Mirva Nevalainen is an enthusiastic product, service & business development professional. Nevalainen is a board member, mentor and coach, and gets energy from working on solutions for productisation / servitisation challenges. Nevalainen has helped tens of startups to seek their focus & customers, identify gaps, and concentrate on the essentials.
Lars-Michaël (Micke) Paqvalén, M.Sc. (Econ.), is a company builder who has lived and worked internationally for over 25 years and exited four major software companies. Paqvalén is the founder & chairman of TRÄ Group and Buildbite, co-founder of Brandbassador, Learning Intelligence Group (Claned & GraphoGame), Kiosked, Telepo, HansaWorld and an active early-stage investor in many disruptive companies, such as Proof Analytics among others. Paqvalén is also on the Advisory Board of Nordic Innovation and Nordic Scalers, a pan-Nordic initiative to find and accelerate next generation unicorns in the Nordics.
As an entrepreneur, Paqvalén was awarded with the European ICT Grand Prize, the award for Best Enterprise Software solution at the Mobile World Congress, growth entrepreneur of the year in both Finland and Sweden, the American and European Business Awards, and many other awards. Paqvalén is a proud father of four children.
Topi Manu, former Fourkind co-founder and board sitting investor, has an extensive background in marketing comms and tech consulting. In the past few years, Manu's range has grown to include growth entrepreneurship with Fourkind, where he exited in early 2021. As a mentor, he offers insights into matters like how to sell, do marketing, expand and recruit in foreign markets with the right determination, in addition to more general cornerstones of how to run a company such as finance, contracts, payroll, corporate structure, cashflow management, acting as an employer, and so on.
Saila Tykkyläinen, (D. Sc.) social impact expert, co-founder & partner at Vaikuttava Yritys Oy/Impact Business Ltd. coaches and trains all types of organisations to solve our common problems. Over the years Tykkyläinen has helped over 200 NGOs, companies and public sector organisations with impact-led design, impact leadership and metrics. In her doctoral thesis on social enterprises’ growth, Tykkyläinen focused on business models and strategies which enable social enterprises to balance their social and financial missions while seeking growth.
Vladimir Chepurnoy is a senior advisor at Helsinki Partners, the City of Helsinki's marketing, investment and talent attraction company. For the past 10 years, Chepurnoy has been actively working with high-tech business ecosystems in Finland and abroad, helping international companies to find growth opportunities worldwide. Helping entrepreneurs and business owners on their way to success by finding the right solution with systematic approach is what encourages Chepurnoy in his daily work.
Juhani Lehtonen, a.k.a. "Leksa" – a nickname which he earned during his studies while playing in Retuperä's WBK (the Helsinki University of Technology's, now Aalto's, student brass band) which is still used today by many of his friends and customers – is a partner at Innotiimi-ICG Finland, chairman of the board of GloCell Oy, and a member of the board of Kauko International Oy.
Lehtonen has a background as an entrepreneur whose strengths lie in sales, internationalisation, innovation, and the development of growing business in general, and has practical experience ranging from being the CEO of a small company to doing sales, as well as research and development. This gives Lehtonen a very practical perspective on what should and should not be done in startup companies.
Lehtonen was born in 1968 and graduated from Aalto University with a Master of Science in Bioproduct Technology in 1998. Having worked abroad for longer periods on several occasions, he is able to work in Finnish, English, Swedish and German.
During the past twenty years Laura Avonius has worked in two corporations as a tech leader. Both times she started in a specialist role in IT departments and proceeded to lead tech and tech enabled businesses. Avonius has developed a rare combination of tech and business skills mixed with a dynamic and fun personality. She is also an award winning composer, and has founded several businesses and initiatives, but her current startup Audicin is the most meaningful and important to her, connecting the dots between her multiple passions. Avonius loves creating something that truly help people to live happier and healthier lives!
Originally from Finland with a business degree from the Helsinki School of Economics International Track, Pete Karumo has lived and worked the past 25 years in Finland, France and Singapore.
An experienced veteran from the ICT industry Karumo has built a career with notable technology giants Oracle, Nokia and Texas Instruments. He built a reputation for excelling in managing global customers and driving productivity by pioneering data-driven CRM and supply chain solutions. He is passionate about helping clients with commercialisation efforts, digital transformation, building easy-to-use solutions and increasing productivity. He has helped several Finnish companies to enter and expand in the APAC region. he is fluent in Finnish, English and French.
Karumo has 10+ years of entrepreneurial experience over the past three decades as a Co-founder, Managing Director and first employee in several scale-ups. He developed the first Wi-Fi hotspots in Europe with the goal of enabling easy and affordable internet access to everyone. He co-founded a pioneering Singaporean social enterprise, a multiplayer online game empowering pre-teens to learn about the world and making a social impact in the Asian region. Pete also co-founded and managed Innovation Home, a joint Singaporean - Finnish company. Through collaboration with startup ecosystems and multinationals Innovation Home facilitates exchanges and cross pollination of growth companies.
With the past 10 years living and working in Singapore Karumo has developed an active network at regional managing director level. He has built distribution channels in Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia and Thailand as per clients' market expansion requirements. Karumo helps both multinationals and smaller enterprises by executing market entry evaluations, developing go-to-market strategies and generating sales.
Curious, helpful, funny, and insightful. These are some of the words that have been used to describe Jonas Lundberg.
Lundberg has a master’s in business administration and leadership which he has found to be a good choice for my personality. Even though he has always been interested in technology, be it information technology of mechanical technology, his main interests are on the business side. Lundberg wants to understand and make things happen on the business side. This, in combination to his love of early venturing, ie. building startups or anything else from scratch, has led Lundberg to his current job as a venture builder: "At Liquido Ventures, we are startup architects."
Previously, Lundberg has worked in different sales and business leadership positions, and was a founding partner at nSense, a company he & his co-founders boot-strapped to international growth until it was sold to F-Secure in 2015, where he stayed for almost six years in different business development positions.
With her unique background spanning VC, law, behavioural science, and change design, Maya Markovich delivers technology, process, and business growth services worldwide. For over five years she worked with Nextlaw Labs/Nextlaw Ventures at Dentons, the world's largest firm, as chief growth officer. Markovich is currently justice tech executive in residence at Village Capital and executive director at the Justice Technology Association, a nonprofit trade association supporting technology solutions that foster hope, independence, and self-empowerment and contribute to a fairer legal system. She also advises multiple high-growth startups, investor and venture funds, and consults on innovation and transformation initiatives.
In 2020 Markovich was named one of five “Influential Women of Legal Tech” by ILTA, a “Woman Leading Legal Tech” by The Technolawgist in 2019, and an ABA Legal Technology Resource Center “Woman of Legal Tech 2018” for her work in designing, promoting, and driving the future of the legal industry around the globe.
Markus Raivio is a a social entrepreneur and a long-standing mental health professional and organisation leader. He has developed multiple social innovations in the social and health sector, such as the GFP- framework for Culturehouses, Kukunori, Mission PropellerHeads, as well as the POKKA evaluation tool. Raivio's strengths are in implementing operational methods and developing organisational culture – how these can be developed to create new innovative ways to work for social impact. His key competencies are in organisations with a developmental disability, mental health and substance abuse work, recovery-oriented work models for volunteering, employment and equality, digital platforms and services, and project-funded activities. In 2022, Raivio was chosen as Finland's first ASHOKA fellow and designated as "the World's Leading Social Entrepreneur" for the year.
Turo Numminen is an entrepreneur, startup-investor and mentor. Numminen is a fan of sustainability, but looks at it with the eyes of an investor. "We have limited resources, so let's make the best use of them." He manages Sofokus Ventures where the team deploys capital to early stage digital companies solving real business problems.
Numminen worked in entrepreneurship education (JA Finland) before jumping to the investment world, and believes in the power of education. He is also a mentor in Pikkuli (Social and Emotional Learning for 2-6 y/o).
Sara Mattila is the founder of the circular futures consulting agency Rise to Sustain. She is helping companies to future-proof their businesses and make positive impact with circular business models. Sara is passionate about circular economy, foresight in business and impact entrepreneurship.
Sara has experience from environmental and social impact startups. Building early-stage businesses has taught her a practical, no-nonsense attitude towards setting up business processes, creating strategies and putting strategy into action. She has also experience from recruiting in startup environment.
In addition she has experience from launching new branches for established businesses in different countries, expansion to new markets, and developing an internationalisation strategy.
Iiro Jussila is best introduced by recent remarks from those with whom he has sparred:
“Iiro has an extremely inspirational yet realistic touch to issues”
“With his spectacular expertise Iiro can find the right sore spots”
“Iiro has a skill to present innovative perspectives in a well-argued and understandable manner”
Jussila is an entrepreneur at Skillmotor Finland focused on helping firms and organisations find and execute their unique purpose and to continuously renew themselves from strategy to everyday praxis. In addition, he is a founder of several other companies and a global social enterprise.
While Jussila is deeply immersed in everyday practices of organisations, he also has strong academic background. Today he remains a part time management professor in LUT University, specialised in systemic change.
Jussila's position and role between theory and practice is well illustrated by awards of different nature. A book of his was one of the three finalists for the George R. Terry Book Award by the Academy of Management in 2012. The award is granted annually to the book judged to have made the most outstanding contribution to the global advancement of management knowledge during the last two years. A few years later, he won the Tamer of Science Award granted by the Helsinki University Rector to a person who has made a significant contribution to the popularisation of science.
Janne Neuvonen is a serial entrepreneur, having been involved in various business ventures over the years. The most important thing for him is to improve the world, so that everyone has an easier, more comfortable life. He also values taking care of nature, the environment, and animal welfare.
Neuvonen wants to be a part of developing technologies and ways to influence society with the help of technology. He is at his best when drawing the big picture, but he also understands the importance of the finer details as well.
Jori Karvonen is an experienced digital sharing economy entrepreneur and mentor who has launched two startups in different countries. Karvonen is a multilingual mentor who speaks English, Finnish, Spanish and Russian, and has a passion for helping other startups.
Karvonen's journey as an entrepreneur began with his first startup in Spain, which focused on creating innovative and sustainable solutions in the agriculture industry. His most recent startup was a subscription business for consumer electronics. This experience has taught him the importance of agility and flexibility in the fast-paced world of technology, as well as the value of a strong company culture.
With a proven track record of developing and scaling digital products, Karvonen has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that come with building and growing a business in the digital space. From ideation to execution, He has built and managed teams of developers, designers, and marketers to develop and launch the products and services.
Overall, Karvonen is a highly skilled and experienced mentor with a unique perspective on the sharing economy and launching and scaling startups in different countries. His multilingual background and dedication to diversity and inclusion make him a valuable support to any startup looking to grow and succeed.
Jarno Laine is a Co-Founder at Rakettitiede, an IT consultancy, known for initiating several creative projects at a time and wanting to break stereotypes. Laine has been involved in startups and entrepreneurship for over a decade, and in his early days, worked on creating TV chat software in the early 2000's.
Laine believes there's no need to be too serious in business, and that putting things like employee well-being first when leading a company is important. Laine works hard to build lasting and meaningful relationships with clients and likes working on challenges that enable him to make a difference in people's lives. He also enjoys creative pursuits, having dabbled in textile arts and studied acoustics and sound processing, and spends his spare time making films.
Jouni Lounasmaa is an experienced startup and ecosystem leader with over 15 years of experience with startups as a co-founder, board member, CFO, and coach. In addition, he's a co-founder of four startups.
Most recently he worked as the CEO of the Startup Foundation – the non-profit owner of Slush, Junction, and The Shortcut as well as a co-owner of the Maria 01 startup hub. Prior to joining the Startup Foundation he was the co-founder, CFO and HR director at Kyyti Group – a growth company building sustainable mobility services. He's currently an advisor to the forthcoming Erica Green Chemistry Science Park and the Viikki Food Design Factory.
He holds an M.Sc (Eng) degree from Aalto University and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and an MBA from Henley Business School. After graduation as an engineer, he worked at VTI Technologies with several large sensor programs for Smart, Continental Teves, and Siemens Automotive. He also worked for five years at the Technopolis Ventures business incubator as a business advisor for over 50 startups before his career as an entrepreneur.
Lounasmaa was a mentor also for the first Biosphere incubator from 2022 to 2023.
Tuukka Ylälahti is a serial startup entrepreneur, business angel, advisor, and active mentor in the Helsinki startup ecosystem specialising in early-stage startups.
Ylälahti graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a degree in Communications & PR and started his career in digital media, specialising in mobile services. In 2009, he created the vision and forged the founding team for Cabforce, which grew to become the world's leading taxi pre-booking platform with over 200 locations in more than 50 countries on six continents in only five years. Cabforce was acquired by CarTrawler in 2015. Since 2016, Ylälahti has been at the helm of Mesensei as the CEO & Co-founder, building a decentralised next generation Internet platform for communities.
Michael Gates was a Scholar of St. Catherine’s College Oxford, where he gained an M.A. in English Language and Literature. He worked for five years in radio before moving to Finland where he helped establish the Finnish office of Richard Lewis Communications, which provides cross-cultural, communication skills, and business language training world-wide.
He is now Group Managing Director for Richard Lewis Communications internationally, but also takes an active role as a speaker and trainer. His clients have included Nokia, Microsoft, the World Bank, Duke Fuqua Business School, Rolls-Royce, the University of Oxford, and the Central Eurasian Leadership Academy. He is a board member of the Finnish-British Trade Association, and Director of Operations of The English-Speaking Union of Finland. He has published numerous articles and chapters in books on cross-cultural topics, including in The Telegraph, La Tribune, People Management, and Management Next, the leading Indian magazine for senior executives. He is married, with five children, and has lived in Finland for nearly 25 years.