and international talents, independent organizations, universities, student organizations and businesses. And also beyond the city, the connections to other cities in Finland and to international players are strong.
The connectivity between those different players of Tampere’s startup and business community builds part of the foundation of a very important and beneficial characteristic of this ecosystem: It is easily accessible.
As a startup, talent, business, student or just entrepreneurial-minded person the possibilities to step into contact with the business ecosystem in Tampere are various, as it can happen through any of the players in the startup ecosystem, but also as hierarchies are flat.
Through being accessible, the startup ecosystem in Tampere builds a positive, encouraging and experienced community, which is an important asset especially for startups.
The flat hierarchies lead to something people from cultures with strong hierarchy systems might experience as “borrowed” trust: Everyone gets a chance to prove themselves, and this not just through past projects but by future actions. This trust and openness gives the opportunity to display skills and strengths in a way, in which it might not be possible in other environments. Tampere gives the chance to accelerate growth through quickly creating connections to the different players in the ecosystem, each offering new possibilities. The output of the community becomes visible and tangible: through number of new connections, investments, projects involved and completed, career opportunities...
Input more abstract, output is tangible
What has to be put into the community by individuals or institutions is dependent on the output which is aimed for. The input is more abstract, as the amount of what is being put it does not have a specific number, but depends on each individual and on the goal.Yet, the most important input which gives the frame for all other forms of input, is time.
“[A] short intensive investment of time is the most effective”, says Vesa-Matti Ruottinen, Co-Founder of Tribe
Tribe is an important part of Tampere’s startup ecosystem especially for talents and early-stage startups. An intensive investment of time over a rather short time period can lead to having meaningful encounters, from which new connections result, which again will lead to more opportunities in the future. It is not necessary to invest months and years before any output becomes visible: important projects or interesting ideas can be identified and supported also in a short amount of time, if the commitment is clear during this time period!
The options are various, but the mindset needs to be there
An important driver of how successful this time becomes, is being specific about needs, wants and goals. The community does not have the resources nor the responsibility to identify, which is the driver or inspiration of the person or institution, who is stepping into the startup community in Tampere. The more specific one is about what drives them and what they are looking for, the better the community can offer support in reaching the wanted outcome or in creating more and different opportunities, by providing the right connections. For talents, being self-orientated is a key asset for fruitful encounters and operations within Tampere’s startup ecosystem. For startups and corporations on the other hand it is important to define beforehand what is being looked or hoped for.
For that is is also important to be and stay open, not just for new opportunities, but also to feedback. The opportunity of receiving validation quickly is ver valuable, not just for talents, but also for startups, aspiring entrepreneurs or corporations implementing new projects. The more open you present yourself, the more profound feedback and validation you can receive.
An important form in which openness can be expressed is through daring to say yes and following this consequently, as it will quickly open different doors. Saying "yes!" is an important stepping stone for a steep learning curve for professionals, entrepreneurs and want-preneurs.
When it comes to the possibilities and opportunities the startup community in Tampere offers it really shows, that the more input is given, the more output is received.
While input stays more abstract, as it depends very much on who is the one wanting to engage with the community, the output becomes tangible quickly, through contacts, funding or opportunities for funding, career possibilities or the amount of projects successfully completed.
In a nutshell: