Takeoff Partners and Finnish Dutch Chamber of Commerce discussed collaboration and market entry to Netherlands

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Delegates from Finnish Dutch Chamber of Commerce and representatives from Takeoff Partners' portfolio companies trying out HUONE Kamppi's lobby swings.

Finnish Dutch Chamber of Commerce (FDCC) organized one of its regular, popular business trips to Helsinki this September. As part of it, Takeoff Partners hosted an afternoon event to the delegates on Thursday, September 12 at HUONE Kamppi. It was a collaborative event around the topic of internationalization and growth in today’s world.

September 2019

Markko Vaarnas from Takeoff Partners delivered the opening speech on behalf of the hosts, after which the stage was taken by representatives from three Takeoff Partners portfolio companies, all of which are currently expanding internationally: Futures Platform, Howspace and HUONE.

Futures Platform serves a global audience

After a EUR 1 million funding round and an upgraded product, Futures Platform, the SaaS company helping businesses to future-proof their strategy is on a path for fast growth with clients all over the world from Europe to North America and different parts of Asia.

Jenna Mäntynen, Senior Manager for International Business Development and Customer Success at Futures Platform, is at the forefront in making that happen.

“Foresight is relatively new to companies, and process-wise often not very established. We are providing help in putting foresight in the center of an organization’s strategy,” she says.

One of the topics discussed at the event was whether English-language platform would work in the Dutch market. The consensus was that generally speaking it would, as it is accepted as the international business language. However, Futures Platform’s go-to market model is partly based on partnerships with consultants who serve their local clients in local languages and would potentially benefit from a local-language product.

Futures Platform is available for a 15-day trial here.

Howspace and local presence

The second speaker of the day was Jouko Virtanen from Takeoff Partners, presenting the case of Howspace as the company’s Sales Director.

Howspace is a collaborative digital facilitation platform for professional learning and organizational development. Currently serving approximately two hundred organizations across ten countries, Howspace’s story of growth has been impressive and its portfolio of clients includes big players such as Fortune 100 companies and professional associations with tens of thousands of members.

“Organizations in general consider learning as one of the key challenges going forward, but often struggle to make it effective. When you drive change in an organization, there is no stickiness if the people are not involved. Howspace is here to resolve that problem,” Jouko Virtanen says.

At the event, FDCC and Howspace discussed the importance of local presence.

“Being there is making it. Netherlands is still a traditional market where building a local network is key in succeeding,” describes Satu Schroderus, Chairman of the FDCC.

HUONE has plans for the Netherlands

The third speaker of the afternoon was Jaakko Eskola, Market Entry Manager of HUONE. HUONE is an award-winning event venue concept that operates full-service meeting and event venues in Helsinki, Singapore and Copenhagen, with aspirations to enter the Dutch market by opening a new location in Amsterdam in the near future.

Part of HUONE’s unique concept involves taking great care to ensure that each location has a variety of different kinds of meeting rooms, furnished in inspiring and unique ways to fit all the different meeting and event needs of corporate customers. With the FDCC, much of the discussion was around the essence of Dutch design and what it means to the Dutch people.

“We conducted a market study in Netherlands in 2018. Based on that, we found out that Dutch market has its special features as well. Factors such as local design and access to daylight are important to consider,” Jaakko Eskola says.

The afternoon finished with Jaakko Eskola taking the participants for a tour around HUONE Kamppi’s rooms and facilities.

New collaboration in Amsterdam

Overall, the afternoon was a positive experience for everyone involved. FDCC’s General Manager Patrice van der Heiden praises the relaxed atmosphere.

“There was a clear win-win for all parties; we as an FDCC delegation heard very nice, enthusiastic and interesting cases and in the meantime, we could give feedback about a possible market entry in the Netherlands,” he describes.

Perhaps the most fruitful result of the afternoon was that it led to a collaboration between FDCC and Howspace. FDCC will be hosting Nordic Talks, an AI event joined by all the Nordic chambers of commerce and embassies, in Amsterdam on October 7. Howspace will be there to provide the digital facilitation of the event. You can check it out here: https://nordictalks.org/