MTEC SmartZone Provides Local Companies With Exporting Assistance to Finland

May 30, 2013, Houghton, MI – As part of FinnFest USA 2013, MTEC SmartZone is
hosting and promoting a number of opportunities for Michigan based
companies to identify their next technology service or product sale.
The events also provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to showcase
their technology-based businesses and network with regional, state,
and international business support specialists.

On Wednesday, June 19th, 2013, FinnFest USA is hosting a Business
and Technology Forum in the Memorial Union Ballroom on Michigan
Technological University’s campus. This event will feature presentations
by U.S. and Finnish agents, as an opportunity for participants to
learn about oversees operations, trade, and exporting relationships.
For a complete agenda visit:
business -and-technology-forum. Immediately following the Business and
Technology Forum, the MTEC SmartZone is hosting a reception in the
Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. The reception provides a networking
opportunity for Forum attendees and kicks off the Technology Fair
exhibits (open to the public on Thursday) and the FINNEX Challenge.
All registered Business and Technology Forum attendees are invited to
the reception.

On Thursday, June 20th, 2013, SmartZone’s Technology Fair will be
open for FinnFest attendees and the general public from 9:00 AM –
2:00 PM in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge on Michigan Tech’s
campus. The fair provides a collective space for local and regional
companies to promote their innovative technology-based business.

Also on Thursday, MTEC SmartZone, along with Michigan Technological
University, is hosting SmartZone incubator and campus research tours.
SmartZone tours begin at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and 1:00 PM at the
SmartZone’s Lakeshore Center facilities. Tour participants can meet at
the Lakeshore Center at the scheduled tour time, or they can meet 15
minutes prior to the scheduled start time at the Technology Fair, where
group transportation will be provided to and from campus. Tours then
proceed to the Jutila Center for Global Design where tour participants
will learn more about the SmartZone’s Hancock operations. At the
Lakeshore Center, participants of MTEC SmartZone’s SmartStart entrepreneur
development program will be showcasing their latest products
and services. Full schedules and maps for the related tours will be
available at the Technology Fair.

For those technology-based businesses looking for the next service
or product sale, the FINNEX Challenge provides specific assistance to
develop a business plan for a commercially significant business
outcome with Finland and the Eurozone. All participating companies
will receive a follow on consultation to determine an appropriate
international development path. One or more companies will receive
direct assistance to develop a robust business plan for a commercially
significant business outcome with Finland.

Support may include business guidance from Finpro, the Finnish
Embassy, and Finnish and U.S. Government Economic Development
agencies and Chamber of Commerce; introductions to Finnish companies
that can provide support as suppliers, marketing channels,
etc.; and travel assistance to Finland to implement Finnish business
opportunities. Companies are expected to work with MTEC Smart-
Zone and supporting agencies to develop a significant commercial
outcome within the next 6-12 months. Companies that want to
participate in either the Technology Fair or the FINNEX Challenge can
find information at:

Additionally on Thursday at the Jutila Center, Chapel Auditorium, in
Hancock, a Town Hall discussion will be held with representatives
from the Finnish-American Chamber of Commerce in Minnesota and
Jukka Pietikainen, Consul General of Finland. Participants will share
recent experiences shepherding Finnish businesses into Minneapolis
and the greater Chicago area. For more information or to RSVP to
attend, call the Jutila Center at (906) 487-7344.

According to Jonathan Leinonen, program director at MTEC Smart-
Zone, “these events are provided to attract businesses that have an
opportunity for exporting but need assistance to take the first step.
It is our intention to work with the best businesses all the way to the
point where products are being exchanged.”

These programs are funded in part with support from Michigan
Economic Development Corporation.

For registration forms and additional information on these events,


The mission of MTEC SmartZone is accelerating high-tech business growth to build a prosperous regional economy. More information is available at


The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is the State of Michigan’s one-stop resource for businesses seeking to grow in Michigan. Whether it’s an expansion, relocation, or even a concern with another agency of state government, the MEDC can help. From site location assistance to job training grants, from help with permits to tax abatements, we’re the state’s economic development corporation. More information is available at SmartZone is a service mark of Michigan Economic Development Corporation.