The program that launched in early October is the first venture builder of the North. Unlike the traditional models, the 52nd operating model creates 5 new startup companies together with partners and entrepreneurs in mere 10 weeks.
The goal is to break organizational boundaries and attitudes. “For our part, we want to shake up the Finnish and Nordic startup scenes, and challenge the actors to show the world that we know how to do it here as well,” smiles the program coordinator Emmi-Julia Tiitta.
10 weeks of full hours in a virtual environment to achieve a clear goal
The 52nd Tokka program starts with the presentation of 10 sector-specific, global business ideas, to about 20 carefully selected entrepreneurial candidates who are then expected to create a new company based on these. The entrepreneurs are free to decide which idea they choose to work with and the same goes for partners. “We implement a ‘first come, first served’ thinking, meaning partners are free to choose the projects that suit them and make suggestions on investment proposals. The model is therefore based on the activity of all participants,” comments Janne Salminen of Fintech Farm.
Involvement in the program does not bind participants or partners to one specific physical location, consequently, everything is designed to be done virtually. “From the beginning, the goal of the Tokka program was to be location-independent. However, the COVID-19 epidemic has further challenged us to think more broadly and flexibly about how teaming, guidance, and development are organized. The participants are all over Europe: in Helsinki, Oulu, Berlin and London, and there are no plans to gather the whole group together any time soon,” says Emmi-Julia Tiitta.
At the heart of the 52nd Tokka program is the idea of building new companies in close collaboration with industry players, industry by industry. “We see the greatest benefit in focusing on one sector at a time and bringing the players in that sector together. In this way, we are able to combine our own expertise in building companies with industry-specific expertise,” comments Mikko Riikkinen from 52nd.
Powered by Finland’s whole Fintech ecosystem
Mikko Riikkisen adds: “when discussing with financial actors I have often come across their perceived challenge to find suitable fintech partners, so the aim of the program is to respond to this challenge,” Taneli Tikka, a 52nd partner and serial entrepreneur, comments “if we want to be at the forefront of technology, then we need systematic ways to test new ideas. We already have experience of this in the gaming industry in Finland, and one of the goals of 52nd is to bring these lessons to building startups”.
As partners, the first Tokka program has Helsinki Fintech Farm, and through that also industry-specific public-sector bodies and well-known actors from the Finnish financial sector. The network also includes multinational technology companies, such as Citi and Visa, as well as a majority of Finnish and Nordic fintech companies. “Companies created through this Tokka will have instant access to a global network. They get effective tools to build even the next neo bank if they wish to, so we are keen to see the results,” says Janne Salminen.
TOKKA in a nutshell
The Tokka program is a 52nd Ventures concept, where 5 new startups are produced for a specific industry, in just 10 weeks. The Startups will be built together with industry actors and experts, utilizing 52nd methods and expertise.
52ND in a nutshell:
52nd Ventures is the first venture builder in the Nordics, and it aims to create a “startup factory” where ideas are tested and built into new companies just like in a game studio. The founders include Finnish startup pioneer Taneli Tikka (Coinmotion, Tieto, Irc Gallery, etc), Stefano Mosconi (Jolla, Ex-Nokia, etc.), marketing multi-competitor Helene Auramo (Slush, Zipipop, etc.) and FinTech innovations specialist Mikko Riikkinen.
FINTECH FARM HELSINKI in a nutshell:
Fintech Farm is an independent financial technology hub and a digital finance service company connecting banks and other entities with fintech companies. Fintech Farm provides innovation, knowledge, acceleration, matchmaking, and training services for the financial industry. Fintech Farm is a part of HUB13 Ltd. and has built a vibrant community of over 100 financial industry organizations within the last 4 years.