First, China: Free Chinese classes #HELYES

The Finnish start-up scene is booming, and many of these ambitious new companies have a clear objective of doing business in China. They also realize that knowing the Chinese language will help them significantly in getting their business off to a good start in China. Pitching a startup in Chinese will improve the likelihood of getting Chinese investments and business deals.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki has now decided to address this challenge, and will offer FREE Chinese language lessons customized for startups.

“The One Belt One Road initiative is all about bringing people together. Having a common language is a huge enabler for mutual understanding and increased collaboration between our two nations,” says Julie Chen, director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki.

The lessons will be held as morning sessions between 8:00 and 9:00 each Thursday morning at the We+ co-working space at Kaapelitehdas in Helsinki. We+ is a Chinese company offering cross-cultural co-working spaces in China, and since this spring in Helsinki.

“Learning Chinese may sound like a difficult task — and it is. But I just spent 8 weeks last year learning Chinese, so I know it is possible within a reasonable time. It is an investment that really pays off,” says Peter Vesterbacka, a startup activist.

With the fast rail tunnel project connecting Helsinki and Tallinn just around the corner, we will need a lot more talent with Chinese language and culture skills here along the Arctic Silk Road. Connecting Helsinki and Tallinn will create the foundation for future growth here at the heart of Eurasia. With this we expect the FinEst Bay Area to be the fastest growing metropolitan area in all of Eurasia for the foreseeable future. While others are building walls, we are building tunnels connecting people,” said Vesterbacka.

The first language lesson will be at We+ at Kaapelitehdas (Tallberginkatu 1 C, 2nd floor) on Thursday April 20th between 08:00 and 09:00. Register link:

PHOTO: On his way to United States, Chinese President stopped this week in Finland. As they say. First Finland, Second United States. Or from Finnish side: First China. Photo courtesy of Finnish presidential office.

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