Pathways On-Call Advisors

The Pathways programme presents a dynamic pool of on-call advisors, each specializing in thematic domains such as Deep Tech, AI & Sustainability, Bioeconomy & Circularity, Health & Pharma, and Social Impact.

Below, you'll find a list of the experts. Do note that more advisors may be added as the programme goes on.
Tanja Törnroos

"Clarity comes from action, not thought" – Marie Forleo

Tanja Törnroos is an entrepreneur and an expert CMO. With 10+ years in B2B marketing and business development within the SaaS and Industrial Automation sectors, Tanja has worked with scale-ups in Finland, Germany, and Sweden, bringing a wealth of experience for tech startups wanting to go international. Originally hailing from Austria, she worked and studied in Bangkok, where she met her husband in 2012. Since then, she has called Finland home. Tanja co-founded CMOwashere, where she spearheaded the innovative 'CMO as a Service' concept, providing tech startups with top-notch Chief Marketing Officer expertise on a flexible and affordable basis. During a stint as Chief Marketing Officer at an Industrial Automation scale-up firm, her strategies led to a remarkable 900% surge is sales-qualified lead acquisition, fuelling the company's international growth. Outside of work, you can catch her sailing the Finnish archipelago with her husband and their cat. 

Tanja's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Tanja has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:

  • Crafting a narrative around your idea 
  • Knowledge of the B2B industry
  • Experience as a CMO
Minaë Tani-LaFleur

“The most successful of biology’s creatures coexist in mutually beneficial ecosystems.” ― Douglas Rushkoff, Team Human

Minaë Tani-LaFleur is a former corporate worrier from Tokyo, Japan who turned to be an food entrepreneur in Finland. As an expat, reserving your cultural roots is as important as integrating into new place. Food and cooking was a very powerful medium  for both. Building business in this field alone, however, is almost impossible. Thus, she started international food entrepreneurs' collective Zestii Kitchens - a support scheme for starting entrepreneurs to mitigate pain, reduce risk and amplify opportunities. 

Minaë's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Minaë has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Marketing Frameworks
  • DIY spirit
  • Co-creation 
Juhani Lehtonen

"If you want to create, you need to be about change"

As a Partner at ICG Innotiimi Finland, Juhani Lehtonen helps clients all around the world to innovate and develop their businesses with novel and practical approaches. He has over twenty years of experience as a founder and chairman of GloCell Oy, a company that provides cutting-edge solutions for sustainable bioproduct industry.

His passion, according to him is to combine sustainability and innovation as a part of implementing meaningful change in organizations. He also has a strong background in engineering, sales, and marketing. Additionally, he has a master's degree in engineering and has published multiple articles and white papers on strategy implementation, enabling growth as well as innovation trends and challenges while working on his Phd.

Tanja's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Tanja has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Sales
Cansu Pylkkänen

"Pursue a life of happiness, leave the meaningless, bourgeois, self-centric ideas behind."

Cansu Pylkkänen, based in Helsinki, is a multi-talented individual, serving as an architect, designer, visual artist, and stand-up comedian. In 2022, she founded Ego Død Studio, venturing into entrepreneurship in the realms of art, design, and architecture. Simultaneously, she is dedicated to her academic pursuits as a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Helsinki.

Originally hailing from Istanbul, Turkey, Cansu spent several years in Milan, Italy, an experience that underscored the significance of a multinational social and work environment in shaping her perspectives. Her encounters with diverse backgrounds while living in Istanbul and Milan have greatly influenced both her work and her outlook on life.

The pandemic prompted a shift in her focus towards mental and physical wellbeing. After completing the Science of Wellbeing course at Yale University in 2020, she decided to integrate wellness practices into both design and daily life. Cansu's primary aspiration is to advocate for diversity and gender equality within the design and architecture field.

Actively seeking global projects that foster unity and contribute to people feeling valued, accepted, and heard, Cansu's passion extends beyond her professional endeavors. In her leisure time, she cherishes moments with family and friends, dedicates herself to artistic pursuits, and co-manages the Helsinki Stand-Up League (HSL) community group with fellow comedians. Balancing her interests, she engages in running and gym workouts, recognizing the importance of both for holistic physical development. Cansu's vibrant and multifaceted approach to life reflects her commitment to creativity, well-being, and societal inclusivity.

Cansu's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Cansu has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:

  • Story telling and Pitching
  • Creative Writing
  • Design Consultation
  • Color and Material Consultation
  • Project Management
  • Insights in Creative Entrepreneurship
  • The Art of Networking
  • Wellbeing Tips for Entrepreneurs
  • Community-Oriented Work
  • Societal Impact
  • Stand-Up Comedy
Seamus Holohan

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face"

Seamus Holohan is an experienced entrepreneur with worldwide international sales experience. Education from University College Cork and CERAM Business School, France.

Seamus' Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Seamus has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:

  • All you need to know to get your business off the ground
Jori Karvonen

"It's not over until I win"

Jori Karvonen is a seasoned entrepreneur and business professional with over a decade of experience in business development, international sales, and accounting. He has accumulated extensive knowledge in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Retail sectors, with a particular focus on Digital Business. Having founded two sustainable startups and serving as a mentor in previous University of Helsinki incubator programmes, he possesses a deep understanding of the startup ecosystem.

Jori's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Jori has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:

  • Digitalisation
  • Online businesses
    • E-commerce
    • Platforms
    • Mobile applications
  • Market research
  • Product-market fit
Steve Havas

"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors." – Jonas Salk

Steve Havas is a lifelong entrepreneur, who's now helping companies achieve their full commercial potential while improving the world we all collectively share. He's passionate about helping others achieve their own vision for the way things could be if they just put their minds to it.

He has founded/co-founded multiple companies, led four exits, directed the digital transformation of global operations and markets for large enterprises while also helped small companies scale out of garages. He believes in clarity over certainty, nimble decision making, focus on alignment, empowered teams that kick ass, and fiercely listening to customers.
 

Steve's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Steve has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:

  • Finding markets for good ideas
  • Establishing clarity on vision and execution
  • Team building
  • Fundraising
  • Going global
  • Scaling
Pekka Enroth

"Dream big and you may never wake up" – Snoop Dogg

Pekka Enroth has worked as an organisational and business development consultant and has extensive experience of sparring small businesses in their development work and in 2017, he started a company with a few of his friends from University. The company ultimately failed but they learned a lot. 

Until recently, he was building a portfolio of Helsinki Metropolitan Area-based companies, focusing on the fields of health and well-being technologies.

In his free time, he's a part of the Finnish Humanistic Strategy Association Ry and International Systems Innovation networks and his hobbies include knifemaking, casting bronze and renovating his house in Helsinki.

Pekka's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Pekka offered the following skills he can be of assistance with:

  • Extensive B2B experience
  • Creating a product or service offering
  • Contacting potential customers
  • Selling to a public sector organisation in Finland
  • Testing and piloting your product with public service in Finland
  • Tips on starting your first company
  • Regional innovation ecosystems 
  • Creating networks and doing things with other small or bigger companies
  • Forging knives 
Osita Ifezue

"We all have stories, but we are not all storytellers"

Osita Ifezue is a public speaker, storyteller and the founder of Njiko Storytelling. He trains individuals and organisations to develop storytelling skills and strategies to better engage their audiences with storytelling. He's an entrepreneur with 3 companies under his belt and extensive experience in the Finnish and Nigerian Startup ecosystem. Osita can apply the fusion of experience and skills to help you build your storytelling strategy.

Osita's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Osita offered the following special skills he can be of help with:

  • Using the Storyboard Backcasting method to develop a Storytelling strategy
  • Building a Storytelling Framework for startups 
Henna Purén

Henna Purén is a social scientist interested in societal impact, sustainable working life, and continuous learning. Currently focused on facilitating sustainable careers and alumni impact at Aalto University, Henna has previously acted as public sector consultant and CEO of Dare to Learn, an international learning festival and platform. She has also taken on leadership positions in NGOs, such as Allianssi, the National Youth Council in Finland.  

Henna is keen to share thoughts on, for instance, the following questions:
• How to combine a value-based approach with running a business or leading an NGO? 
• How to forge partnerships with businesses, NGOs, or the public sector? 
• How to design sustainable careers or assess impact? 
• Why care about societal impact? 

Henna's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Henna has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:

  • Societal impact 
  • Sustainable careers, career design
  • Continuous learning & edtech
  • Public governance & advocacy
  • Value-based leadership and approaches 
  • Facilitation & co-creation
  • Remembering the names and faces of people she’s met
Sakari Mesimäki

"The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently." – David Graeber

Sakari Mesimäki is a social anthropologist studying how people are trying to change the world through startup entrepreneurship, in a context where many have lost faith in more traditional types of civic engagement (such as through politics) and where the social role of entrepreneurship has expanded to solving environmental and social problems as a primary goal. He has spent about a year in the Finnish startup ecosystem, hanging out at events, doing numerous interviews and getting involved with some startups as well. His research also included a stint at the state's investing company Tesi.

Sakari's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Sakari had this to say about special skills he can be of help with:

While Sakari does not identify an entrepreneur, he has developed knowledge and networks related to entrepreneurship in general and impact entrepreneurship in particular, which he would be happy to share with participants.

Professionally, Sakari's core expertise is in communications, having practiced it at a consultancy in Tokyo and on a freelance basis thereafter. He also draws on a background in linguistic anthropology. Moreover, Sakari has some experience in commercially applied anthropology and as such, can help you think critically and creatively about how different people might understand and engage with your idea in different ways. Lastly, Sakari can also advise you regarding qualitative research approaches and in understanding these differences better and in validating your idea.

Alexander Anserud

"Entrepreneurship is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain"

Alexander Anserud is a serial entrepreneur from Sweden with over 10 years of experience of working within various startup ecosystems and a keen focus on technology.

Alexander's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor for Pathways, Alexander has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:

  • Discussing the importance of prototyping to test and refining ideas.
  • Exploring the concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and its role in the entrepreneurial journey.
  • Selecting optimal MVP strategy to validate different assumptions
  • Maximising feedback from customers and partners through the prototype. 
Pedro Gensini

"The business world is not easy and it is not pink, it is hard, it requires sacrifice and dedication. However, making a positive impact at the end of the day makes it worth it."

Pedro Gensini is a project manager and entrepreneurship expert with knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship product/service development, monitoring & evaluation, and agile project management. He also has great expertise in liaising private, public, and non-profit organisations for achieving positive impact and common goals. He has 8 years of experience in cross-cultural work environments, and can conduct business in English and Spanish.

Pedro's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor, Pedro has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:

  • Ideation
  • Problem formulation
  • Business model
  • M&E and Impact assessment 
  • Client/user identification 
  • Project management
  • Agile methodologies 
  • Story telling and pitching 
  • Networking strategies
  • Product/service development
Mikael Malmivaara

"How hard could it be?"

Mikael Malmivaara has, for well over a decade now, spent his time doing stuff. A lot of stuff.

He's been a journalist & video producer, the country manager for an events company, a twice-bankrupt four-time entrepreneur, the chief of operations of a restaurant group during COVID-19, the sales guy for a few start-ups, a local politician, a freelance event host, a tour guide and sometime production assistant at a whiskey distillery, a Michelin-star level waiter, a generalist consultant for small and medium businesses looking for help in any number of things, a sommelier, the marketing lead for a tech company's Finland office, an office drone, a board member & president of a handful of associations in University and beyond, and lately, the communications & community relations guy for the Helsinki Incubators, writing texts much like this one and building bridges between the University of Helsinki and Universities, companies, and governments in France, Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, South Africa, and probably a few others as well in order to help the Helsinki Incubators' participants have the best chances of finding opportunities across the world.

He has a BA in Business Management & Entrepreneurship from the UK, an MSc (Econ.) in Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management + Creative Sustainability from Espoo, and dreams of one day having a PhD in Entrepreneurship from somewhere cool.

His guiding principles are to always ask for help when you need it, pick up the phone and call whenever possible, and never be afraid of failure or just trying things to see how it all works out.

Mikael's Special Skills

As an on-call advisor, Mikael has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:

As a generalist and jack of all trades, Mikael is glad to chat about just about anything, and if he doesn't know the answers, he can probably guide you to someone who does. However, here are some of the things he might have something to say about:

  • General business issues & business development
  • Problem & solution
  • Pitching & presenting
  • Communications & marketing
  • Market research
  • Internationalisation
  • Ideating
  • Financial planning
  • Finding a good restaurant