Satu Apukka is the CXO at Kide Science, a Finnish EdTech company delivering play-based lesson plans to teachers worldwide founded on academic research from the University of Helsinki. She has years of experience in marketing and sales in different companies, with a specialisation in influencer marketing, and has worked with top Finnish social media influencers.
Her primary role is to create positive customer experiences. For a product to be effective, she knows it’s essential to understand the customer journey all the way through; from a new customer at the start of their journey, to the established customers who have built up an ongoing relationship. She is heavily involved in marketing activities, supporting international customers and coordinating large scale partnership collaborations for Kide Science.
As CXO, Apukka also values building the best team culture: where people are eager to grow as professionals, work together as a team, and help each other. She believes that by learning new things and moving out of your comfort zone, it will be crucial for your success.
Apukka was a mentor for the first NEXUS incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Krista Pohjanlehto has over a decade of experience working with digital marketing, B2B sales and sales leadership from startups to tech companies and consulting. Currently, she works at Google helping global brands originally from Finland to succeed in global competition and is a local Head of Digital Marketing Transformation Program. Prior to joining Google Pohjanlehto successfully launched and scaled an ad tech startup in the Finnish market and has built and led multiple sales teams.
Pohjanlehto is one of the founders and a board member of the Future Female network, a pioneering diversity in tech movement, since 2010 and is a co-founder and host of the award winning Ruuhkavuosirakkautta podcast. Pohjanlehto is passionate about system level change making and has previously founded an online peer-to-peer marketplace - despite zero coding knowledge.
Pohjanlehto was a mentor for the first TREMOR incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Tuomas Mennola is an independent consultant who wants to help scientists understand the world of business and make new technologies move from the laboratory to the market. He has an extensive background in the commercialisation of academic and corporate innovations through spinoffs and tech transfers.
His career includes research, industry-academia collaboration, technology transfer, patenting, intellectual property management, business development, and consulting. A physicist by background, he is particularly energised by deep tech innovation and sustainability solutions. He is also fascinated by human communication and how scientists and entrepreneurs can become better at influencing and communicating their ideas.
Mennola was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Reino Virrankoski, D.Sc. (Tech.), has over 15 years of experience in planning and managing research and product development projects implemented in cooperation with industry. He has been involved in preparing and implementing several cooperation projects between industry and research institutes, which have aimed at generating new knowledge, commercialising developed innovations and internationalising Finnish companies. His main area of technical expertise is information technology, especially IoT, AI and their industrial and security applications. In addition to his main job, he has done advisory tasks and consulting assignments for a few companies in the field.
Virrankoski is currently working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the School of Electrical Engineering at Aalto University, lecturing part-time at the National Defense University of Finland and doing some consultation work (strategic analysis, business development).
Virrankoski was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Daria Giovannacci has been working in business development roles in different technical fields, such as photonics, (bio)nanotechnology, and now energy storage, focusing on innovation commercialisation. In her current role at Geyser Batteries, a Finnish battery startup, Giovannacci is leading the work on ESG and business development helping to fully utilise the business, societal, and environmental potential of the unique battery innovation created by the team. Her work covers various aspects of sustainability, from life cycle assessment to social topics, as well as EU relationships, fundraising, and general business development.
Prior to Geyser Batteries Giovannacci was leading the commercial side in the research-to-business project of Aalto University.
She has studied chemical engineering and business administration.
Giovanacci was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Anne Hämäläinen is a professional in the field of internationalisation, with almost two decades of experience in international cooperation and the internationalisation of individuals and higher education institutions.
As a Programme Manager at the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI), Hämäläinen works in the field of international higher education cooperation and currently manages a programme that supports cooperation projects between higher education institutions in Finland and developing countries. The goal of these projects is to strengthen and improve higher education in the participating countries.
In addition to her professional work, Hämäläinen is passionate about volunteering for good causes and thrives on developing initiatives that make a positive impact. This has led her to participate in mentoring programmes and develop the Mothers in Business International project, which aims to provide networking opportunities and peer support for international mothers living in Finland.
Hämäläinen was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Tapio Leppänen, MSc in Forestry from the University of Helsinki, has extensive experience in forestry in Finland and abroad, with his past 14 years having been spent in Vietnam and the Indochina region.
Leppänen's experience comes from government agencies, forest industry enterprises, and international consulting companies. Currently, Leppänen works as an Independent Forestry Consultant based in Hanoi, Vietnam. His most recent work includes themes that are particularly relevant for sustainable management of forests, including management of production and protection forests in Laos, coastal protection zone management and mangrove rehabilitation in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, evaluating investment projects on long-rotation timber production in line with the Vietnam Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to climate change mitigation and adaptation, assessing the forestry value chain in Vietnam and the opportunities for Finnish-Vietnamese business partnerships therein, evaluating the Green Growth Action Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in Vietnam, and supporting the design and implementation of the Vietnam Timber Legality Assurance System as part of the EU's FLEGT-VPA implementation.
In addition, Leppänen has been pioneering the support to digital transformation in forestry sector as both the Team Leader of the Forest Management Information System project (FORMIS) in Vietnam and the Cambodia Environmental Management Information System project (CEMIS) in Cambodia.
Leppänen was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Alisa Mick is the founder of MiXi, a Helsinki based organisation founded to impact the creation, growth and adoption of circular economy related solutions. MiXi does this by initiating action-oriented opportunities for collaborations, innovation, and learning.
Prior to establishing MiXi, Mick has had experience working as both a business consultant and as an entrepreneur, having co-founded a number of companies and worked with startups in Tel Aviv and in Helsinki.
Mick was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Juha Miettinen is a seasoned private sector development and innovation expert with close to 25 years of experience of various development, export, and innovation programmes and projects both in Finland, Europe and Southern Africa. In addition, Miettinen has over 10 years of experience working in different roles as part of Team Finland-related projects. He holds degrees in Economics from the University of Tampere and the University of Oregon, and is pursuing a PhD on public-private collaboration models around innovation in Southern Africa.
He has successfully led teams in multicultural environments and has extensive experience in innovation ecosystems, business development and new market entries, public-private collaboration, innovation support programmes, project design, and various funding mechanisms. Having both lived in Southern Africa for a number of years and worked in many countries in the region, Miettinen as consulted and sparred with dozens of Finnish and African companies, HEIs, and research entities, providing market data and connections, as well as supporting their start of operations in various local markets. Some of his past projects include heading the ramp-up of an extensive private sector development programme in Zambia, coordinating for the African part of the 50 million euro Innovation Funding programme BEAM which focused on new business opportunities for Finnish companies in emerging markets, and acting as the team lead for the Southern Africa Innovation Support programme, a regional innovation programme.
Miettinen was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Annamaria Sola is a Financial Accounting Expert and KLT Accountant. She holds an M.Sc. in Economics from Aalto University, and an M.A. from the University of Helsinki. Sola has always worked in the fields of accounting and taxation — with an international twist. In addition, she's a startup veteran, having spent seven years building a manufacturing company from startup to scaleup, before eventually growing to be a global group and market leader with ten international subsidiaries and over 150 million euros in turnover.
Her passion is in accounting, taxation, process creation, building a company's global presence, corporate governance, due diligence, leadership, recruitment, and other HR related issues.
Sola was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Varpu Rusila, MSc, is the founder of the Her Finland platform which helps international people turn their Finnish dreams into reality. Rusila is an expert in creator economy, storytelling to global audiences, community-based co-creation, and scaling consumer-focused digital services. Her Finland courses are used by 12 000+ students all around the world, and the authentic content reaches millions of people interested in Finland annually. Before starting her own company, Rusila worked in various managerial and expert positions in retail and big science. She loves "a-ha!" moments, staying curious, and her newest interest is learning bird songs.
Rusila was a mentor for the first TREMOR incubator from 2022 to 2023.
As the Creative Director of Goodio Taru Pilvi is responsible for the development of truly sustainable chocolate brand all the way from chocolates, design and sustainable ways of working. Pilvi is a PhD in nutrition and her career is a mixture of industry-academia collaboration, corporate innovation leadership, and sustainable startup life. She has wide experience in development of innovation culture, sustainable development and internationalisation in the corporate, public sector and startup worlds.
Pilvi was a mentor for the first TREMOR incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Mari Tikkanen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Scope Impact, a leading global innovation company working at the intersection of health and climate. Tikkanen stewards the organisation and supports Scope's interdisciplinary team in scaling system innovations across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Prior to co-founding Scope, she worked for 12 years on global health and rights, including for the WHO in New Delhi, the UN in New York, the IPPF in London and the Aurat Foundation in Islamabad. During her 20 years in the social impact field, Tikkanen has built numerous sustainable interventions connecting people to life saving services. Tikkanen is a requested speaker on social innovation internationally and serves on a number of advisory boards, including Ashoka and the Missing Billion Initiative. Tikkanen holds a MSc in Population and Development from LSE and a BSc in Sociology from Helsinki University.
Tikkanen was a mentor for the first TREMOR incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Monika Rozalska-Lilo is a Senior Startup and VC Business Developer, EMEA, at Amazon Web Services. She is responsible for working with early-stage startups and ecosystem partners across Israel, DACH, Nordics and Benelux. Prior to joining AWS, Rozalska-Lilo served as CEO of Creators, an innovation lab based in Tel Aviv that supports organisations in developing and improving innovation practices through a range of global innovation programmes with technological startups, tailored to specific needs of global corporations and public sector entities. Some of Creators’ partners included Barclays, Bosch, Visa, Israeli ministries and the United Nations.
Rozalska-Lilo was a mentor for the first NEXUS incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Lisa Gerkens is Lead Product Strategy at Forward 31 by Porsche Digital, a small specialised team building new ventures together with founders for Porsche AG. After identifying a business opportunity she focuses on enabling the founders to establish ongoing validation loops within a venture to validate both business and product decisions as they go. She supports ventures from validation through spinoff and development. She does not enjoy little intro blurbs.
Gerkens was a mentor for the first NEXUS incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Michael Hanf is a seasoned business and technology executive and advisor. With more than 20 years in business and technology consulting, Hanf has deep experience in helping companies deliver and navigate disruptive change. He’s passionate about bringing together corporates, startups, and senior experts into an open ecosystem to deliver impact and value for all stakeholders. He has deep expertise in business, digital technology, data, circular economy, sustainability, and strategy. After his studies at the University of Paderborn and Aalto University, Hanf had the opportunity to work with a wide range of companies during his 16+ years as a Management & Strategy Consultant at Accenture. Since 2017, he has been one of the co-founders and Executive Partners at Taival Advisory, an advisory company working on the intersection between strategy, digital, and environmental sustainability.
Hanf has extensive experience in working with startups at different stages of the startup journey. He has coached early-stage startups in different events and incubators, e.g. Maria 01, Startup Refugees, and Tampere Sustainability Start-up weekend. Additionally, he has worked with several growth companies e.g. in business model definition, go-to-market and sales strategy, operating model definition, funding round preparation, and many other areas. He is also one of the co-founders of the event series “AI Monday” and “Digitally Circular” which provide a platform bringing together startups, businesses, and the research community to identify and co-create sustainable impact solutions.
Hanf is passionate about helping startups and business leaders in developing sustainable solutions that can address some of the most pressing challenges of our time by bringing together multi-disciplinary teams from various backgrounds and fields of expertise. He’s an active networker and is eager to connect people wherever and whenever possible to spark conversations and innovations.
Hanf was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Laura Inamedinova is the CEO of the London based blockchain focused 7-digit valued marketing agency LKI Consulting.
With a STEM background, cybersecurity knowledge, and a Bachelor of Physics, she bought her first bitcoin in 2016 and joined the blockchain industry with the philosophy of making our financial world a more private and transparent space for all parties. By helping to empower beginner crypto projects struggling to break through heavy regulations, she grew her agency fivefold during the pandemic.
In 2020, Inamedinova was named as one of the “10 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Shattering the Glass Ceiling” by Entrepreneur magazine. Huffington Post has titled her as “Communications Expert” in 2016.
Inamedinova was a mentor for the first NEXUS incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Reinier Meerwaldt started his career with an MSc in Biomedical Image Processing from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. After his studies, Meerwaldt implemented supply chain planning solutions in various technical and business roles. After ten years of seeing all that field had to offer he co-founded an international startup, Widget Brain, a software company specialised in AI based decision-making on a large variety of planning processes. Meerwaldt has been involved hands-on in both the technical and business aspects of selling, implementing, and maintaining various algorithm solutions to customers from Asia, EMEA, and the US. While growing his business, he also lived for two years in the United States engaging with the local market. His company, Widget Brain, was recently acquired by Quinyx in 2020, where Meerwaldt is now responsible for further improving the success levels of their operations departments.
Meerwaldt aims to better align products and their delivery to the intended end customer and to use data efficiently and intelligently to offer customers the best possible value.
Meerwaldt was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Lasse Koskela is a technologist at heart, having worked with a multitude of technologies designing, implementing, and auditing software systems and architectures for over 20 years. His dark past includes things like making people pay for ringtones, designing a two-sided marketplace platform and ecosystem for edutech, several live streaming and video on-demand services, and mobile application development on various mobile platforms as well as with cross-platform technologies.
For several years, he also consulted and taught agile software development methods and served as a Certified Scrum Trainer. His perhaps most out-of-place engagement to date, however, has been with the European Commission.
Having worked on three continents and consulted for major brands such as LG, Nikon, Dow Jones, Equinox, Marriott, and HBO, Koskela has more recently focused on advising clients on technology strategy with clients predominantly in the healthcare and retail domains.
Lasse was a mentor in the first NEXUS incubator programme from 2022 to 2023.
Perttu Tuomaala's passion is to help manufacturing industries become sustainable by leveraging automation and digitalisation. He is Vice President at Neste Engineering Solutions, where he leads NAPCON - a business unit that offers a series of unique software that reveal the untapped potential of production, processes and professionals in process industries.
Prior to leading NAPCON, Tuomaala has been working for companies such as ABB, Metso Automation (nowadays part of Valmet), and Ensto managing sales, industrial services, and products. In addition to Finland, he has studied or worked in France, the United States and Belgium.
Tuomaala was a mentor for the first NEXUS incubator from 2022 to 2023.
With over two decades of experience in Finnish sustainability market, senior adviser Timo Rantanen has a motto for future success: “Sustainable business practises are license to exist.” During his career, he has consulted both listed companies as well family businesses. While the stakeholder groups may differ depending on a company’s market position and legal status, the facts remain the same. Sustainability can lead to more resilient business and better opportunities.
Rantanen's aim is to narrow the gap between social entrepreneurship and “traditional” business. Before career in consulting, Rantanen worked in an American oil company where corporate citizenship was very tangible part of daily operations. With that experience, he sees rise of sustainability as a global megatrend which can be utilised in pursuing the target.
Rantanen was a mentor for the first TREMOR incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Mikko Järvilehto is a serial Impakt entrepreneur. A specialist in innovative public procurement and data analytics, challenge competitions, innovation management and commercialisation, Järvilehto has organised over 200 competitions with various industries to drive both digitalisation and societal change.
Järvilehto was a mentor for the first TREMOR incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Anna Pyykkö is a generalist and feminist with over 15 years of experience in various businesses, positions and companies. Pyykkö has been planning and executing advertising strategies with the biggest B2C companies in Finland, ideated, organised and led hundreds of event marketing projects for various companies of all sizes and run a Nordic marketing team in one of the Big Four consulting companies. During that time she also led an Entrepreneur of the Year project, a competition for growth entrepreneurs, for three years, deep diving into the startup and scale-up world.
As the world of entrepreneurs is still very male oriented, she wanted to change that. She started up a community for female entrepreneurs in Finland in 2020 (at that time, without being an entrepreneur herself). Today, Female Founders Suomi is a growing community with more than 2000 followers in different social media channels, monthly live events and a membership programme. The community wants to empower more women to start their own businesses and think big. Pyykkö is also a host of Crush Talk Show & Podcast.
Pyykkö was a mentor for the first TREMOR incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Heikki Ilvessalo has over 25 years of experience in the legal field with a particular interest in developments that contribute to evolving the digitalisation of the legal field. Ilvessalo is currently acting as the CEO of Ilves, his own family’s IT-firm, with a mission of making legal data valuable. He is also on a mission to accelerate the evolution of the entire legal field's ecosystem by running a legal tech network for Finnish legal techies and by co-organising the Nordic Legal tech Day in Helsinki.
Prior to joining Ilves, he was the development director of Castrén & Snellman (2005-2018). He received his LLM 2001 and started his career as a lawyer. He is the legal tech ambassador of Finland at the European Legal Tech Association.
Ilvessalo was a mentor for the first TREMOR incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Arto Sivonen is the founder of Måndag, an impact driven facilitator, and an urban activist. Over the years he's been involved in a number of projects that have both started and activated social change.
Old ways of working need to be rebuilt – but what kind of change happens, that’s up to us. Sivonen's focus is on creating shared actions by focusing on radical transparency, open communication and participatory approach. His way of working is to involve people from different fields early in the process.
Sivonen has worked in advertising for over twenty years, both in Finland and abroad. During this time he has learned to understand different markets, politics, decision making and NGO fields, and to respect collaboration skills and creative work. By going through what he has, he now understands the laws of both the private and public sector, and is able to apply them in today’s world. His main goal is to connect both people and ideas.
Sivonen was a mentor for the first TREMOR incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Aki Luukkainen holds an MBA and an M.Sc. in electrical engineering, and has over 20 years of international business experience from both executive positions in corporations and managing the growth of startup companies in several business sectors.
Aki has a solid track record in B2B sales and marketing with global accounts and partners across five continents. He has negotiated agreements with strategic customers, including customer focused R&D and customer funding. He has also secured tens of millions of funding from VC-investors, strategic investors, and other sources. Over the past years he has been involved with dozens of startups and growth companies in operative and board roles. Building scalable organisations and operations including management team and board dynamics is close to his heart.
Luukkainen was a mentor for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.