Helsinki Startups

So another brain dump about startups in various place. Back in 2001 I had an interview in Helsinki for Bitboys. In the end I did not take the job but it did give an interesting look inside the local start up scene when we went out for drinks in the evening.

The big names in the local scene were Bitboys (graphics hardware), Futuremark ( benchmarking software) and Remedy Entertainment ( games), all of which came from the core members of Future Crew. Alot of the other people were friends or at least other people from the demoscene.

The attitude was very different everyone seem to have the same idea that if one of the companies made it big, then they would all make it in some way. They also had very low burn rates, Bitboys only used around two million over five or six years, which when production cost for a test chip (which they made more than one) can be in the $100,000, is very good. They used cheap simple office without any fancy furniture, took good but not huge salaries, very different to the dotcom silicon valley big office, lots of money approach. All very low key, very little management. Assembly acted as the big yearly event where everyone caught up. Lots of the other guys played Salibandy each week with other companies and also out drinking on the weekends, all very sociable. Finland also great for cheap places to live with fast broadband for compared to the UK very cheap prices and such a good public transport system you really did not need a car. It had a real buzz about the place.

Author: Zoe

A recovering games coder.