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Jyväskylä Central Finland region, known for i.e. its world-class sports and health research, lands in Biscay with seven top-tier start-up and growth companies to explore the cooperation and learning opportunities with Biscay counterparties. The visit, led by Jyväskylä Sport and Health innovation ecosystem HHub, is part of the Bilbao and Jyväskylä Innovation Bridge collaboration programme, which aims to explore and offer growth opportunities both for Biscayan and Finnish companies. Respectively, a company delegation from Biscay visited Jyväskylä last autumn.

Unique business concepts with international collaboration and growth potential

The business concepts of the companies arriving in Bilbao are based on unique research, technology, or data-driven innovation. The companies represent, for example, data-driven or AI-based optimisation of athlete performance, fan engagement, energy optimisation, and other up-to-date data- and AI-driven solutions.

–All these start-ups and growth companies have a significant potential for international scalability and growth, describes Nina Rautiainen, leader of the Biscay company delegation and Program Manager of the innovation ecosystem HHub in the City of Jyväskylä.

For example, Neuwo provides AI-based classification and analysis of online content, enabling digital advertising targeting without the use of third-party cookie data. This is a lifebuoy and a significant cost-saver for media sales companies and publishers.

investor-day-2023-jyvaskyla-hires-srgb-6885Neuwo's Johannes Harju and Tuomo Aartolahti celebrating the win (the most investment ready company) of the Investor Day 2023 in Jyväskylä. 

SAHA Training offers personalised live and digital coaching for athletes in various sports under the guidance of elite athlete coaches. Awesome Crowd is a customer experience-focused company that provides entertainment and engagement solutions for audiences attending events, aiming to enhance their overall experience through interactive and immersive activities.

eWatt offers smart, AI-driven solutions for stadium or arena facility management to reinvent energy management and efficiency. The new approach will help facility managers optimise energy use, reduce costs, and promote sustainability.

– With this selection, we aimed to ensure that the encounters, discussions, and identifying opportunities for cooperation – or even soft landing – is beneficial for both the Finnish and Biscayan parties, Rautiainen emphasises.

Backed by several years of sports research collaboration

The Innovation Bridge programme, which aims to promote cooperation between businesses, is a continuation of the partnership initiated three years ago between the Athletic Club and the University of Jyväskylä, the faculty of Sport and Health Sciences along with KIHU (Finnish Institute of High Performance Sport).

In particular, the research cooperation has revolved around reducing the risk of injury and enhancing the optimal performance of the professional athlete using AI and data-based methods, where the University of Jyväskylä represents world-class expertise. The same topics have also been studied separately from the perspective of professional female football.

The sports research aspect will stay within the wayside during the visit since, as Rautiainen points out, the company delegation is very diverse.

–In addition to business representatives, there will be a research representative from the University of Jyväskylä and ecosystem specialists from the City of Jyväskylä, she says.

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Jyväskylä's ecosystem developers visiting Bilbao in 2022. Johanna Hentunen and Nina Rautiainen meeting partners from Bizkaia Beaz, Athletic Club Bilbao and BAT Bilbao Accelerator Tower.

Interested in meeting and networking with Finnish companies?

The company delegation is available for informal meetings on April 23 and 24, but we warmly recommend pre-booking a meeting with specific representatives.

Meet the companies:

The Sport Finland is implemented as the join lead project by the cities of Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio from 4/2023 to 12/2024. The project is based on ecosystem agreements between the state and the university and university consortium cities (InnoCities) and is funded by The Council of Tampere Region, which grants support for the lead projects from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in accordance with the priorities and specific objectives of the Innovation and Skills in Finland 2021–2017 program.