Microelectronics testing equipment startup Omega Test Technologies is launching its business in the Helsinki region. Initially, it works in technology collaboration with the Russian Sovtest group of companies but will develop and manufacture its products independently for the European, North American and Asian markets.
An engineer at heart, Theodore Krekoten takes great joy in bringing about new technological solutions. He is the co-founder and co-owner of the brand-new startup Omega Test Technologies. He is also the co-owner of Sovtest Micro, a microelectronics test equipment company located near Moscow and a branch of the larger Sovtest ATE, which was one of the first privately-owned companies in post-Soviet Russia launched with foreign, i.e. British, capital partnership. Sovtest ATE is now the leader in semiconductor test technologies in Russia and the CIS countries.
“After 27 years in the business, Sovtest has accumulated lots of experience and expertise and is ready to share it. We wanted to transfer our technology to Finland to further develop it and introduce it to the Western and Asian markets,” Krekoten explains.
This plan has now turned into Omega Test Technologies. Theodore Krekoten launched the business in Finland with a Finnish partner and co-owner Janne Jussila, who also has a long history in the semiconductor industry. Sovtest initially transfers its technology to Omega Test Technologies and the companies will continue their partnership but Omega Test Technologies is owned entirely by private individuals.
To the international market with products made in Finland
The products of Omega Test Technologies test microchips used in electronics. These tiny intelligent devices are everywhere: in passports, phones, household appliances, airplanes – our world can hardly be imagined without microelectronics. One piece of electronics can contain hundreds or thousands of chips and each of these chips needs to be tested, as some percent of them are always defective. And in the worst case, defective chips can cost lives.
“Technology is always imperfect; there’s hardly anything perfect in the world. But the end-product needs to be as close to perfection as possible, so testing is essential to ensure the quality of microchips,” says Krekoten.
This is where Omega Test Technologies comes in. Its testing equipment is integrated in various auxiliary and handling systems on electronics companies’ production lines. Omega Test Technologies is currently working with a German company Esmo that manufactures such handling systems, and the first Omega product, integrated into Esmo’s system, will soon be displayed at the Productronica trade fair in Munich (14–17 November 2017, Hall/Stand: A1/140).
“It is great to have a motivated partner in Germany, with whom we can focus on shared customers. Our synergy will hopefully open us doors to the German market and beyond.”
Finland – a friendly country for Russian companies
Omega Test Technologies is currently looking for office and manufacturing premises in the Helsinki region.
“Finland is economically and mentally Scandinavian and Western European but in many things also close to Russia. It is a pleasure to work with Finns. Business in the end is a matter of human relations, and trustful relations make it easy to deal with our Finnish partner as well as with other Finns we’ve encountered on our way. Many Finns also speak fluent Russian, which makes this a very friendly country for us,” says Theodore Krekoten.
“But Finland is also a strong electronics country, built on Nokia and its successors. There is a great amount of engineering and microelectronics know-how, and we are planning to hire experts here. We have also received lots of support while setting up from Helsinki Business Hub, Finpro and Tekes. They’ve eased our way to the Finnish market, introducing us to potential partners and clients and providing information,” Krekoten continues.
“We warmly welcome Omega Test Technologies to Finland. We provided the company with market information and were privileged to initiate the discussions that led to the understanding that Helsinki area is the most potential location for Omega Test Technologies’ production unit,” says Karen Grigoryan, Head of Invest in Operations at Finpro Russia.
“We are always happy to support innovative hi-tech manufacturing companies. Omega Test Technologies will further strengthen the microelectronics cluster in the Helsinki region, and Finland is a perfect platform for their global expansion,” says Maria Hartikainen, Senior Business Advisor at Helsinki Business Hub.
The next step for Omega Test Technologies is to set up its technology and sales support, then manufacturing and research and development. But even before that, they will travel across Finland and Europe to showcase their products.
“Finland is part of the EU, so it will be easier to spread to other Western markets from here, as the trade agreements and legal issues are similar. The European market is very competitive, so there are risks, but if we are successful, we are looking to hire up to 10 Finnish experts in the very visible future,” Krekoten says.
Text: Anu Jussila
(Writer not related to Janne Jussila)