Futurice Oy is a Finnish company that develops digital solutions and focuses on creating and maintaining software services for other companies. The company was founded in 2000 by CEO Tuomas Syrjänen together with Mikko Viikari, Hanno Nevanlinna and Markku Taulamo, who, apart from Taulamo, are still with the company. At the beginning of the millennium, an angel investor informed the four founders about Helsinki School of Economics’ New Business Center (NBC), the business incubator that preceded the Start-Up Center, where Futurice then began its operations.
– The NBC provided the space and networks for clarifying our business idea. We were there for the standard incubation time, two years, which was our plan all along. That was 16 years ago, and I remember that we made a lot of changes to our business idea and that it was a good time, says Syrjänen.
Futurice is one of the fastest growing IT businesses in Finland. It already employs 300 professionals. The company has been placed in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 list for 10 times in a row, and even won it once. The list ranks the 50 technology companies with the fastest growth in turnover during the last four years in Finland. Futurice’s turnover for 2015 was around EUR 28 million and its operations have been profitable for the past 12 years.
A high level of ambition boosts operations
Futurice’s head office is located in Helsinki and the second Finnish office is in Tampere. During the 2010s, the company has become international with offices in Stockholm, Berlin, Munich and London.
– In the future, we will invest further in contents, i.e. the mutual dependencies and functionality of technology, data design and business. At the same time, good customers are very important to us and we will continue focusing on highly ambitious customers. We aim to continue our growth, notes Syrjänen on their plans for the future.
Tuomas Syrjänen tells that he emphasises an open and transparent working culture in Futurice.
– Our employees have access to all the information that they need for their decision-making, such as all the company's economic figures. Our operating model is based on trust. I encourage all Futurice members to give and receive feedback. It’s a very important skill in project work. Asking is also important, and good questions push things into the right direction. Futurice was selected as the best place to work in Finland and in Europe in 2012 and 2013, which I take as validation that our operating model has a lot going for it.
Tuomas Syrjänen wants to encourage all those who are considering becoming entrepreneurs and are taking their first steps towards entrepreneurship.
– Being an entrepreneur is harder than what I first imagined, but it’s also very rewarding and educational at the same time. The big thing is getting all the pieces to fit together. It can also take some time before you find your place in the market. The learning experience for entrepreneurs is deep and comprehensive, so if you're interested in that, then that's what entrepreneurship provides. Be brave and try out your wings, Syrjänen concludes.
Many successful companies got their start in the Aalto Start-Up Center and its predecessors. Futurice is one of them.