”The Tampere start-up community has been a goldmine for us”15.10.2019
In today’s knowledge work market, digitalisation offers the greatest potential but also the greatest challenges. Valaa Technologies from Tampere aims to decrease the complexity of data systems, and the local start-up ecosystem has provided valuable support to the company.
Valaa Technologies CEO Ville Ilkkala states that the constantly growing data system complexity is one of the biggest challenges for the information society. Its effects are reflected on the probability of success in projects, data security, and workforce availability, as well as on companies’ and organisations’ ability to renew themselves in the digital world. Today, Web technologies affect almost every modern data system. However, the Web architecture developed in 1989 is fundamentally based on static documents, whereas modern applications are anything but static.
ValOS, created by Valaa Technologies, is an open-sourced application development architecture that brings a radical new approach to basic Web principles. It replaces static documents with dynamic streams of events.
”We’re constructing a radically new type of Web architecture”, says Ilkkala. ”We’re able to decrease the complexity of Web-based data systems by 90 %.”
In the past 12 months, Valaa Technologies has been working, in particular, in the markets of architecture, construction, and property management. One of the next focus areas will include the energy industry. In June, the company amassed 102,000 euros in their pre-seed round of financing, in addition to which the EU Next Generation Internet instrument granted 50,000 euros for the ValOS data security architecture development. The company also got involved in the EnergySpin business accelerator project that supports cooperation and promotes fast utilisation of business ideas.
A functional start-up ecosystem offers support and contacts
According to Ilkkala, one major early challenge for Valaa Technologies has been the fact that in Finland, developing deep tech is extremely challenging without solid university-level background and support. However, the start-up community in Tampere has provided valuable help.
”To me, the Tampere start-up communities have been a goldmine. Countless contacts, recruitments, and customerships have come about thanks to Tribe Tampere,” Ilkkala enthuses.
Yet the communities do not promise a fast track to riches – for a start-up entrepreneur, time is a key resource. Becoming a part of a community requires investment and participation, but in the end the invested energy turns around to benefit the company too.
”In these circles, it may take a while before you can see any results from the communities. So when you first meet up, it’s not possible to see the big picture and all the benefits of the start-up community right away”, Ilkkala adds.
In conclusion, Ilkkala roughly divides start-up companies into two categories: ”There are companies whose product or service is easy and quick to understand. Then there are those who aim for something radically novel. These companies are doing something indefinable to achieve their incomprehensible vision. They must dare to wander in the dark and seek their own path, as following the already paved roads marked with signs is likely to result in merely copying something that’s already been done.”
Building Tampere’s startup ecosystem together
6Aika – Ecosystems of growth: enabling the growth of companies through collaboration of the Kuutoskaupungit cities
The project supports the access of growth-oriented companies to suitable networks and services supporting research and product development activity. The project is implemented by the six biggest cities in Finland: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku and Oulu, and the Council of Tampere Region. The project is based on the idea of the cities’ active role in supporting the innovation activities of companies and the related support networks.