Dear Alex - Kill Tekes!
(Julkaistu alunperin Linkedinissä 18.9.2015)
At first let me raise my hat for you as a Finland’s new Prime Minister. I like the way you make your point very clear what comes to Finland’s foreign policy.
Let’s go to business then.
During my journey as a growth entrepreneurship ecosystem builder at Ambrosia Professionals I have noticed how subsidy policy practiced in Finland and EU (for startups and SMEs) can affect also negatively for many entrepreneurs’ possibilities. It’s very confusing for innovative growth seeking companies that are not that much fit to the official system. There are thousands of them in Finland and Europe. “My Europe is Sick” as I wrote in my previous post on LinkedIn in June 2014.
It’s not the money that stinks itself but the mechanism how the money is allocated. First the political decisions are made. Then organizations like Tekes and ELY in Finland and others all over Europe channel billions of Euros of tax payers’ money “to boost the economies” as their propaganda states. Sounds all good if you don’t know how this lousy and ineffective process really affects by its all aspects to the economy and also ruins the entrepreneurial spirit in many ways.
Right taxation – transparent tax reliefs for investments and nothing else – would be perfect solution but obviously it would take the power out of the system and politicians and that’s why it seems to be hard to change anything. Few people are aware of these things, amazingly few – or maybe people are not that stupid but for some reason reluctant to think and discuss of the issue in depth?
Government – keep out of the business!
When there is a huge amount of faceless “growth money” on the table someone is always winning economically or politically. These people love the system and surround the decisions makers into a bubble far from reality – or they are the decision makers themselves. “Out of the system guys” suffer but keep silent for obvious reasons. They don’t understand to protest because they don’t know that there could be an alternative.
In this matter no one else in Finland and hardly in the whole Europe has better view of the other side of the coin as I do. My duty is to lift the cat onto the table. My duty is to help those other innovative fellow entrepreneurs and potential investors who are out of the system. The best way to do this is to wake up people like you, Alex, and many others in spite of the political party they represent. No hard feelings. I am available to consult Finnish Government anytime in this issue in more detail to help my country based on the grassroots experience I have. I have read my books also.
The current system, “the apartheid of entrepreneurship”, will be catastrophic for our competitiveness and spirit in the future if continued. In the big picture the system hasn’t much to do with the transparency or equal opportunity to all entrepreneurs based on how innovative products and services they could build or how much passion, vision and drive to change the world they might have.
There is no real capitalism in Finland and Europe. I’m afraid that if starting from scratch Mr. Steve Jobs himself and people like him would be hippies and bums in Finland! He would be unable to get any funding in the seed stage because already his personality and self-confidence would be an awful misfit to the system guys.
The system is needed because it exists!
Every private investor in the whole Europe takes into account where subsidies are given. In capitalism the micro level decisions are based on maximizing the profits. It’s risky business anyway. All this means finally that the politicians and government officials define very much where the private money is invested also, which companies, which industries, which individuals etc. And you cannot ask entrepreneurs just to go somewhere else because somewhere else doesn’t exist… and don’t touch the crowdfunding!
The existence of the wrong system itself creates problems and keeps private funding undeveloped. Give me one independent Nobel Prize winner in the economics saying that the mechanism to finance the Finnish innovation ecosystem is anything but a poor one!
“The Finnish Way”
Knowing the pressure government and its ministries eagerly try to make the Finnish system “better and better all the time” – it’s the same as trying to make one party system (like China) as a democratic country accepting no other parties! For instance the government has started to use some Finnish moneymen in the allocation process directly. Sounds great?
In Russia there are few “oligarchs” who own half of Russia – what about “ELYgarchs” in Finland referring to carefully selected businessmen who will get taxpayers money automatically to boost their business in their system approvedaccelerators? Life is all too good for others in Finland 2014 but in a big picture trying to invent the wheel again seems to be very difficult!
I was very naïve in the beginning when founding Ambrosia Professionals in 2012 and believing that Ambrosia would be very good news for public players bringing great value added for them. Now I have started to make a joke out of it. “The invisible hand of capitalism” guides the resources in real capitalism. In this case it should be replaced by “the silent whisper of the system” meaning the situation where the opponent seems to be “hearing orders” in his ears (that you cannot hear) when sitting next to you in negotiations.
Finland could make money by saving money.
I have noticed that Finland is full of non-profits in this field nowadays. Should Ambrosia be a non-profit also to get access to the party? Then there are companies that only look private but are not because they are fully owned by the public organizations. Not surprisingly those players seem to be always very well connected with the taxpayers’ money. Ambrosia Professionals, a 100% private company is like a weirdo in Finland in the business that should be critical to the overall success of the country! That’s weird!
It’s fun to get bills paid by the taxpayers and not to worry too much if the work isn’t that good for the end customer. People’s motivation in these organizations comes all too often just from getting the monthly salary or benefiting it politically or socially (looks good on CV). These people are very seldom innovators but all too often they love the power play – the vast majority of “growth entrepreneurship ecosystem builders” in Finland are hang arounds!
Why not giving entrepreneurs an equal opportunity to build great companies? Why not bringing capitalism to Finland and EU and saving them from bankruptcy? Why not giving meaningfulness, purpose and alternatives for people?
I want to invite people who care, from different sectors of business and life to “join”E-liike which I founded in June 2014. E-liike is for all Europeans, not just Finns. We have no money but we have a vision. This is just the beginning. We are not a political party but willing to help for those in power – meaning you Alex as well – to build better world together by giving fresh insights from the other side of the coin.
And one more thing…
I am visiting in Helsinki 2.-3.10.2014. I am pleased to invite all interested to Gallerie Forsblom to Veikko Hirvimäki‘s exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd Please put me a line to: petri.hirvimaki(at)ambrosia.fi so I can send you an invitation. Note that there is only limited number of invitations available.
The journey is the reward!