Alex Jensen talks with Suvi Sundquis, Commercial Counsellor at Business Finland here in Korea. They discuss the role Business Finland as an ecosystem builder to foster and fund innovation with startups, SMEs, large companies, and research organizations.
Business Finland is a Finnish Government agency that collaborates with chambers of commerce and other partners to encourage business exchanges. With an unmatched network in Finland and access to unpublished research, Business Finland is at the forefront of innovation.
Suvi’s specific role is to encourage the Finnish companies to go further, faster. As she says. “If you start with a company’s growth strategy, for example, they always have some kind of plan, then we step in and we ask, well, what’s the part that you left out? What was the part that intrigued you? But you thought that that had too much risk? And they always have that kind of topics, then under the table? And then we say, well, what if we paid part of it, we take some of the risk on the government, would you try it out. And this is the way we encourage the companies to go a little bit further.”
In Korea Business Finland is to match Finnish companies with the best South Korea partners. They look for synergies. By talking with the Korean companies about what they’re working on and discovering their needs. In a typically Finnish style, they focus on deep 1:1 relationship that generate long term mutual benefits as well as shorter term synergies.
Away from her role as Commercial Counsellor, Suvi also discusses her enjoyment of Korea, the cultural differences that have intrigued her, and she shares her opinions on why Finland is the happiest place on earth, and some ideas on how Korea might improve their score on the happiness index.