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Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 4
Volume 5
April 2014


 As Florida's population keeps growing reaching soon the 20 million mark, so does opportunities. With the new non stop flight from Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm to Ft Lauderdale with Norwegian Air, the tourism has gotten its boost. Adding to that the new non stop flight from Helsinki to Miami with Finnair starting in December 2014, we are sure to see more people traveling between these two markets.

 Miami is seeing a real startup and tech boom, especially in the Wynwood area. West Palm Beach is getting new hotels and condo's to accommodate the growing market. We see the future in a very positive light.

 The FACC board is getting together in May to plan for the next season. We will be sending a simple survey to our members to get your feedback for the planning session. We appreciate if you take 3 minutes from your busy day to fill it in.

 Lastly we would like to say a HUGE thank you to our 6th intern Mari Manelius for the work you did over the winter season. We wish you all the best in your future and your career. We hope this was an educational and meaningful experience for you as much as it was for us.

 We also would like to warmly welcome our 7th intern, Maria Flemmich. Read more about here below.


At your service,


Lena Hartikainen

FACC-FL President


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News from Florida

Economists predict growing budget surplus in Florida
Lawmakers in Florida will have a surplus of about $1.2 billion this year as they craft the state budget, according to a revenue estimate by state economists. Driven by a growth in the sales tax, Florida revenue collections will grow 5.2 percent to $28 billion in the fiscal year beginning July 1, state economists led by Amy Baker. Read more on the topic here.
Natural-gas breakthrough could lead to cheaper fuel 
A discovery in South Florida could lead to wider use of clean-burning fuels. Scientist Roy Periana, who heads the Scripps Energy Materials Center in Jupiter, has devised a more efficient method of converting the major components of natural gas into useable fuels. Read the complete article here.
Miami, the next tech and startup hub
Miami has dramatically improved its ability to attract venture capital, raking in more $300 million in 2013, the 16th highest take among the 380-plus U.S. metro regions.  The broader Southern Florida (So-Flo) mega-region, which includes Tampa and Orlando, took in a total of nearly $600 million ($150 million of it in Tampa, $75 million in Orlando), placing it among the top dozen venture capital regions in the United States, roughly comparable to Greater Chicago. Read more about the subject here.
American homeowners equity holdings are booming
The economy may be growing at a frustratingly slow pace, but one piece of it is booming: American homeowners' equity holdings - the market value of their houses minus their mortgage debts - soared by nearly $2.1 trillion last year to $10 trillion. Two statistical studies released this month offered a glimpse of where the country is in terms of homeowner equity, seven years after real estate began to tumble and crash. Review the whole article here.
Florida ranks as fourth best State for tax payers
There are a lot of reasons to live in Florida: sunshine, beaches, Walt Disney World ... and taxes? When it comes to the best states to be a taxpayer, Florida is ranked among the best with an average annual state and local tax payout of $3,648. Read more on the topic here.
Aging population sees opportunity in small business

As the population ages, jobs like massage therapist and others like senior fitness trainers, dietitians and nutritionists, personal assistants, handymen, drivers and caterers who prepare meals for shut-ins are on the upswing. By 2050, according to the Pew Research Center projections, the nation's population of people 65 and older is expected to slightly more than double, to 86 million from 41 million in 2010.  Read more here.


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News from Finland

Finland's startup culture rises global media interest in 2013

The top three topics creating media visibility were Finland's strong startup culture, energy industry and forest industry. The startup event Slush, which was attended by 17 reporters invited by Finnfacts from around the world, gained the highest level of media coverage. According to Finnfacts' media analysis, the stories about post-Nokia Finland reached up to 485 million media users. Alongside startups, the transforming forest industry and Finnish cleantech knowhow also garnered interest from the media. China's leading forestry publication China Pulp & Paper Industry, for example, published a 42-page section on Finland based on the tour organised for Chinese reporters last April. Read more here
VTT testing new ways to detect early  memory disorders 
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is co-ordinating a European wide research project PredictND which aims to develop new procedures for the earlier diagnosis of memory disorders.  The innovation of the project is to test the decision-making tool for the detection and differentiation of memory diseases at earliest phases. Detecting signs of progressive memory disease in time will allow earlier interventions and treatments, says Hilkka Soininen, professor of neurology at the University of Eastern Finland. Review the article here.
Marimekko explores with new fabric materials, such as birch fibre 
Marimekko, the Finnish textile and clothing design company, has showcased the first garment made out of birch cellulose fibre in its fashion show in Finland. The researchers at Aalto University in Finland came up with the Ioncell method, which allows birch-based pulp from Finnish pulp mills to be used as a raw material for textiles. Finnish researchers were looking for new alternatives to cotton, because demand for textile fibres is expected to nearly double by 2030. Read more on topic here.

Finland second best country in the EU for quality of life

Finland is amongst the top three European Union countries when measuring the quality of life. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, ranks Finland as the second best country for quality of life after Denmark. Read the whole article here.


FACC New Member - Welcome!



Wyncode is a development boot camp immersing ambitious individuals in a demanding and inspiring learning environment engineered to develop successful coders with business acumen. 

We believe in promoting programming literacy using a disruptive education model and feel that a boot camp environment is the best way to learn practical and relevant coding skills quickly.


FACC New Intern


We have a new intern, Maria Flemmich, who started as an intern in the end of March. Maria is a 23-year old Swedish-speaking Finn. Her family lives in Tammisaari (Eken�s) but Maria lives in Turku (�bo). 

Maria has a Bachelor's degree in Politics with a focus on international politics from �bo Akademi University. Currently she is pursuing a Master's degree in Business Economics with a focus on international marketing and communication as minor and will graduate in December 2014. She has also been an exchange student at North Park University, Chicago, Illinois.


Maria has worked a lot abroad already, in Reykjavik, Iceland, in London, UK, in Brussels, Belgium, in Strasbourg, France, in Rabat and Casablanca in Morocco and in Chisinau, Moldova. Maria is very happy to expand her horizons further on and to receive new knowledge and experiences by working at FACC Florida.


FACC Upcoming events



  • April 7-8th                         Palm Beach Strategic Forum 
            • Place: Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach. More information about the event, registration  and the keynote speakers here.
  • April  28th, at 6-8.30pm       ABICC Inauguration of the year - For Members Only
            • Fantastic opportunity to our members to present your goods or services to an international audience in Miami. Please RSVP to if you want to be part of our team.
  • May 9th                                       FACC Yearly Planning Session
            • Open to all FACC members. Come join us on planning future FACC events for the coming year. Do you have ideas or suggestions for the next year? FACC will conduct a questionnaire and provide you with a platform for sharing your thoughts and ideas. You can also always email us at or contact us through other channels. Stay tuned for more information soon.
Partner Trade Events  


April 7-9, 2014
Tallahassee, Florida

Join the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida's international business community to hear from top international trade experts and promote the significant role international business has in Florida's economy and in your business. More about the event here.



14th Annual Gulf Coast World Trade Conference


May 1-2, 2014 
Pensacola Beach, Florida

The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 14th Annual Gulf Coast International Trade Event titled "Gateway Gulf Coast: Leveraging Infrastructure to Boost International Commerce".  This event will highlight the latest trade trends, market developments and international business opportunities for Gulf Coast (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana) companies.  Experience superior networking opportunities with trade practitioners, international business professionals and state and federal resource providers.   Early Bird registration $200 through February 28th and $250 thereafter.  Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available. More on event here.



We hope you find this newsletter useful and we love to get feedback and suggestions how we can make it better. We also have many volunteer opportunities within the chamber so let us know how you want to be involved.




Lena Hartikainen
Finnish American Chamber of Commerce