Finnish ventures on growth

I just read an article that cited Juha Mikkola from Eqvitec. Mr. Mikkola comments that an entrepreneur needs to want to multiply earnings and this will not happen in the Helsinki metro area. One of the companies that Eqvitec funds is Xtract. Xtracts Ahvenainen goes on to comment that there is no sense in trying to build international growth momentum on operational revenue alone. He continues on to say that companies need help from people skilled in international sales and marketing, but that these skills are hard to come by in Finland.

Well none of this is new news. I’ve been writing about these issues since I started my blog. What got me interested is that another year has gone by and the same old topics are being revisited. What have we learned during the past 12 months… nothing??

Have the ventures been able to raise substantially larger funds than for 2006? Or is the average funding round for a Finnish ICT company still 1/10 of what their international competitors get from the US venture market? Have Finnish venture funds partnered with larger global funds to be able to provide competitive funding for their clients???

Does it still make any sense buying marketing and PR services from a Finnish agency to support growth activities outside the northern European market? Are Finnish marketers better culturally skilled in interpreting how a US consumer or a CIO for a large enterprise will interpret marketing messages? Have Finnish marketing agencies hired marketing and PR professionals from the growth target markets???

Are boards using international talent scouts to bring in captains of industry from abroad to infuse management teams with the needed skills to grow? Are Finnish talent scouts fully using the talent pool of skilled expatriates? The same article sites Artturi Tarjanne from Nexit Ventures as saying that an entrepreneur needs to be strong, motivated, skilled and a risk taker. These are often attributes inherent in expatriates. Socialist politicians write about the brain drain of tax payer trained skilled Finnish labor. Well it is human nature to want to constantly improve ones situation in life. We sent star employees to the wild at local rates and then we are astonished that they do not want to come back to a 50% pay drop… unpatriotic! An investment has been made into these people and they need to be brought back aggressively in to the fold.

Let’s write more about who we are going to fix these issues. 


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