Two serial entrepreneurs, Aisha and Saleem Qureshi, reignited their passion for tech-education and seized the opportunity to leverage Helsinki as a springboard for their innovative neurology-based teaching method. This endeavour led them to postpone their early retirement and embark on a new venture in Finland’s capital. Their journey was facilitated by Business Helsinki’s startup soft landing services, which helped them navigate the Finnish entrepreneurial environment.

Originally from Pakistan, Aisha Qureshi and Saleem Qureshi have always held a profound belief in the Finnish education system and its global reputation. This belief inspired them to launch one more venture, and Helsinki, which is known for its exceptional educational system, was the perfect choice for them.

The couple had taken an early retirement, but the decision to retire took a turn when Aisha and Saleem became deeply involved in their children’s education. They noticed a significant disparity between the current educational systems and future industry demands. “We aim to bridge this widening gap, especially with the advent of the AI economy”, explains Saleem, who has a background in neuroscience.

This realisation gave birth to the Lincoln Method, a company founded swiftly and with a clear vision. “The name and logo were created in just ten minutes of brainstorming”, recalls Aisha with a chuckle.

The Lincoln Method is a process that Saleem designed, and it focuses on how the brain learns. Saleem wants to use this methodology to help children learn new and complex things.

The Qureshis delved into the science of learning, and studied how a child’s brain consumes content. “Through this, we can visualise the learning patterns of each student. We can also identify where a child might be confused, this way the teacher can address any confusion immediately”, Saleem elaborates.

Finland, having a highly esteemed education system, emerged as an ideal location for this revolutionary method. The desired outcome is to bring the educational system and industry closer, preparing students for future business landscapes.

Startup Soft Landing Services Help Navigating the Finnish Business Ecosystem

Business Helsinki’s startup soft landing services played a crucial role in easing the Qureshi couple’s journey, guiding them through the intricacies of assimilating into the Finnish business ecosystem. Saleem highlights the efficiency of the fast-track services, which enabled him to obtain a working permit within a day.

Through comprehensive support, startup soft landing services streamline the establishment and rapid growth of businesses in Finland’s vibrant capital region. The expert team provides essential market insights, mentorship, networking opportunities, and detailed information about the dynamic local ecosystem, which includes office spaces, co-working areas, funding support, and assistance with startup permits, which are residence permits for startup entrepreneurs.

‘’International startups get a good understanding of the business opportunities available in Finland, funding options, market understanding and access to expertise”, explains Startup Soft Landing Lead, Teemu Seppälä. “The potential startups find us through our web page, international events and International House Helsinki’s website and most importantly, through peer-to-peer endorsements done by startups who have already successfully located here.’’

The services guide entrepreneurs interested in exploring opportunities in Finland, offering comprehensive assistance with paperwork and close collaboration with various authorities and the International House Helsinki (IHH).

‘’While IHH hosts all the needed authority services for newcomers under the same roof, we here at startup soft landing team provide business development services for international growth companies’’, Seppälä explains.

Seppälä describes the Finnish startup scene as a relatively young, about 15-year-old community, characterised by its freshness and dynamism.

Presently, the Helsinki Region boasts approximately 200 Venture Capital and investment funds, over 3000 startup companies, and more than 70 startup platforms, including accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, and piloting platforms. The Slush event has significantly raised awareness of growth entrepreneurship.

Seppälä outlines numerous advantages for startups considering establishment in Finland. “Finland presents a unique blend of both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ factors for business location. The country offers diverse funding opportunities, including a robust network of angel investors, VCs, and public funding.”

“Additionally, Finland is renowned for its high quality of life, having been named the happiest country in the world six times consecutively”, Seppälä sums up. “Our world-class education and healthcare systems are accessible to all, and the emphasis on work-life balance is highly valued and promoted.”

Why Choose Helsinki for Entrepreneurship?

For the Qureshi couple, choosing Helsinki was almost a happy accident. They discovered the Helsinki Education Hub and its programme that aligned perfectly with their business strategy. “We were captivated by Helsinki’s offerings, especially its supportive environment for focused entrepreneurs”, says Saleem.

Aisha and Saleem Qureshi’s goal is to promote globally a Finnish brand for after-school education. “We engage directly with industries to tailor our educational content, starting with our own daughters as our initial learners,” Saleem points out. Their innovative approach has already garnered attention, for example from the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT).

Saleem sees immense potential in integrating cyber security education early on. “By collaborating with cyber security firms for educational modules, we can empower young learners in this critical field,” he suggests.

So, why choose Helsinki for entrepreneurship? The city is not only trustworthy and innovative but also welcoming to new ideas and people, making it an ideal hub for entrepreneurs.

Aisha adds that Helsinki is exceptionally family-friendly, enhancing its appeal for international families. Outside their professional endeavours, the Qureshis enjoy hosting parties, embracing a philosophy of warmth and hospitality in their home.

The couple’s journey underscores a powerful message: in the world of business and innovation, learning is an endless adventure.

More information:

International House Helsinki (IHH) provides a wide range of information and public authority services to meet the needs of international newcomers in the Helsinki capital region. IHH also offers services for employers to support them in the international recruitment process.
Read more about the IHH services >>

Business Helsinki’s startup soft landing services support experienced growth entrepreneurs bring their business to Finland. You can book an appointment with the startup soft landing experts or contact them by email.
Read more about the startup soft landing services >>