Press release, November 6th 2009 at 1.15 p.m. 


Technopolis has built a world class, award winning pre-incubation and
incubation program over many years in Otaniemi. The unit generates a
significant share of the growth start-ups in Finland. 

As part of the reorganization of Technopolis, Technopolis and Laurea University
of Applied Sciences have now made a letter of intent about transferring these
non-profit incubation programs, financed through EU and other public funding
instruments to the new Spinno Enterprise Center, operated by the Laurea
University of Applied Sciences. While Laurea will operate the programs, Spinno
will be offered as a shared innovation platform for Helsinki area academic and
research institutions, as well as for area companies. For its part, Technopolis
Development Services will shift its offering from incubation to a service
portfolio focused on fundraising and strategic matchmaking for a more diverse
group companies, including major corporations and later stage growth companies
as well as so-called Born Global start-ups. 

Laurea's President Pentti Rauhala says that the University of Applied Science
is a natural host for the shared innovation platform, pointing out that Laurea
is increasingly integrated into the Otaniemi and Greater Helsinki innovation
ecosystem. It has a strong track record in student entrepreneurship and
pre-incubation programs, and has been actively developing its international
innovation entrepreneurship relationships with organizations like the Centre
for Entrepreneurial Learning in University of Cambridge.  Rauhala says this is
an important move for Laurea. “The new Spinno Enterprise Center is a
significant new step and will give us an important role in the Helsinki
innovation ecosystem.” According to professor Alan Barrell from Cambridge
University, “Spinno is breaking new ground and contributing to entrepreneur
education and development in true leadership mode.” 

Espoo Director of Economic Affairs Kari Ruoho agrees. “This approach will
enable us to manage many of the most promising Helsinki area cases through a
single pipeline where each party has a clear and complimentary role. Spinno
will help streamline and coordinate the Helsinki entrepreneurial community by
collecting young high potential cases and providing them strong support from
both Finnish and international experts.” 

Director of Technopolis Development Services Will Cardwell says the move is
good for everybody. “This move will allow the players in the area's innovation
community to feed their best cases into a shared innovation platform, which
will in the end enable us to match them with world-class investors, corporate
reference customers and partners.” 

The new Spinno Enterprise Center is planned and expected to launch its
operations in the beginning of 2010 with its experienced incubation team,
headed by Tuomas Maisala, to be transferred from Technopolis to Spinno. The
operations will continue to be financed by the regional Economic and Employment
Development Center (TE), the City of Espoo, as well as the center's customers
and other key stakeholders. 

Further information

Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Jaakko Tarkkanen, Vice President, tel.
+358 40 830 6158 
Technopolis Development Services, Will Cardwell, Director, tel. +358 40 514 1325

About Laurea

Laurea produces new competences in the field of service innovations and carries
out professionally orientated education, regional development and R&D
activities by following the Learning by Developing (LbD) operational model.
Laurea has been selected twice both as centre of excellence in education and as
centre of excellence in regional development. Laurea employs approximately 500
personnel and has app. 7 700 students. 


About Technopolis

Measured by the number of clients, Technopolis Plc is one of Europe's largest
science and technology park chains. The Technopolis Group is Finland's largest
specialized provider of business environment services for high tech companies
offering a comprehensive range of services combining modern premises with
business and development services. Technopolis operates technology centers in
Espoo, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Lappeenranta, Oulu, Tampere and Vantaa in Finland,
and in St. Petersburg in Russia. Currently, some 1,180 companies with 16,000
employees are working in the Technopolis technology centers.