R&D&I company Ainovia works to enable growth for SMEs in Europe and around the world. It chose to set up the base of its operations in Helsinki because of the city’s wealth in innovation, technology, and expertise.
“Finland is a stable society with a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy. I was particularly interested in its expertise in ICT, cleantech, renewable energy, and healthcare. Finland also welcomes international companies to explore its business opportunities and excellent infrastructure. All companies registered here enjoy the same benefits, like access to grants and national technology programs, regardless of the nationality of their ownership. Finland offers world-class talent in R&D and a high return on investment, enables business digitalization, and is a very competitive country,” says Professor Nader Nada, founder of Ainovia.
Before Ainovia, Professor Nada had worked with Finnish partners through the Erasmus educational program R&D&I project with Finnish partners and had visited Helsinki for business, research, and for attending Open Innovation scientific conferences.
Internationalization can benefit SME’s as much as big businesses
Professor Nada describes Ainovia as a Finnish company with international exposure. It specializes in helping its SME clients with R&D, innovation, technology transfer, sustainable energy, and related IT solutions and services.
“Ainovia’s goal is to facilitate innovative products and services in the fields of education, healthcare, energy, and digital solutions. We also want to help our clients export their solutions. We are now focusing on the European market, particularly the Nordic countries, Germany, and the Netherlands, but also on the Middle Eastern and North African markets, China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Brazil and Latin America” Professor Nada says.
Ainovia has partner offices for export in the US and Germany and a partner office for mobile application development in Turkey. Soon it will also have partner offices in Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states and Singapore.
“Taking a proactive approach to internationalization makes companies more robust and potentially more successful, as it can offer a far greater client base and more scope to expand. Even small companies with limited resources can internationalize successfully if they play their cards right. It’s imperative for companies to work abroad and to be exposed to the level of excellence required by international competition.”
Smooth landing in Helsinki
Ainovia’s path to Helsinki has been very smooth, thanks in part to Professor Nada’s prior contacts in Finland. He also received lots of help from Helsinki Business Hub, NewCo Helsinki, Aalto University, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Oulu University and Tekes.
“The local government and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Helsinki area were very supportive and helpful. Helsinki Business Hub was my first stop here, and I am grateful for their swift response and help, providing me with valuable information and contacts to potential partners and further support,” says Professor Nada.
Ainovia is now formally registered and has an office in Helsinki. Professor Nada has hired two employees – a mobile app developer and a user experience expert. The company intends to continue growing in the future.
“Our plans include recruiting more employees and building a partner network, testing our solutions in an authentic environment and getting customer feedback for commercialization, collaborating with a research organization on R&D, and growing on our export markets. We are already working with many Finnish organizations, including FinPro, Tekes, VTT, Aalto University, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Cleantech Finland, as well as several government offices. We are also looking forward to partnering with Helsinki Business Hub and attracting more international companies to set up in Helsinki and invest in Finland.”
Text: Anu Jussila