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An expert panel of the Finnish economy magazine Talouselämä selected the 20 most promising Finnish start-ups for the third time, and HappyOrNot was honoured to the list.

The chairman of the panel jury, Jorma Ollila, commented: “Discussion about choosing the right companies was lively and lasted several hours. The end result is a list of 20 companies that we can be proud of: a strong group of really promising companies, which provide a healthy representation of the current state of the Finnish start-up ecosystem. The list is diverse, including new business models, service companies, and game and other software companies. We also noticed that finding 50 start ups of same level wouldn’t be that easy.”

The apex of Finnish start-ups is quite narrow – there were not many high quality candidates rushing for the final list.

The jury included top level experts of Finnish investors: Tom Henriksson, partner of private equity investor Open Ocean Capital; Timo Ahopelto from Lifeline Ventures; Lassi Noponen from Cleantech Invest; and Tekes EVP, Jukka Häyrynen. Other representatives in the jury were Elina Uutela, president of AaltoES student society and Talouselämä’s journalist Elina Lappalainen.

The editors of Talouselämä compiled a list of candidates and those companies were asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire. Included in the questionnaire were details regarding financial statements, estimates for 2013 figures, financing, and future challenges, and inputs were taken from both the customers and the team, thus giving extensive background information to the jury for decision making.

The jury emphasized the possibility of the company’s quick international expansion and growth – the product or service was to have a large and growing market and the product itself needed to be good. Actual growth and customer base were also appreciated, as well as the team’s expertise and experience.