Day 3. Crazy Town, Tampere

After sampling more Lapland delicacies at breakfast, I donned my boots and warm coat and walked across town with Maiju, my host from Talent Tampere. The conditions were perfect for walking, the snow being crisp underfoot with no dangerous icy patches to contend with.

Our first destination of the day was at Crazy Town which is a co-working space and business community intended for both start-up and established micro-sized companies and freelancers. My prize in winning the Talent Tampere international blog competition was to come to Finland and explore the travel, business and international aspects of Tampere, and what better place to start with international business than here.

Crazy Town, Tampere
The co-working area of Crazy Town, Tampere

Business Tampere had organised a winter warm-up event for local companies, Tampere ambassadors and members of Crazy Town. Stepping inside, I was impressed with the informal yet well organised layout. There’s a large open plan area ideal for seminars, networking and events like this. Surrounding this space are around 75 small office units on two floors, connected on the upper level by an eye-catching wooden bridge.

Crazy Town, Tampere
Presentation by the Woolman company at Crazy Town, Tampere

Timo Lahti, the sales director gave us a tour of the building and explained that there had been so much interest in this working concept that construction has already started to add an additional 25 working spaces within the existing building. It’s not only locals who are interested in this way of working, Crazy Town is also home to many international entrepreneurs.

Crazy Town, Tampere
Small office units surrounding the communal working space at Crazy Town

The event was well attended by an international audience and got underway with a light breakfast. After a welcome introduction by Talent Tampere there was a talk by Woolman, an e-commerce company who design and develop on-line stores for their customers. This presentation started with some nature photos and of the speaker’s fly-fishing hobby that became the inspiration for the company, demonstrating how lifestyle changes can lead to a business plan. This was followed by a series of short pitches by Crazy Town members who were aiming to expand their businesses. Attending the event had been inspirational, demonstrating how it’s possible for development ideas to be transformed into successful small businesses

Puisto restaurant, Tampere
Puisto restaurant, Tampere

It had then been arranged for me to have lunch with the Talent Tampere team and one of their ambassadors so that I could learn about her role. We walked through town to the Puisto restaurant beside the Tammerkoski rapids.  Utilising the power from these rapids, Tampere flourished with its cotton mills but nowadays it’s been transformed into a city noted for its technological innovation

Puisto restaurant, Tampere, Talent Tampere lunch
Enjoying lunch with the team from Talent Tampere and one of the international ambassadors

Puisto translated into English means park, and from our window table we had splendid views across the park to the river beyond. The buffet lunch had lots to tempt me and I enjoyed a selection of hot dishes and salad whilst learning more about Tampere’s international links.

Later, we had a stroll through the town where I discovered a really nice design shop called Taito that showcased Finnish design and local arts and crafts. If only my suitcase was large enough to take home so many of their products!

Taito, Tampere
Local crafts and produce at Taito

Later, I was a guest at another of Tampere’s innovative tech companies but I’m going to hold back on that story for now and introduce you to them a little later – so stay tuned for more!

Festival of Light, Tampere
The Festival of Light, Tampere

During the evening I enjoyed a final stroll through the town, the dark winter nights brightened by a thick covering of snow and twinkling lights. Each winter the centre of Tampere holds a Festival of Light when the streets are illuminated with hundreds of lights ranging from traditional installations to urban art projected onto the sides of buildings allowing both locals and visitors to view the city under a different light.


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19 thoughts on “Day 3. Crazy Town, Tampere

  1. Shalini Kanchan

    The experience you are sharing with us all is really amazing. Thank you so much for sharing so beautiful pictures and useful information for all travelers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ian,

      As a Brit who is running his business in CrazyTown in Tampere, I can tell you it really is a great place to work. It is truly international, with English being widely spoken (Finnish is hard and takes a lot of commitment to learn so it is difficult to do this while running a business, but you can more than get by without it … but then again so is JavaScript, but I need that for my business to operate).

      There are co-working spaces in the UK. I used to work in a couple in Belfast. However, by far and away, CrazyTown is the best co-working space that I have worked in. Interestingly enough, the space is sponsored / run by Fennia (an insurance company). There is a real attitude of “giving back” to the community by larger businesses in Finland. The main thing I have found has benefitted my business, as well as being in a professional environment, is the community and support that surrounds all of the teams at CrazyTown. I have found this in UK co-working spaces, but the “celebrating of success” that takes place on a weekly basis, along with the collaboration between businesses adds so much value.

      Talent Tampere / Business Tampere, who organised Marion’s trip do receive government / municipal funding, but again, remain reasonably independent. Their motivation appears to be based around promoting the local area – which has been needed since the collapse of Microsoft and Nokia (the namesake town is only a few miles away). I think the main difference I have noticed is the desire to promote the region and country for the benefit of all Finnish based businesses – Finland is a very proud country, but not pompous, and is incredibly inclusive across the board. It doesn’t matter where you are from, just where you are and where you are going – it is really refreshing and a great modern outlook that allows the city of Tampere and the country as a whole to thrive.

      It was great to meet Marion when she came over, and I’ve really enjoyed reading her blog posts.

      Liked by 2 people

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