Tribe Tampere: Where Dots Are Connected

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In recent years, Finland has steadily been growing its start-up ecosystem turning it into a thriving community: a number of new start-ups, funding, and general positivity towards start-up entrepreneurship have definitely increased. Helsinki could be the pioneer, however, Tampere is recognized as Finland’s most agile and fastest developing start-up city. At the core of Tampere downtown, a place called P47 (aka. Tribe Tampere) is facilitating the growth and development of Tampere’s start-up ecosystem. 

Tribe Tampere is a support organization for entrepreneurial activities and one of the start-up players in the country’s start-up ecosystem. It is established to stimulate collaboration and action among all ecosystem players within Tampere region as well as other players located across Finland. Whereas the city of Tampere actively invests in young entrepreneurs, and continuously assists to build a strong local start-up culture, Tribe Tampere plays a significant role in retaining the community culture through facilitating and organizing plenty of relevant events each month. 

Back in autumn 2016, according to the study conducted by Tekes and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, there were over 200 start-ups in Tampere. However, lots of actors and resources at the time were functioning without an established cooperation among them. During that time, Tampere was hardly successful to amalgamate enough interaction between experts, organisational cultures, start-ups, students and investors in different fields. As explained by Vesa-Matti Ruottinen, a former community caretaker of Tribe Tampere:

If you’re a growth-oriented young start-up entrepreneur in Turku, you can go to Boost’s entrepreneurial community. In Helsinki, a great business idea is part of the start-up cluster set up at the former Mary’s Hospital (Maria 01). In Tampere, communities were spread and many of them provided overlapping services and events.

In spring 2017, the process of launching a co-operational community was started, and in April the community was renamed as Tribe Tampere. According to Vesa-Matti, Tribe characteristics are based on integration and collaboration:

We did not want to create another new player, but to bring all the old ones together so that they can benefit from each other and the opportunities offered by the network. People interested in entrepreneurship or developing their own skills don’t have to guess which community to join when Tribe finds all the actors at once.

In July 2017, the City of Tampere pledged to assist the community in renting space and hiring a community manager to coordinate the community activity. Moreover, there was also a need for a concrete meeting place. After months of searching, a suitable space for events and training was found on Pinninkatu, next to the University of Tampere. At the beginning of 2020, Tribe Tampere will be shifted to a new place so it will offer more services, opportunities, and office spaces to the players.  

Tribe Tampere is a social platform rather than a physical entity. In addition, growth-oriented start-ups have been supported by a diverse array of organizations and services. Among others, Demola, Tampere ES, Y-Campus, Business Tampere, Proakatemia, Crazy Town and the City of Tampere’s entrepreneurship services guided entrepreneurs in their own networks.

Inaugurated in September 2017, Tribe Tampere has become an axis of knowledge sharing and team building exertion. It constantly motivates its active key players and engage investors through organizing and hosting start-up and networking events which enables grandeur scale of impact throughout the community. 

Tribe Tampere mainly focuses on how to develop an operational strategy which is sustainable and can be implemented by supporting and working with different key players. The strategy strongly supports project and marketing initiatives to find new partners from other cities and abroad. Tribecast TRE (the one-of-a-kind professionally made English-speaking start-up podcast), Red Brick Accelerator (a 6-week intensive coaching program for early stage start-up ideas) and Mix & Match (a networking event) are a few of the projects which are highly appreciated and have made a huge impact on the Tampere start-up community. Collaboration with selected business hubs and partners to become financially self sustainable is also part of Tribe’s core strategy. Till today, Tribe Tampere has hosted around 200 events, seen around 7,500 visits and experienced over 15,000 handshakes.

Photo credit Heikki Salo

Image credit Tribe Tampere