Nikita Uzhegov - Co-founder of SpinDrive
I came to Lappeenranta as a double degree program student in 2011. I’ve been studying electrical engineering at LUT University and after completing my Master’s degree I’ve got an opportunity to start a PhD researcher position in 2012. During my doctoral studies, I’ve been working on several industrial projects as an electromagnetic designer of high-speed electrical machines. I’ve been also taking part in the Research to Business (TUTL) project, where the goal was to commercialize special bearing technology for the high-speed machines – active magnetic bearings. Together with my colleagues, we noticed that our industrial partners are struggling to find an affordable and suitable commercial solution for the active magnetic bearings globally, that’s why in 2015 we decided to establish the company SpinDrive.
After completing my PhD in 2016 I’ve started to work full time at SpinDrive.
In SpinDrive we improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes by providing active magnetic bearings to equipment manufacturers. We democratize levitation by providing magnetic bearings affordable and easy to integrate across the industries. As our solution required significant investment to be developed, the Finnish governmental funding agency Business Finland played a key role in the development of our company. They provided crucial support at each stage in a very transparent and collaborative way.
"Business Finland played a key role in the development of our company"
In Finnish startups, it’s common to have English as a primary communication language as most of the startups are oriented at the international markets and they would also like to attract the best talents. However, the chances to get a position in a bigger industrial company are significantly higher with Finnish language skills. This might be the most crucial skill for the foreigner to increase her or his competitive advantage in the job market.
Finland provides great opportunities for a startup career
In addition to financial support by Business Finland, it’s very easy to start a company and begin operations. There is a special visa available now for the international entrepreneurs willing to start a company in Finland. Compared to many other countries, administrative work is more straightforward and management can focus on value creation and not on solving bureaucratic issues. There is a strong startup ecosystem in Finland that was successfully built several years ago with project examples like Slush and Startup Sauna. There is a good opportunity to raise seed stage funding in Finland from business angels and venture capital. The overall perception of working in a startup is very positive in society, which helps to attract the best talent.