Tromsø + Oulu = ❤️

ProTromsø with a business delegation from Tromsø visited Oulu, Finland last week for matchmaking and inspiration



Last week ProTromsø travelled to Oulu in northern Finland with a business delegation to attend B2B-meetings, discuss potential collaborations and working on future cross-border projects in the Arctic region.

We were also very pleased to meet and hear about the success-stories of businesses in Oulu in the areas of health-technology and gaming industry.

Offices of Business Oulu. Photo: Julie-Helene D. Sørensen

Oulu, who has credited themselves with the “capital of Northern Scandinavia” offers a diverse and innovative industry in ICT, software programming, and new digital health solutions. The city have close to 200 000 inhabitants, the fifth largest city in Finland.  Famous for the World Championship in Air Guitar , saunas and the well-renowned Polar Bear Pitching competition.

Oulu invites entrepreneurs and ideas from all over the world to attend their ice-cold pitching competition,aptly named Polar Bear Pitching on 29th of February 2024. Photo: Julie-Helene D. Sørensen

ProTromsø participated along with representatives from Norinnova, Troms Chamber of Commerce, Helsepartner Nord-Norge and Arctic Frontiers.

The program consisted of B2B-meetings, a networking dinner, roundtable on the future collaborations in the Arctic region with Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish businesspartners, company visits to incubators such as the Business Oulu Startup Station, which is a new venue for entrepreneurs and start-ups to have informal gatherings and a safe place to exchange and discuss ideas. 

One of their main attractions is the Polar Bear Pitching, which takes place the 29th of February 2024 in Oulu. Here they will gather investors, business developers, mentors, start-ups and ideas from all over the world. It is open to apply for participation, and we hope as with two previous occasion it will declare a Norwegian winner of the € 10 000 prize.

Anne Ryynänen from Business Oulo and  Terho Jylhälehto from University of Applied Sciences presented their work with startups and incubators in Oulu. Photo: Julie-Helene D. Sørensen.

Fingersoft, a gaming company known for its “Hillclimb Racing” game for mobile phones, presented their contribution to the city by the last 10 years, creating a workforce of over 120 employess, from 20 nationalities, making a revenue with a healthy profit for further developments. 

Their decision to stay located in Oulu, instead of moving the company to Helsinki or overseas, has become one of their competitive advantages according to Daniel Fischer, producer at Fingersoft.

Produce at Fingersoft Daniel Fischer presents the story that starts with a simple mobile-game and which turns into a successful workplace for 120 employees in Oulu. Photo: Julie-Helene D. Sørensen.

The OYS Test lab is a specialised test environment in the heart of the Oulu University Hospital. OYS TestLab’s premises can replicate various hospital units, such as an operating theatre, clinics, wards and control rooms.  It offers all you need to test and develop your product or service in an authentic hospital environment and with genuine users.

The laboratory covers 300 square metres on two floors, and a digital testbed for EHR integrations. Additionally, OYS TestLab has a 3D virtual space and a 5G test network.

Timo Alalääkkölä, development manager at Oulu Health presents the invaluable collaboration between the public sector and the private industries. Photo: Julie-Helene D. Sørensen
The Tromsø-delegation: Disa Håkstad, Kirsten Østby, Therese Lein, Julia Seljeseth, Cato Hakvåg and Julie-Helene D. Sørensen

We wish to thank Business Oulu for welcoming us, arranging a tailor-made program for us as well as inviting us into their upcoming projects. The delegation have returned to Tromsø with inspiration, new business contacts and

ProTromsø is continuing the cooperation with Business Oulu through international projects and business matchmaking. More updates coming soon in regards to how you can participate.

If you have questions about the program, the projects, the companies we visited or wish to obtain contact information, please contact us on

The next visit to Oulu will be 27th-30th of February 2024, invitation will be sent out, and if you wish to participate – contact us by email.

ProTromsø + Business Oulu = future collaboration to come! From left: Johanna Kamunen, Maja Terning, Julie-Helene D. Sørensen and Sanna Savolainen