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Establishing largest startup incubator in Nordics gets green light in Helsinki

Helsinki city councillors have given the green light to organisers to set up what is expected to become the largest incubator for startup companies in the Nordics. Supporters say that the Startup Maria hub will help create jobs and increase the city's competitiveness.

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An aerial view of the now-disused Maria Hospital complex. Up to 7,000 square meters of space will be home to what is expected to become the largest startup incubator in the Nordics. Image: Helsingin kaupunki

According to city council member Marcus Rantala said he wants the city to get operations up and running soon, saying Startup Maria could already be open by this summer - at least to some extent.

"Everyone was pleased with the decision, this is a big opportunity for Helsinki," Rantala said.

Organisers will set up offices on premises of the former Maria Hospital in downtown Helsinki, and will occupy a total of between six to seven thousand square metres.

Once it is up and running, it will be the largest cluster of startups in the Nordic countries.

The non-profit Startup Maria project will be organised by the city of Helsinki, startup foundation Startup-säätiö and Uusyrityskeskus Finland (roughly translated new company centre), a group that helps potential entrepreneurs with setting up a company, applying for funding and helping out companies still in the startup phase.

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