SOURCE: City of San Jose, California

October 09, 2007 20:25 ET

San Jose to Be Global Base for Finnish Software Innovation Companies

More Than 20 Companies From Northern Europe's High-Tech Powerhouse Region to Establish Beachhead in Silicon Valley; U.S. Market Access Center, San Jose's International Business Incubator, to Serve as Companies' U.S. Entry Point

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - October 9, 2007) - The City of San Jose, California, announced today that the City of Oulu, Finland, will locate more than 20 software companies in San Jose over the next 5 years.

Through an effort funded by the government of Finland, called the Global Cluster Program, and through the results of work put forth by the San Jose Office of Economic Development, the City of Oulu, Oulu Innovation Oulu University and the Oulu Wellness Institute over the past 2 years, Oulu companies are now moving to San Jose for the purpose of initiating a U.S. launch. The first Oulu companies to establish a presence in San Jose via the Global Cluster Program include BBS, Codenomicon, EB, Navicron and Tracker.

These high-growth technology start-ups -- already with impressive track records in Finland -- are bringing their innovative technology to Silicon Valley and will be engaged in promoting mutually beneficial business arrangements that leverage Oulu as well as partners, collaborators and talent in San Jose with the intention of taking their brands to the global marketplace.

To celebrate the Finnish companies establishing their presence here, Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose today welcomed Mayor Matti Pennanen of Oulu, Finland and a public-private delegation representing Oulu university, business and government entities.

"San Jose is an international city and a crossroads for ideas, talent, culture and business that continue to change the world. These Finnish companies recognize that to truly be global they need to be in San Jose where they have access to the capital, talent and partners that will help fuel their growth," said Reed. "I warmly welcome Mayor Pennanen, his delegation and these companies to San Jose to celebrate this linking of commerce between San Jose and Oulu."

Throughout the next three days, Mayor Reed as well as other City of San Jose and San Jose Redevelopment Agency representatives will meet with the delegation to further promote and encourage mutually beneficial relations that will foster strong connections for businesses, research organizations and city governments in each region.

As a leading center of mobile communications technology and home to Nokia's Research Center, the city of Oulu, Finland is Northern Europe's most significant high-tech powerhouse. With over 800 high-tech companies, considerable research and development capabilities and the second largest university in Finland, Oulu enjoys a robust economy and a strong well-educated talent base.

"Both Oulu and San Jose have similar characteristics: a progressive technology hub and the entrepreneurial energy that inspires innovation. By building significant commercial ties with each other, we will both grow our economies worldwide," said Reed.

Finnish Companies to call Downtown San Jose Home

Oulu companies locating in San Jose will initially be residents of the US Market Access Center (US MAC), the leading gateway to the United States for international companies. The US MAC, formerly the International Business Incubator, was established in 1995 to attract international firms to San Jose and to help them enter the U.S. market. Located in Downtown San Jose, the US MAC offers home office and business development services, including extensive research and consulting services, to international companies. The US MAC is operated and managed by the San Jose State University Research Foundation in partnership with the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.

According to Chuck Erickson, CEO of the US MAC, the Finnish companies will be able to take advantage of services and networks that will help speed time-to-market and accelerate market growth.

"These are savvy software companies looking to grow their market share throughout the world, here in the United States and in Silicon Valley. The US MAC is able to offer services to provide a smooth transition. We are looking forward to working with these companies and providing them with a wide variety of professional services, such as an extensive 'know-how/know-who' network, deep software industry expertise and our customized market assessments," Erickson said.

Like San Jose, Oulu has nurtured technology start-up companies. The university sponsors several business incubators, including Infotech Oulu and Biocenter Oulu, and the Center for Wireless Communications Institute.

A Bold Vision that Leads to San Jose

In 1984 Oulu proclaimed itself a technology city. It was a visionary strategy, as this city was known at the time as an export center for fur, salmon and tar, used throughout the world to protect wooden ships. Oulu has now risen to become one of the hottest centers of technology in the world and has established its reputation as a technology city in the Finnish national consciousness. To arrive at this success, Oulu invested approximately 300 million euros -- the city's most significant investment in its history -- to incubate a "technology city." As companies began to take off, there was a strong need to build marketshare and partnerships beyond the borders of Finland and the European Union.

"Companies looking for true global market penetration know that a presence in San Jose/Silicon Valley is an inevitable part of their growth paths. We are here to provide the smartest and best ways for them to achieve their goals and are extremely happy that we have the opportunity to work with these Oulu companies to have them join the ranks of other international firms now calling San Jose home," Erickson said.

About the City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development

The City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development (OED) is committed to a vital, competitive San Jose economy that increases prosperity for people and companies and enhances City revenues. The Office guides the City's economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, helps connect employers with trained workers, and provides art and cultural resources to our community. For more information, please visit,

About the City of San Jose

From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley -- the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, work, live, play and learn. For more information, visit,

Contact Information

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    Steven Brewster
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    San Jose Office of Economic Development
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