Crazy Town is a co-working space and community that helps its member companies grow and become more international. Crazy Town Tampere was opened in spring 2017 and is growing fast.
Firstbeat is a rapidly growing global provider of physiological analytics for sports and well-being. Based in Jyväskylä, Finland, the company wanted to establish a small office in Tampere.
– When I visited Crazy Town Tampere, I immediately knew it was the place for our team of three. Everything was just right: the premises, the community and the location, says Key Account Manager Niina Kokkonen of Firstbeat Technologies.
Crazy Town, too, has its roots in Jyväskylä. It all began in 2002 when a group of young enterpreneurs wanted to create themselves a working environment suitable for their needs; a place to encourage cooperation. The concept was developed over the years and in 2015 it was launched for business. Crazy Town locations opened first in Jyväskylä, then in Hämeenlinna and Tampere.
Crazy Town Tampere has grown very strongly right from the beginning. It started with 25 member companies and it is estimated to have 70–80 members by the end of its first year. Sales Director Timo Lahti is the person responsible for the growth and development of the CT Tampere community. The new concept in town has raised a lot of interest, which means the job has kept him busy.
– I aim to develop a multifaceted ecosystem here, that is, to include both startups and companies that have already made their way to success; people from various fields in business and with different backgrounds, Lahti explains.
Bringing together, for example, technology experts and sales people is more easily said than done, but when successful, opens great opportunities for both parties. Having a shared place and community helps a lot.
– Finding the suitable CT members is only half of my job, and usually the easiest part of it. The real thing starts when our client has signed the contract and moved in, Lahti says.
Lahti is very satisfied with the mix of the member companies: they have already understood the main idea of CT – ”help and you’ll be helped” – and found the opportunities to trade with each other.
– Our door in Crazy Town Tampere is open and we have found interesting partners with whom we might have synergies in business, says Kokkonen of Firstbeat.
There is always something happening in CT Tampere. In autumn 2017 began a series of lean startup workshops, open for anyone interested. The idea is to find and help promising startups in early stages.
Another big theme at the moment is providing international connections. CT Tampere offers SMEs a direct channel to Asian market with its partners: a videolink with selected Chinese buyers, in Jiangsu province, eastern China to start with.
– We want to provide our member companies an easy, reliable and affordable way for global connections, so that even the smallest companies can find partners world-wide, Lahti says.
Locating in Tampere was not self-evident, when Crazy Town was looking for a place for the third CT centre. The Helsinki Metropolitan area was most enticing.
– I must say that Senior Business Advisor Raimo Vähämaa of Business Tampere (known as Tredea back then) provided us with very good contacts with Fennia, the owner of this building, and his team helped us in many ways. This is why we chose Tampere, Lahti says.
There is plenty of room in the building, should CT Tampere need more as it grows. The aim is to be the largest community of small enterprises in Tampere.
– That is already reality, if we consider it by the number of business IDs in the house, Lahti says.
Niina Kokkonen from Firstbeat is happy with the way networking has started to work in the CT community.
– We have nice people here, sharing thoughts and success stories, participating events and so on, Kokkonen tells.