At the Business Tampere seminar entitled How to build an ecosystem that supports startup plurality, the discussion surrounded the importance of a support system among fellow startups in the community. The keynote speaker was Heli Helanummi-Cole from the University of Oxford, with a panel of the following members:

Johanna Karila-Malmivaara, CEO of Cuppla Technology Ltd

Marko Lehtimäki, CEO of Ensimetri & Tampereen kaupunkiseudun

Jukka Sjöstedt, CEO of Radientum Ltd

There are two types of ecosystems: fireworks and campfires. Let’s dive into these two categories a little more. There is the Silicon Valley model, innovations that create a ‘big splash’ with high visibility that disrupts the whole market by commercializing the idea of the entrepreneur; hence, the fireworks model. The other model, the campfire, is the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) ecosystem in which it essentially keeps the founders warm. The campfires think more about how they can repurpose ideas that already exist and design it for other uses by using all the capital resources available, including human, social, etc. Both fireworks and campfires have the common characteristic of growth, with specialization being more prominent in the SME’s ecosystem. 

The concept of heterarchy is a predominant factor in the ecosystems of startups. The definition is a form of organization resembling a network or fishnet in which the authority is determined by knowledge and function. It is when the decision makers in a company changes in retrospect to the situation currently at hand. The company then looks at the problem then restructure the organization to properly address the problem. This is a common trend of ecosystems in order to stay alive and relevant in their respective industry.

Some key points that were discussed by the panel is no matter which ecosystem you are a part of, be sure to focus on the content and clients, then cater the technology to those specific needs, rather than the other way around. For startups, it is important to participate in accelerator programs or similar events, in so that you can meet investors. In Tampere, some needs that have not been met by the ecosystem here is that there should be more support for sales and marketing, paid trial periods, finding the right source of information from the websites, psychological support, and providing suitable workers. 

Business Tampere intends to bring forth more support for the startup ecosystems of our community. We want to keep startup ecosystems as a safe space to take risks.

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