In June 2004, the companies participating in the Global Software program started a negotiations tour with customers, partners and investors in the USA. The extremely intensive tour undertaken by 8 companies and 15 key executives exceeded the group’s highest objectives. During the tour, all the companies proceeded into further negotiations, and some even reached the stage of bids or commenced financial negotiations. The company executives are forecasting several million dollar deals by the end of the year, based on the deals closed already during the spring of 2004.

Over 100 previously arranged appointments were set up mainly in Dallas and the Silicon Valley, but this extended further in some cases to 13 (!) different US cities. Appointments were made with leading US companies such as Cisco Systems, Oracle, Intel Capital, Virgin Mobile, Vision Capital and Direct TV. According to J-P Metsävainio – the Chairman of the Board of F-Origin which offers intuitive user interface technologies – it would have taken two years to start such negotiations without the networks and connections provided by Global Software.

In addition to the appointments and negotiations, further networking events were organised during the two-week tour. The city of Richardson hosted a mixer in the University of Dallas Texas and June 16 was officially proclaimed ‘FINNISH AMERICAN DAY’ by the Mayor Gary A. Slegel. The Dallas region is well-known as a Telecom Corridor and the city of Richardson is its center. Additionally, the Finnish companies’ US tour was widely reported in the US media. Over 20 magazines (printed or on-line) such as Forbes, CNN Money and CBS Market Watch reported the details of the Global Sofware program.

The excellent results of the US tour prove that top Finnish hi-tech companies should target the US marketplace and the Global Software network provides the springboard necessary to line up with the best US companies. As a fast follow-up is needed in order to turn negotiations into actual deals, several of the companies have since appointed local agents to do this follow-up and to find new customer contacts and six of the companies have decided to open a joint US office very soon.

The on-going Global Software implementation started in December 2003 with 38 of the most promising Finnish software intensive companies. Following comprehensive training in Finland and an analyst and press tour in the US, 8 companies qualified for the June tour in the US. These companies are GoodMood and Fountain Park from Helsinki; Outer Rim, Emfit and 4Field from Jyväskylä and F-Origin, Jutel and Codenomicon from Oulu.

Coverage Report 04.06.2004

Apr. 22, 2004 March Press Tour resulted in some articles in US Press:

MyOrigo Prototype Tackles Smart-Phone Faults by Rob Enderle,
eWeek, April 5

–From Finland, With Love  Global Software looks to lead Finnish tech firms to US shores by Chris Lindqvist, CIO Magazine, April 5

Jan. 29, 2004 Software Industry Award for a Contributing Actor Given to global Software

The Finnish software industry presented the Software Industry Awards 2003 in an award gala in Helsinki on January 28th. The awards are for promising and successful Finnish software companies and innovations, as well as for those who have significantly contributed to the industry in Finland.

The awards were given in the five following categories: Commercial Innovation, Early Stage Company, International Breakthrough, Business Performance and Contributing Actor. This year the jury also decided to give one special award.

In addition to the Chairman Matti Sihto (Tekes, National Technology Agency in Finland), the jury consisted of the representatives of different areas in the Finnish software industry: Anu Nokso-Koivisto (Investments Director in Sitra, and Member of the Board of the Finnish Venture Capital Association), Christina Forsgård (Chairman of the Board of Netprofile Finland), Hannu Turunen (of Venture Capitalist, Magnolia Ventures & Board Member – Former President and CEO – of Stonesoft Plc.), Ilmari Nyström (the CEO of Source Code Finland) and Jyrki Kontio (Professor at Helsinki University of Technology/Sober IT).

Software Industry Award for a Contributing Actor

The Award in the category of Contributing Actor was given to the Global Software program, which has become the most comprehensive business development, marketing and networking program in Finland. Already over 60 companies from different parts of Finland have participated in the program for over 5 years. The previous program which finished in May had 19 participants, 12 of which have now either customers, partners and/or investors in the USA. During the spring and summer of 2003, the program’s process model was totally revamped and a new program was started in December with 40 companies.

Other nominees in the category were the Centre of Expertise for Software Product Businesses which provides research information and develops various kinds of projects for the needs of the industry, and the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs’ Association which has promoted the importance of growth entrepreneurship in public business.