So this year, for the first time I had the opportunity to travel to Finland. I was soooo excited to learn more about this Scandinavian country, to get familiar with their culture, meet new people and of course explore their startup scene. There is this one place that you must visit when in Helsinki, but about that, in some of my next blog posts…
Now, I would like to introduce you to the first startup enthusiast I met in Helsinki, that I was introduced through a dear friend of mine. Meet Peter Seenan, an English man that is now based in Finland (due to love – life circumstances). At the moment he works as Communications and Business Development in a startup called Leadfeeder that was recently put on the list of Finnish startups to watch in 2016. We sat down in a nice and cozy cafe bar near the Market Square and one of the first things I was curios about is how it is for a foreigner in Finland and how he got involved in their “startup world”.
“Well it all started back in 2011 when I was involved in a social entrepreneurship project supported by the British Council. This is where I got first hand experience with startups and entrepreneurship in general and by the way, we held trainings in Macedonia and Estonia, so it was an amazing experience for sure. Getting involved in the startup scene here, as a foreigner it wasn’t that hard, maybe it was my luck to join Leadfeeder, six months before the launch. Now I’m happy to be part of a startup that targets the B2B world by helping companies understand more about the behavior of their website visitors and how to use the information to convert promising visitors to sales leads and that we are expanding to international markets. But also, I am happy with my role in the startup, because aside the tasks as Communications and Business Development, I am the guy that is pitching at different events and I feel very comfortable at public speaking.” – says Peter.
Even though the Finnish startup eco-system is a galaxy ahead of the one that I am coming from, regarding numerous facts, I was eager to find out why Peter choose Finland as his work and life destination.
“Many foreigners come to Finland and believe me, it is not because of the weather 🙂 Half of our team members are foreigners. It is pretty cool to be able to live in the city you want to live in and a bonus is to be part of a startup where everything is more dynamic than usual. It is challenging, but also very fun to try and find cool ways to optimize the best of every day. Being part of a startup enabled me to be here for a longer period. In Finland it is very important to get out there and meet new people from your field of interest and work on your personal brand. The experience so far, has taught me that when launching a startup in this region you need to scale quickly and this is best achieved through partnerships. We also want to be successful globally, because to be honest, nobody here starts a business to be successful in Finland only.” – adds Peter.
We did enjoyed the startup talks over coffee in not that usual but sunny Helsinki. Cool fact: We did forget about the ‘taking selfie’ part, as I was rushing to get to my next meet-up on time, so this one is a ‘selfie on the go’ directly from Tram #3 🙂 I wish Peter and the whole Leadfeeder team great success in the New 2016. There are more #StartUpSelfie‘s coming from Finland right before the end of this year…
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