The Whole is Greater
Than the Sum of its Parts

We are a team of service- and
business specialists with a passion for collaborative thinking

Founded in 2014

Vertical was founded in 2014 on the belief that value can be created through collaboration between big and small. We’ve come a long way since.

Surrounded by innovation

We are located at the heart of the Nordic start-up ecosystem, in Maria01, Helsinki 

70+ collaboration projects

To date we’ve had the privilege of working with more than 70 collaboration projects between start-up companies and established enterprises.

Our Team

Sébastien Gianelli

CEO and Co-Founder

Sébastien Gianelli

CEO and Co-Founder

Sébastien Gianelli

CEO and Co-Founder

‘The Man with the Plan’, Seb is a co-founder and CEO at Vertical. With a strong grounding in startup and broad experience in all facets of business, he is the ideal person to oversee Vertical’s corporate venturing portfolio, steering our project selection and early-stage investment policies. The ‘soul’ of the company, Seb firmly believes that building a happy, healthy team and simplifying work processes are prerequisites for any successful startup. In his free time he likes nothing better than to put his hiking boots on, or to sample new cultures and cuisines.

Kenneth Salonius

Head of Business Development and Co-Founder

Kenneth Salonius

Head of Business Development and Co-Founder

Kenneth Salonius

Head of Business Development and Co-Founder

Co-founder and Head of Business Development at Vertical, Kenneth is the heartbeat of the company. With an enviable track record in successful startup founding and design (HealthSpa & Framgo), his main focus is on systematically bringing innovative startups and ambitious corporates together to create and develop profitable enterprises. Kenneth’s result-driven yet humble nature makes him an outstanding sales person and invaluable asset to the Vertical team. Kenneth’s ’healthy body, healthy mind’ attitude and his uber-sporty lifestyle is balanced out by spending quality downtime with family and friends.

Christian Lindholm


Christian Lindholm


Christian Lindholm


A man of many talents, Christian is primarily a startup specialist. As well as co-founding Vertical, he is also jointly responsible for launching Koru (where he is CEO) and Upgraded. Known affectionately as ‘Cride’ to his inner circle, the technical expertise and vision he accumulated as VP at Yahoo! helped nourish his appetite for innovation and shape his vision for life quality enhancement solutions. Cride is still regarded as a legend at Nokia for inventing and developing the Navi Key. Like many of the Vertical team, he is a dab hand in the kitchen and enjoys the simple things in life – good food and an active lifestyle.

Expertise Wearables OS, IoT devices, Smart keys, Product Management & Innovation, Business Development

Paolo Borella

Senior Venture Analyst and Co-Founder

Paolo Borella

Senior Venture Analyst and Co-Founder

Paolo Borella

Senior Venture Analyst and Co-Founder

A co-founder of Vertical, Paolo gets a kick out of creating and growing new business ventures. Chiefly responsible for shaping and developing Vertical’s investment practices, he honed his business development, supply chain and go-to-market skills at industry giants GE, Nokia and Fox Mobile Distribution. Paolo has been involved in a startup world since 2009. An active, driven individual with a taste for innovation and adaptation, Paolo feels right at home in the great outdoors and enjoys the physical and mental challenges of triathlon.

Expertise Telecom Industry, Mobile Internet & Applications, Online Services, Business Development, Go To Market, Change Management & Innovation

Clients: Stora Enso, Samsung, Amer Sports, Telia, Fazer, Orion


Jan Bubienczyk

Senior Strategist

Jan Bubienczyk

Senior Strategist

Jan Bubienczyk

Senior Strategist

Jan is a venture analyst at Vertical. Previously he worked as CMO at Startup Sauna, where he was responsible for deal-flow generation, scouting and communications. During his Sauna time Jan evaluated hundreds of startups, meeting with countless founders, investors and community partners at numerous conferences and industry events. He first sunk his teeth in the startup ecosystem as co-founder of a small-scale team development consulting operation, which was called Bule. Later he worked with the same team to develop an HR solution for a large enterprise in New Jersey. Jan was also heavily involved at senior and board level in the European Youth Parliament, where he led and facilitated various committees while refining his negotiating, time and expectations management skills. His ability to react quickly to our clients’ ever-changing needs makes him indispensable to our team. A charismatic polyglot (he speaks five languages!), Jan is very much the man for designing and coordinating corporate venturing projects.

Expertise: Deal-flow, Screening, Marketing, Blogging, Inbound Marketing, CRM

Clients: KONE, Stora Enso, Lähitapiola, Orion

Startups: Sixgill, Kaltiot

Anna Ehrnrooth

Senior Venture Strategist

Anna Ehrnrooth

Senior Venture Strategist

Anna Ehrnrooth

Senior Venture Strategist

Anna Ehrnrooth has extensive experience of European legislative procedures both in Helsinki and in Brussels working through two Finnish EU presidencies. Anna has a deep understanding of evaluating regulatory impacts and influencing legislative procedures from the point of view of business and a solid base in international relations & diplomacy.

Patrick Francke

Senior Venture Strategist

Patrick Francke

Senior Venture Strategist

Patrick Francke

Senior Venture Strategist

Patrick Francke has experience in the healthcare sector from several relevant perspectives including primary care, secondary care, occupational health care and preventive care.

He also has extensive knowledge in health technology and potential innovations regarding the future in health and healthcare management.

Fabian Sepulveda

Senior Venture Strategist

Fabian Sepulveda

Senior Venture Strategist

Fabian Sepulveda

Senior Venture Strategist

Fabian Sepulveda has over 20 years of working experience in engineering, management consulting and investment banking with the likes of Lucent Technologies, A.T. Kearney, and JP Morgan.

Most recently, he is actively involved in Finland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as a startup coach and Lean Launchpad® trainer, and helps organizations understand and execute Lean Startup methodologies and customer development. Fabian teaches Venture Formation and other courses at the Aalto University Ventures Program and Aalto Executive Education. He cofounded eyescubed, a startup in automotive technology, and also cofounded Courage Ventures Advisory, which provides entrepreneurship training and development to leading private and public organizations. He is also a cofounding Partner of Courage Ventures Management, a fund investing in health & wellness, education, and environment verticals.

Fabian has a BSc in Electrical Engineering, an MSc in Finance and a PhD in International Entrepreneurship.

Nati Lalayants

Office & People Manager

Nati Lalayants

Office & People Manager

Nati Lalayants

Office & People Manager

Nati is our Office&People Manager at Vertical, having joined from Maria01 where she worked as Community Manager. She is responsible for developing our corporate culture, and for fostering a harmonious and productive workplace atmosphere. ‘Minimal clutter, maximum focus, optimal results’ is her motto. Nati is also responsible for Vertical’s resource management and allocation. In her spare time, when she is not running, Nati likes to bake – cake days at Vertical have already become the stuff of legend!

Bogdana Gamburg

Venture Analyst

Bogdana Gamburg

Venture Analyst

Bogdana Gamburg

Venture Analyst

A bright and dynamic woman, Dana is a Venture Analyst with strong experience in startup sourcing and assessment in the Healthcare, Pharma and Food industries. Prior to joining the company, Dana refined and polished her brokering skills in the Health & Wellbeing startup sector. Her strong background in dealflow helps sustain Vertical’s strategic business development. A fervent proponent of Women in Tech, she was one of the first in Helsinki to organise Coding for Girls events, generously donating her time and skills to the movement. In her spare time, Dana is a proper foodie with a taste for fine coffees.

Expertise: health, wellbeing, pharma, as well as smart factory, renewables, robotics, industrial automation startups from Europe, Baltics & Russia

Clients: Samsung, Telia, Fazer, Pfizer, Amer Sports

Startups: Popit, SDKHealth, Heimo, GreenTEG

Eero Toppinen

Venture Analyst

Eero Toppinen

Venture Analyst

Eero Toppinen

Venture Analyst

With an aptitude for corporate venturing, Eero is an ambitious analyst who gained valuable experience working at Nordea and Avanto Ventures. Eero has extensive knowledge of both corporate and startup culture, having worked on open innovation with companies such as Accenture, Wartsilä and Orion. His time in the Finnish Defence Forces marks Eero out as an independent thinker with excellent analytical and teamwork skills.

Expertise gameplay analytics, data technologies, design & development open innovation

Clients: Uudeenmanliitto, Orion

Startups: Etsimo, Practigame, Kamu, Lifted

Lars Melakoski

Venture Analyst

Lars Melakoski

Venture Analyst

Lars Melakoski

Venture Analyst

Meet our Venture Analyst with vast experience in Event Production and Marketing. As a teenager Lars was heavily involved in the European Youth Parliament, initially as a facilitator and later on as a board member. More recently, he has been polishing his event production, project management and marketing skills at startup pioneers such as Bule and Maria01. Quick to learn and possessing a keen eye for detail, Lars describes himself as a ‘know-how sponge’.

Sasha Kazantsev

Senior Venture Designer

Sasha Kazantsev

Senior Venture Designer

Sasha Kazantsev

Senior Venture Designer

Sasha is our Senior Venture Designer, with responsibility for building design methodology for our external corporate venturing process. He developed his design skills while working for Digitalist with clients such as Helsinki University, Atea, TokenMarket, as well as the multinational creative technology expert and Koru, a wearable OS startup. Choc-full of ideas for process innovation and improvement, Sasha has already established himself as an integral part of the Vertical team. His proactive attitude and excellent strategic planning and development skills are second to none.

Expertise: wide range of visual mediums, web and media-technologies

Clients: Pfizer, Stora Enso, Samsung

Startups: Popit, Heimo, SDKHealth, GreenTEG,

Pontus Vepsäläinen

Head of Design and Delivery

Pontus Vepsäläinen

Head of Design and Delivery

Pontus Vepsäläinen

Head of Design and Delivery

Pontus has over 15 years of experience in the Digital industry, working as a UI, Visual, Interaction and Kinetic Designer for platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone and web-based applications. As a Visual Designer, Pontus has a deep passion for his work and possesses a willingness to go over and above to complete projects on schedule. He has a special talent for bringing fresh perspective to brands without them losing their original appeal. Previously, Pontus was Senior Lead Visual Designer for clients like Nokia, Ericsson, Garanti, Volvo, Mozilla and Telia Sonera, leading the team from Concept Design to market-ready applications. His versatility and deep knowledge of the industry allow him to work simultaneously in numerous roles. Some of the roles held by Pontus during his career are as follows: Motion Designer, Art Director, teacher of Web Design and Motion Graphics, Print Designer and Web Designer.

Expertise: UI/UX design, Motion design, Service design,

Clients: Pfizer, Folkhälsan, Lähitapiola, Orion, KONE

Startups: Popit, Heimo, GonioVR, Sixgill, Kaltiot


  • All
  • Business Development
  • Community Management & Support
  • Design
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Food Industry
  • Go to Market
  • Health & Wellness
  • Investments
  • Legal & Financial
  • Marketing & Media
  • Open Data
  • Partners
  • Pitching
  • PR & Comms
  • Product development
  • Sales
  • Sports
  • Strategy & Leadership
  • Technology & Software
  • Vertical Team

Michel Rabet

Business consultant

Michel Rabet

Business consultant

Michel Rabet

Business Development, Strategy & Leadership

As a Business consultant, it isn’t every executive who can seamlessly shift gears to help lead through the chaos of a growing Startups or turnaround an underperforming business project or to lead a cross-disciplinary go-to-market strategy initiative to success, but because Michel differentiate with an uncommon complement of developing future business concept and services for the last 25 years in the field of software across industries by, supporting and planning go to market strategies for some of the forefront companies’ spinoffs.

Earlier Michel spent 2 years at Nexetic as VP of strategic alliances for cloud services and software deployment strategy. Earlier in his career, he developed his Sales and Partner management skills with Comptel and leading comptel’s branch office for 7 years. Working with first telecom Finland and later Sonera in go-to-market initiatives for future services.

Besides his passion for helping create new business and develop existing one, Michel is a golfer and squash addict and has a sweet tooth for wines and health hack related business.

Dario Forneris

Design, Product development

Dario is a product designer constantly exploring new ways to push innovative thinking and create meaningful user experiences. He designed a wide range of products and has been responsible for the design and team management at Mozo in Helsinki. With a master degree in Eco Design from Politecnico di Torino, he is passionate about supporting companies with high goals and to develop their product strategy.

Eve Salonius

Health & Wellness

Eve Salonius is a medical doctor specializing in surgery. She is currently finalizing her Ph.D. thesis on biomaterial scaffolds in articular cartilage repair surgery at the University of Helsinki. Eve is interested in new solutions for health and improving communication between health care professionals and startups. 

Pekka Sivonen

Pekka is a 3rd generation entrepreneur and founder of Digia, a publicly listed mobile software-company, listed at NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. Pekka took the company from 1 person to 1.600 persons. From 2012 to 2014 he acted as the Head of AppCampus, which is a 21 million euro grant fund and mobile seed-accelerator established by Aalto University, Nokia and Microsoft.

Pekka has been nominated in the Entrepreneur of the Year-competition by Ernst & Young the Best Service Entrepreneur in Finland three consecutive years, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Pekka´s passion is coaching new and established start-ups on business-plans, clients, financing and networking. He also acts as a business-angel and investor in multiple companies.

Outside business, Pekka is a passionate chef, fly-fisher and downhill-skier.

Andreas Heiner

Product development, Technology & Software

Andreas Heiner has over 25 years of experience in industrial research. After a career in biophysics, communication networks and security he became involved in product and service creation for the pharmaceutical industry. A main component of these services has been data analytics and machine learning.

His true passion is in making ideas reality.

Jon Bradford

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Investments

Jon Bradford is the Managing Director of TechStars in London. Previously he was the cofounder and CEO of Springboard. Jon loves to help startups and their founders achieve their true potential. Over the last 2 years, he acted as an advisor to many other multicompany accelerators from Montreal to Moscow.

Since launching Europe’s first bootcamp accelerator The Difference Engine in 2009 he helped to launch Springboard, which is now based in Cambridge and London. In addition, he has also founded ignite100, a reinvention of the Difference Engine, that combines a 13 week accelerator with follow on funding of up to £100 000 per team, as well as Startup Wise Guys in Estonia, Eleven in Bulgaria, and TexDrive in Moscow.

Riku Asikainen

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Investments, Pitching

Riku Asikainen is a seasoned entrepreneur with strong emphasis on growth investments on small and medium-sized companies.

During his entrepreneurial, management and investment career, which started in year 1988, Riku has been a founder, director, and investor in more than thirty ventures. Out of those companies, ten have been exited and five gone to zero (some valuable lessons learnt from these) while the rest are still in his portfolio. During Riku’s tenure two companies have grown from zero revenue to five million range, one company to ten million, one to twenty million and one to over thirty million of annual revenue.

Riku’s areas of interest include private equity financing, growth, execution, financing, and IT development as a strategic tool in managing customers and sales.

Peter Kelly


Peter Kelly is the first Professor of Practice, High Growth Entrepreneurship in Aalto. For more than 20 years, he has helped entrepreneurs identify and develop opportunities internationally. A professional networker by nature, Peter brings a vast base first hand experience developing ventures, raising funding, and exits.

Described as a “closet designer”, Peter Kelly is actively applying design thinking skills into the domain of opportunity prototyping. As a sounding board for AppCademy teams, he brings a strong dose of entrepreneurial intuition combined with a flair for communicating in a compelling and captivating way.

Ari Korhonen

Entrepreneurship, Investments

Ari Korhonen is an angel investor and the founder of Lagoon Capital.

He has been a successful technology entrepreneur and a business angel for over 30 years. He developed his company Komartek into an international success story. As an angel investor Ari has made 81 angel investments during the last five years to 26 startups – these include DealDash, Verso Globe, MariaDB, ThirdPresence, Surveypal, Small Giant Games, Miradore, In4mo, and 360Cities.

Ari was elected by FiBAN as Business Angel of the Year in Finland 2014.

Janne Rainvuori

Legal & Financial

Janne Rainvuori specialises in M&A transactions, securities markets, and company law, as well as in contract law particularly within the field of ICT and technology.

He is a certified board professional and advises clients of different sizes in corporate governance and day-to-day business matters, usually in close co-operation with the client’s top management. In addition to providing advisory in business law, Janne practices litigation and he has worked as an agent in several large judicial and arbitration proceedings in his area of expertise. Before joining JB Eversheds, Janne was a general counsel to a listed company which operated in several countries, mostly in Northern Europe and North America.

Jan Popov

Legal & Financial

Jan Popov specialises in M&A transactions, corporate law, as well as in commercial agreements. In addition, Jan has gained experience from very demanding financing arrangements and other negotiations in restructuring proceedings.

Jan has a variety of start-ups in his clientele for whom he provides hands-on advice in all matters which a start-up company and its shareholders face – from shareholders’ agreement to financing arrangements and agreements with management and other stakeholders.

Todd Wiebusch

Investments, Strategy & Leadership

Todd Wiebusch has been CEO of CHMG Capital, LLC, a private investment and operating firm based in Charlotte, NC, since its founding in 2004.

From 1997 until its sale in 2005, Todd was President and CEO of Capital Health Management Group, Inc. (CHMG), a provider of Medicare-certified home health services with 35 locations in seven southeastern US states. Prior to CHMG, he was a General Manager at three national home health providers in both the HME/Respiratory and home nursing segments. Todd is currently interim CEO and Board Chair of Saebo, Inc., an international provider of stroke rehabilitation products based in the USA.

Todd is an active angel investor and a member of IMAF-Charlotte, a committed capital early stage fund, and a founding member of The Charlotte Angel fund. He is the lead outside investor in GuardianOR (, a global manufacturer of operating suite instrument loss prevention systems, as well as an investor and Board Member of Rival Health.

Joni Kettunen

Health & Wellness, Product development

Joni Kettunen, PhD, is a pioneer in physiological analytics and its applications. He is the Founder and CEO of Firstbeat at the cutting edge of heartbeat analytics for wearables, fitness devices, wellbeing services and professional sports. Firstbeat analytics is used by hundreds of elite sports teams, thousands of corporations, and millions of consumers to improve their performance and wellbeing.

Before founding Firstbeat in 2002, Joni has published research in the areas of psychophysiology, behavioral medicine, autonomic nervous system function, and stress quantification. He received his PhD from the Department of Psychology at the University of Helsinki in 1999.

Riku Seppälä

Entrepreneurship, Investments, Technology & Software

Riku is an active all-rounder at Open Ocean Capital – a round and up Helsinki based Venture Capital firm. He joined Open Ocean from the big data startup in Montreal. Prior to Hopper, Riku co-founded two startups in the developer tools space. As a student Riku co-founded Aalto Entrepreneurship Society AaltoES.

Outside his investor work and startup-related activities, Riku enjoys snowboarding, skating, sailing, knitting gloves and coding.

Jussi Harvela

Entrepreneurship, Investments, Strategy & Leadership, Technology & Software

Jussi Harvela has over 20 years of global high technology business experience in various management positions. He is currently CEO of TactoTek, a 3D injection­ molded structural electronics manufacturer. He led Solid corporation as president & CEO after establishing Solid’s headquarters in Cupertino, California in 1999. The company was acquired by IBM in 2007.

Jussi is Co­Founder and General Partner at Veturi Venture Accelerator. Founded by international serial entrepreneurs, Veturi provides seed funding, strategic guidance and hands­on participation to accelerate your venture. Jussi is also an advisory board member in a number of national technology commercialization programs including TEKES TULI, Centre of Expertise Ubiquitous Computing & Digibusiness Program, and VTT Ventures.

Jussi received a master’s degree in software engineering, international marketing, and business strategy from the Helsinki University of Technology. His other interests include music, sailing, hunting, fishing and cooking.

Tarmo Virki

Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Media, PR & Comms

Tarmo Virki is the co-founder of CoFounder magazine, the startup magazine for entrepreneurs, startups ,and investors on the hottest trends in the European Startup space.

Tarmo has been a journalist for over 19 years in Reuters and Forbes, running the Reuters European Tech, Media and Telecom team for years. Tarmo breaths journalism and tech insights.

Artturi Tarjanne

Entrepreneurship, Investments

Artturi Tarjanne has over 20 years of ICT industry experience. He is well known in Finland as one of the pioneering software entrepreneurs and organizers of industry interests at large.

Artturi is a venture capitalist with a serial entrepreneur background. He is the Chairman of the Venture Capital Group of FVCA, the local VC&PE Association, and a Co-founder of Nexit Ventures, a transatlantic VC fund focusing in Mobile & Wireless market.

Marko Nurmela

Business Development, Marketing & Media, Partners, Technology & Software

Marko Nurmela is VP Marketing at Samsung Electronics Nordics. He has extensive experience as Global Executive, General Manager and Vice President with a wide range of experiences in the consumer goods, media, telecom, financial and consumer electronics industries.

Marko has a proven track record in successfully building and turning around businesses through clear leadership focusing on business development, marketing, sales and organisational team development. He has extensive leadership experience from managing, developing and motivating teams to achieve and exceed their objectives. In his work he is dedicated to maintaining high quality standards and tight cost control. Marko shows high energy and drive with good social skills and a passion for change and business management, new technology, media, and marketing.

Olli Väisänen

Health & Wellness, Product development

Olli is an Anesthesiologist and Emergency Physician with working experience from Municipal and Private Healthcare. He is also a trained Medical Teacher and Simulation Instructor with excellent teaching and debriefing skills.

Olli has experience working as a Civil Servant for the Finnish Government, worked with clinical research, risk management and product development within patient monitoring, anesthesia and respiratory devices and healthcare IT at GE Healthcare. Most recently Olli has been working with Silmäasema as newly appointed Chief Medical Officer. Silmäasema is the largest Finnish optician chain in Finland.

Alessio Beverina

Health & Wellness, Investments, Product development

Alessio Beverina is founder and partner of Panakes Partners, a fund created in 2016, dedicated to Medtech and healthcare IT, all over Europe. Alessio started with Sofinnova Partners in April 2005 as an analyst becoming partner in 2011 till 2014, where he helped investing in successful companies. He began his career in 1997 as a researcher at LETI, one of the most important European Labs in the research field applied to electronics. From 2000 to 2003, he worked in the central R&D group for STMicroelectronics.

Alessio holds 5 patents and has published several publications. He graduated from Politecnico di Milano, with a degree in chemical engineering, and with an MBA from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP-EAP). Alessio is a Kauffman Fellow.

Timo Heikkilä

Partners, Technology & Software

Timo Heikkilä is looking for new technologies for Samsung’s next generation mobile devices. He has a unique vantage point to the latest mobile advancements and innovation, as well as a broad network of companies in the region. Timo has earlier focused on future trends, consumer-driven innovation, and technology at Nokia.

Nicola Mattina

Community Management & Support

Nicola Mattina is an entrepreneur, digital explorer, polymath, husband and father of two girls. He studies the unstoppable process of “software eating the world” and is passionate about digital transformation, open innovation, startup communities and all the techniques to invent new products and new business models.

Over the past twenty years, he has worked mainly as a communication and management consultant helping complex organizations to understand and embrace digital transformation. In 2013, he cofounded Stamplay, which produces a software platform to streamline backend development of web and mobile apps.

Yasin Hamed

Partners, Product development, Technology & Software

Yasin Hamed is a technology business executive with 24 years of IT and telecom industry vision. His expertise is in product program management, technology sales strategy, market development, opportunity analysis, and long term relationship management. Most recently, he works with Samsung as a technology advisor within the areas of wearables and smart services.

Mike Bradshaw


Mike Bradshaw (@ymb) can often be found coaching early stage startups and entrepreneurs in the fundamentals of pitching. The one true way to annoy Mike is to read “bullet point” slides during a pitch, as they are a crime against humanity.

In his free time Mike is a Coach at StartupSauna, a codriver with the Travelling Salesman project, curator of the Helsinki StartupDigest, organiser of for the last five years, and the holder of a British passport.

Tero Silvola

Business Development, Investments, Sales, Technology & Software

Tero Silvola, CEO for BC Platforms, has a background in the international business development, sales, and marketing operations. During his career Tero has had a high premium on building and establishing new business opportunities in both large as well as the start-up enterprises. Tero has a definite focus in fast growing companies and challenges within. His specialty is international business development in software, telecom, and healthcare industries.

Salvatore Fallica

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Leadership

Born on an island of fire and sea, Salvatore Fallica has several years of entrepreneurial experience in ICT and creative industries, working as Business Developer and Consultant for corporate companies as well as for startups. He has experience in team management, business strategy, coaching, and training.

Expert in strategic communication and leadership, after returning to Italy in 2012, Salvatore has invested time and expertise in coaching and mentoring innovative startups, social businesses and associations. In late 2014 joined the Impact Hub network with the aim to develop strategic partnerships, in order to bridge Southern Italy with the most promising markets in Europe.

Henri Harmia

Business Development, Investments, Partners, Strategy & Leadership, Technology & Software

Henri Harmia is a seasoned strategist and new business developer with a passion for technology and business innovation, with extensive experience in the telecoms industry. Henri has also worked with M&A, corporate venturing and IPO issues during his career in the telecoms industry. Prior to joining TeliaSonera Henri worked in management consulting.

Outside of business development Henri enjoys the outdoors in many ways, sailing, biking, skiing, hiking to name a few.

Val Jerdes


Val Jerdes is Advisor to the CEO and heads the Silicon Valley office of Pulsar Ventures. Val is also Partner at Innov8 Global Ventures and Advisory, working from California and Moscow, Russia. He is Director of the Kauffman Fellows Venture Capital Academy Executive program, a lecturer at Singularity University, and a sought after speaker and consultant in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Val has advised on the formation of numerous funds, incubators and accelerators, and worked with regional and national governments around the world. In his native California, Val sits on several boards, co-founded three successful startups, and has previously worked at Apple Computer and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space.

Rita Valve

Business Development, Investments, Strategy & Leadership

Rita Valve is an Angel investor and experienced board member, with a deep understanding of foreign cultures and a good record of successful implementation of new procedures in multicultural organizations. Rita has been developing sales and marketing in areas of key customer management, application engineering, sales and marketing processes, organizations and structures.

Rita works according to lean principles. She has managed manufacturing development programs both in the west as well as in the east, when she worked and lived in Austria, Hungary, Turkey, Germany and France.

Rita is a person who has a lot of drive and energy. She is a positive thinker with great communication and social skills. She wants to bring value to the business, and she is ready to do more than what is needed to make it happen.

Hani Tarabichi

Business Development, Entrepreneurship

Hani Tarabichi is a researcher at the Innovation Management Institute which is part of Aalto University School of Science. He is also working on business development along with Startup Commons.

Hani is passionate about startup eco-systems, strategic marketing, coaching, pitching, and building long lasting customer engagements. He is trying to become an avid runner, but his food exploration is slowing the process.

Aape Pohjavirta

Pitching, Product development, Technology & Software

Aape Pohjavirta is founder at Funzi, a mobile service ecosystem for the emerging markets, and Inclusion, an open source software project for mobile learning. He sits on the advisory boards of several research projects and technology programs and coaches entrepreneurs at Aalto University, Startup Sauna, and many other institutions and programs.

Aape has worked in digital media since 1988 and the mobile industry since 1997 in various management positions. He has gained global experience -­ both failures and successes – in product, service, and technology development, marketing, and sales. He is also an international patent inventor.

Tapio Siik

Entrepreneurship, Investments, Product development, Technology & Software

Tapio “Tapsa” Siik is the Head of Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship, and has extensive Nokia background of around 17 years in various positions ranging from running large R&D organizations to Vice President level business line responsibilities.

In the last seven years with Nokia he was a key member in Nokia VC investment teams, Nokia Venture Partners & Nokia Growth Partners, where he invested in companies like Bitboys Oy (acquired by AMD), Coding Technologies AB (acquired by Dolby), Sasken (IPO/India), WiderThan (IPO/Nasdaq), and many other startups globally. Tapio has held managerial positions also in other global companies including ABB & Intergraph.

Tapsa is a passionate marathonist.

Hannu Verkasalo

Investments, Technology & Software

Dr. Hannu Verkasalo is the CEO of Verto Analytics, a pioneer in digital multi­screen media measurement services with customers across financial services, digital properties, device manufacturers and advertisers. Hannu’s previous venture, mobile analytics firm Zokem, was acquired by Arbitron in 2011, where he led the publicly listed company to new initiatives in online and mobile.

Hannu has advised and invested in a number of technology and analytics companies both in the US and Europe. He is based in New York City.

Tero Kuittinen

Tero Kuittinen is Managing Director at Magid Associates, focusing on mobile app vendors looking for licensing partners, distribution and media coverage in North America. Mr. Kuittinen got his start in mobile content industry as a Senior Advisor to SpringToys, one of the first mobile game companies in the world, in 1999. He has deep roots in the Scandinavian mobile app industry, being regularly quoted by Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times and Bloomberg on industry topics. He has worked 8 years as a sell­side equity research analyst specializing in mobile software, from Alliance Capital to MKM Partners. He is an advisor for Next Games and Small Giant Games.

Veera Veromaa

Health & Wellness

Veera Veromaa is a Medical Doctor, who has worked in the public sector at hospitals and at several health care centers. She is currently teaching Finnish medical students in the Department of General Practice at the University of Turku.

Veera wants to be involved in the digital revolution of healthcare. Having seen how poor the connection between the medical professionals and the industry is, Veera is of the opinion that it’s time to get healthcare professionals to work together with the healthtech industry. Co-operation is needed to create innovations of tomorrow. Veera is particularly fond of medical research in the field of virtual reality.

Antti Kokkinen

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Investments, Technology & Software

Antti Kokkinen is an experienced angel and VC investor. He is currently Chairman of Funzi and QuattroFolia and based in Helsinki, where he covers technology aspects of all his investments.  Antti was partner at BlueRun Ventures and prior to his VC role he had more than 12 years of technology and business development experience within Nokia, including two internal start-ups and establishing the Nokia Boston site. Antti received his MBA and M.S. (EE) from Helsinki University of Technology.

Stefano Campadello

Product development, Technology & Software

Stefano Campadello is an expert in business development, R&D management, technology strategy, and industry collaboration, with more than 20 years of experience on software for telecommunication and health tech.

After obtaining his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Helsinki Stefano joined Nokia where in 10 years he served many roles, from Principal Scientist, to Industry Collaboration Manager and Technology Strategist, always focusing on Mobile Software Architecture, Security and Innovation. He continued to offer his visions on technology strategy and business strategy in companies as Huawei and Nixu. 

For the last ten years Stefano has been a reviewer and technical adviser for the European Commission concerning the feasibility of EU-funded project.

Toni Perämäki

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Pitching

Toni Perämäki is an entrepreneur who has been heavily involved in the Finnish startup scene for the last ten years as a founder of multiple accelerator and community programs. He has also worked for the 21MEUR Appcampus funding scheme as a Dealflow manager and successfully led Microsoft’s support for technology companies in Finland for three years. Currently he leads Microsoft Turbopump market entry program helping selected Finnish B2B startups scale to European markets. Toni has experience in successfully helping companies on customer development & lean startup, go-to-market, customer acquisition and pitching.

Lasse Mäkelä


Lasse Mäkelä began his career as an investment banker at Merryl Lynch in London. He worked in various capital raising initiatives, stock exchange listings as well as mergers and acquisitions. After this Lasse moved on to become a partner at Icecapital Securities in Helsinki and from there to KONE where he was responsible of acquisitions and alliances. After KONE Lasse was a part of Consti Group’s and Corbel Holding’s management groups with responsibilities in acquisitions, finance and business development.  

Lasse has a B.Sc. from the Cass Business School and an Executive MBA from Helsinki School of Economics. 

Hanna-Leena Back

Product development, Strategy & Leadership

Hanna-Leena Back started her career as a management consultant at Vectia where she worked for 5 years across industries in marketing and customer strategy, service design and account management. After this she moved on to work for Tallink Silja in service design and customer loalty programs. From Tallink she moved on to Pfizer, the global pharmaceutical company where she was responsible for business development. Before coming to Invesdor she played a key role at a health-tech startup Wellmo, where she helped to grow the company from seed stage to international growth track and still acts as an advisor.

Hanna-Leena has a M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration from Helsinki School of Economics.

Harri Männistö

Business Development, Investments, Technology & Software

Harri Männistö is a digital age leader grown in international businesses all his career.  Harri had his first B2B system business responsibility in early 90’s in Nokia. Harri learned digital consumer business when he led Sonera’s international mobile business, and he has had roles in several boards of directors. 

Recently Harri has been an angel investor, advisor-entrepreneur and pro bono mentor. He has also been exposed to micro-enterprises, their business models, practices, financing, as well as their buzzing, dynamic ecosystem.  Public-to-private partnering has always interested Harri, from invest-in to export perspectives and recently into digitalization and impact investing.

Harri has continued calling to high impact activities be it with internationally ambitious ventures or with innovative financing approaches, as long as the twinkle in the eye is remained.

Mika D. Rubanovitsch

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Media, Pitching, Sales, Strategy & Leadership

Mika D. Rubanovitsch, M.Sc. (Econ) is the CEO of IMPERIAL SALES AB, founded in 1936. He has more than 25 years’ experience consulting and coaching sales teams in industrial, finance and retail companies. Rubanovitsch has received extraordinary feedback as an inspirational coach, training top executives, directors, managers and sales teams across the Nordic/Baltic region.

Rubanovitsch has extensive experience in both B2B and B2C sales management coaching, working as Sales Director and CEO for several global companies in Europe and in the USA. He is seen as straight talking, possessing great sales management knowledge. He has excellent references as well as an outstanding ability to implement new and effective methods for individual sales management coaching. He has substantial pedagogical skills, with Individualized training materials and best-selling books to complement the Power Coaching Seminar. Thanks to his keen interest in sports, completing several marathons and a half-triathlon, enables him to combine his deep understanding and knowledge in managing sales force teams to benchmark it against how top athletes maximize their annual results.

Rubanovitsch is also a successful business author. His books have sold more than 36 000 copies. His upcoming book about the Customers Buying Process and behavior will be published in the fall 2015.

Terhi Holappa

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness, Product development

Terhi Holappa has more than 20 years of experience in the health technology field and almost a decade of prior experience in the medical field.  Her multiprofessional background enables a holistic understanding of and approach to crucial facets of health technology.

Terhi is experienced particularly in the special features and new trends of health technology, regulatory affairs and usability requirements of medical devices and software. She is also experienced in solving collaboration challenges between health technology industry and clinical environments.

Terhi is an entrepreneur and owner of USBIMED health technology expert service company.

Tero T. Nieminen

Marketing & Media, Strategy & Leadership

Tero T. Nieminen, Master of Arts (Educ.), is the Head Coach of IMPERIAL SALES AB, founded in 1936. Tero is experienced coach in sales and customer satisfaction functions. His powerful coaching method is based on his educational background. Key words are expertise and motivation.

Tero has a proven track record in his long-term coaching co-operations with his clients. Even the most experienced sales persons have found Tero´s coaching succesful and alongside that their motivation has improved. Tero is known as a coach who gives 100% every time and requires that same attitude also from his audience. In the coaching sessions Tero combines clear goals, practical information to reach those goals, useful examples and willingness to be the best.

When he is not sales coaching, Tero is one of the Finnish Top Class Referees in football.

Markus Mäkelä

Health & Wellness, Product development, Strategy & Leadership, Technology & Software

Markus Mäkelä is Executive-in-Residence at Aalto University. He leads Aalto Health Platform, a health tech research and innovation institute, and builds collaborative programs between Aalto and other universities, hospital systems, independent research institutes, industry associations and government.

Markus has an international management background in manufacturing industries and has previously been a professor of software development as well as active with various start-ups of the industry. He also has experience in private equity investments and launched his academic career 15 years ago by research into international venture capital.

Ojas Rege

Product development, Technology & Software

Ojas Rege is Vice President of Strategy at MobileIron. His perspective on enterprise mobility has been covered by Bloomberg, CIO Magazine, Financial Times, Forbes, and Reuters. He is co-inventor on six mobility patents, including the enterprise app store and BYOD privacy.

Ojas has been with MobileIron for seven years as the company has grown from an idea to a mobile security platform with over 9,000 enterprise customers. MobileIron has been in the Leaders Quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management for five consecutive years and was selected by Deloitte in December 2014 as the fastest growing technology company in the world by revenue over the prior five years. Before joining MobileIron, Ojas was Vice President of Global Mobile Products at Yahoo!, responsible for Yahoo’s mobile search, email, messaging, and content services.

Ojas was bitten by the mobile bug in 2000 as Vice President of Product Management at AvantGo, one of the first software developers for Palm and PocketPC handhelds. Before AvantGo, Ojas spent several years with Boston Consulting Group, and started his career in 1988 as VAX/VMS product line manager at Oracle. Ojas is also Board Chair for Pact, a non-profit in Oakland, California that provides adoption services for children of color and their parents. Ojas has a BS/MS in Computer Engineering from M.I.T. and an MBA from Stanford.

Jari Mieskonen

Entrepreneurship, Investments, Technology & Software

Jari Mieskonen has been in venture industry for almost 20 years. First at SITRA, then founding partner at EQVITEC and now from 2007 at Conor. He has been engaged with plus 100 venture transactions in all major industries in Finland, Nordics and central Europe.

Dmitri Sarle

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Pitching, PR & Comms

Dmitri Sarle is currently the CEO of ArcticStartup. He is the force that drives a team of professionals to work hard and enjoy themselves at the same time.  Think, singing Careless Whisper by George Michael from the top of your longs.

ArcticStartup was founded in 2007 as a media company. Dmitri has used his ambition and unique vision to change the mission of the company to support the entrepreneurial community in the Nordic and Baltic region. Dmitri achieves this by providing coverage of the news and trends, sharing tips, working with the startup community close to his heart and creating networking events relevant to the ecosystem.

Dmitri has lived in Sweden, England, Estonia and eventually found his way to Finland. Dmitri plans to change the world, to create a better world for everyone. Maybe one day he will start his own country.

Hanna Kumpulainen

Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness, Product development

Hanna Kumpulainen is founder of Kasve Ltd, a Finnish healthcare expert service organization. Hanna is a professional in building up and developing Quality Management Systems for medical device and life science companies. 

As an entrepreneur by herself, Hanna is passionate in helping start-up’s to design the internal processes and quality management systems as lean as possible, but still compliant with the regulatory requirements.  

Jukka Holappa

Business Development

Jukka Holappa is a brutally honest business development professional with deal sheet containing dozens of innovative commercial agreements on pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food supplements, technologies and all kinds of pharmaceutical services. Jukka has excellent networks to highest level decision makers especially in Europe, Asia and Russia

Karoliina Halmesmäki

Health & Wellness, Technology & Software

Karoliina is a consultant in vascular surgery, with special experience in venous surgery. Her ambition to improve and enhance patient care has led her to design virtual hospital in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District.

In addition to work horses, running, skiing, and biking are close to Karoliina’s heart.

Risto Kuulasmaa

Marketing & Media, PR & Comms, Product development

Risto Kuulasmaa is the Head of Television and Online Media at Yle Finland. He is known as an award-winning producer of The Dudesons, Madventures and Docventures. In 2014 he co-founded TubeCon, the biggest Youtuber event in Scandinavia.

Outside of work Risto enjoys life as a traveller, photographer and early stage startup investor.

Jaana Beidler

Design, Product development

Andrea Magni

Marketing & Media

Over the last decade Andrea Magni has gained extensive experience in digital marketing from very different roles inside digital agencies and in the marketing teams of large organizations. He worked on global multi-channel campaigns and launches for international brands, taking digital tools and services through all the steps of their lifecycle.

Andrea is now facing the challenge of bringing digital transformation into one of the most traditional branches of industry. 

Pasi Hatakka

Business Development, Strategy & Leadership, Technology & Software

Pasi Hatakka is a management and sales professional. He has more than 20 years experience and knowledge of leading product development, marketing and sales in business of electromedical devices. Currently he is co-owner and Managing Director of Finnish technology company Mariachi Oy. At “Mariachi Kasvattamo®”, the “Hatchery” for startups and product ideas, Pasi is involved in several startup projects as a sales and management advisor.

As hobby Pasi has interest of vintage cars and boats. He has the privilege to live nearby to the Archipelago of the South-West Finland. This gives lots of opportunities for free-time activities such as biking and boating.

Jukka Järvi-Laturi

Product development, Technology & Software

Jukka Järvi-Laturi has been working as high-tech entrepreneur for more than 30 years. He is experienced as account manager, project leader, managing director and board member in companies doing business in electronics and embedded systems development and manufacturing. Mr. Järvi-Laturi is currently main shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Mariachi Oy.

Jukka is involved in start-up businesses both at “Mariachi Kasvattamo®” and through local business networks and board memberships.

As hobby Jukka has interest in sailing and other outdoor activities, like skiing and hiking, both in Finland and abroad.

Francesco Balestrieri

Product development, Technology & Software

Francesco has led several large-scale software projects over the past 15+ years, ranging from mobile TV networks to the software powering the iconic Nokia N9. He is currently a program manager at the Intel Open Source Technology Center, where he is focusing on open source software projects and communities. 

Troy Woodson

Marketing & Media, Strategy & Leadership

Troy Woodson helps startups at varying stages in their professional journey articulate and implement sales strategies in highly competitive markets like the United States. With over 20 years sales experience at Fortune 500 companies in New York City, Troy uses his experience to help startups craft the pitches that resonate with investors, the storylines that engage customers, and the sales execution strategies to expand to the US.

Carsten Franke

Business Development, Go to Market, Health & Wellness, Product development

From many international product (re)launches in the medical, pharmaceutical and dental business Carsten acquired profound sales and marketing experience in the European healthcare systems, especially in Germany and Denmark. He worked for multinational, middle sized and small companies and acquired intercultural knowledge from managing challenging international projects in fluent German, Danish, English and Finnish.

This gives him the ability to develop international go-to- market strategies and to implement them through coaching and training of sales people and acquiring new customers.

Currently Carsten is developing sales channels for Serres OY. Serres OY is a Finnish medical company specialized in suction systems in hospitals.

Elsa Ervasti

Design, Pitching

Elsa has a dynamic and creative way of coaching stage presence and interaction skills. She desires performers and speakers to find their personal way to be on stage. She is helping to find the personal way to use body language, voice technique, and emotions. She works as a presentation and interaction coach at Ervasti Consulting Oy. Elsa is interested in start-ups, innovations, education business and wellness through arts. She is coaching talents in Slush Talk the Talk 2017-programm  – >

Petteri Kolehmainen

Business Development, Marketing & Media

Petteri Kolehmainen is the CEO of Make Helsinki Ltd., a 20 person creative service design agency. He has worked in many tech startups, and before starting his first company, five years in new business development at Nokia. He is also an advisor to several startups.

Petteri has been developing products since 1992. He has been involved with development, architecture design, testing, product and project management, business modelling, user experience design, etc. Experience growing from small games distributed in BBS systems in the nineties, to leading service development teams to build consumer services for pharmaceutical companies, with strict regulatory requirements. Still getting his hands dirty (though not as much as he’d like to), he has most recently been looking into React, and Apple TV development.

Outside work, Petteri likes fishing, boating and photography. He follows the tech industry vividly, playing with new gadgets and wearables, and keeping up with latest software development technologies.

Mia Sirkiä

Business Development, Marketing & Media
Mia Sirkiä is heading B2B Marketing at Hasan & Partners, a Nordic marketing power house. She is working with global industrial and technology companies in their journey from product centricity to customer orientation. She specializes in bridging business targets to marketing and brand strategies

Sini Laine

Business Development, Marketing & Media

Sini Laine has a very entrepreneurial and down to earth approach to solid marketing communications background with a digital twist. She has experience ranging from content creation and account management to networking and team leading. Deep understanding of delivering digital marketing solutions and analyses that have business value are her core strenghts. Sini has experience of both the client and agency side of marketing.

She is passionate about baking and cooking and she has been a member of the Martha Organizationfor 8 years. Another balancing factor in Sini’s life are the outdoor activities such as horse-back riding, wood logging and stone constructions at her summer cottage.

Marko Tulonen

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Investments

Marko Tulonen has over fifteen years professional background in enterprise development, internationalization, investment management, new business and corporate venturing in the fields of telecommunications, software and digital media, and venture capital/private equity industries. Expertise and global networks at Revenue Share Based Financing in the fields of gaming, apps and media industries; Co-Founder & Partner at Vision+ Fund and several positions as Advisor or Investor.

Miikka Korja

Health & Wellness, Partners

MD, PhD,Neurosurgeon, Consultant

Miikka Korja is Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Helsinki, and Cerebrovascular consultant (MD, PhD) in one of the largest Western neurosurgical units, Helsinki University Hospital (HUS). He also works as a Chief Innovation Officer at HUS, focusing mostly on artificial intelligence and virtual reality solutions, innovation workflows, as well as on startup collaborations. Some of his recent initiatives are the HUS startup event Findery, HUS Virtual Reality laboratory, and the nationwide Innovation Hub (Innovaatiotalo). He has formal research education e.g. in Turku Graduate School of Health Sciences and Turku Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Miikka has history in basic (medical biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics) and clinical (from cross-over drug studies to population-based epidemiological studies) research. His own research focuses upon several aspects of neurosurgery including subarachnoid haemorrhage risk factors, subarachnoid haemorrhage outcome factors, risks of surgery for brain arteriovenous malformations, intracranial bypass surgeries, molecular biology of intracranial tumours, as well as patient safety and quality of care in cranial neurosurgery.

Miikka is advocating for transparency in medical research and clinical medicine.

Sammeli Liikkanen

Health & Wellness

Sammeli Liikkanen is a Pharma and Healthcare professional with strong flavor of digitalization in his background. Working in different roles and projects within and outskirts of Orion Pharma he’s known as innovative, resilient and determined in everything he does.

He loves working with people, yet his biggest personal satisfaction comes from challenging objectives and paradigm shifts. One might describe him as an entrepreneur and a change agent.

When not building well-being, he loves football and many other sports, and also likes to travel, read old-fashioned paper books and listen to music.

Ville Riikkala

Ville Riikkala is an IT and digitalization professional with around 15 years of experience in IT industry.

Ville is an advisor at Olento Life – a Finnish mHealth developer as an technology advisor.

He has graduated from the Aalto University with M.Sc degree in Computer Science. My studies included software engineering, corporate strategy and internationalization.

Ville enjoys challenges, especially those ones where he needs to exceed himself to reach the goals.

Vikki Noreila

Business Development, Design, Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Media

Vikki Noreila has 20+ years senior management experience from global business management in FMCG, Automotive and ICT industries and over a decade as CEO and entrepreneur in digital design.

Vikki is a business designer. He coaches startups in developing the product idea into a commercial brand with a unique story and road map to the market. He loves to workshop and share with passionate people and ideas of future.

Jesús del Valle

Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness, Product development

Jesus graduated as a Physicist from the Technical University of Dresden, obtained his PhD in Biology at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, and has worked in Life Sciences for more than 20 years. At Bayer he has been working in IT in R&D and M&S roles.

He founded the Bayer open innovation initiative Grants4Apps in 2013, which has since evolved into a digital life sciences accelerator and coworking program with locations in Barcelona, Berlin, Moscow, and Shanghai, and keeps bringing together the startups’ culture with Bayer’s experience. Jesus is originally from Havana, Cuba.

Ari Huczkowski

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Pitching, Product development, Strategy & Leadership

Ari is a professional commercializer, international brand builder and marketer, startup company growth advisor, generalist on nanotechnology, open innovation, science and technology parks, hi-tech ecosystems and a few other things.
When not working, Ari is coaching FC Honka Espoo junior team (boys 2004 & 2005). During the winter Ari likes skiing, during the summer soccer, biking, bbq, and travel. He speaks fluent English, Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian – and also ok level German. Ari is looking forward to working with you!

Chris Winquist

Product development, Strategy & Leadership

Chris is at ICEYE, a space startup. Previously he has been management consultant, CEO and co-founded a visual storytelling startup Rewindy as well as headed product management and collaboration for open source Linux based Meego mobile devices at Nokia.
Chris has adviced private healthcare providers in Finland as well as startups. He is a fan of “Lean startup” methodology that he has also used himself.
Outside of business Chris likes running, trekking, scuba diving, photography and traveling.

Declan Flaherty

Business Development, Health & Wellness, Product development, Strategy & Leadership

Declan Flaherty has 19 years in Human, Veterinary-Animal Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine as well as Commercial advisory-Senior Management roles for Academic Institutes, Healthcare Accelerators, CROs, Fitness & Wellness, Pharma/Biotech & Medical Device companies.
Roles in Executive management, Licensing, Business development, Marketing, Sales, Clinical, Business Coaching, Lecturing, Commercial consultancy & technology transfer.

– Commercial & Internationalisation expert for Health Capital Helsinki – Q3 2017 onwards
– Commercial Business Planner for new Irish-German Life Science venture between Fraunhofer-CÚRAM- Q2 2017
– Commercial strategist for Start North -Q1-2, 2017
– Commercial Judge for Findery/ Health Capital Helsinki/ HUS – Q1, 2017
– Commercialisation Director for Veterinary Askel Healthcare Ltd – 2015/2016
– Commercial advisor for TuTL project applicant – gained 500,000€ for project start up – Q4,2016
– Team winner for Strategic Commercialisation in the Healthcare sector at SLUSH event, 2015
– Lead Business developer for European roll out of Cardiac Safety Service for US company – 2015 till now

Johanna Noreila

Business Development, Strategy & Leadership

Johanna Noreila is currently holding a very inspiring role as the HR Lead in an international digital agency, Idean. Johanna has experience in both Finnish and international HR and recruitment from IBM, Logica and Accenture. Johanna is a new type of HR leader, focusing more towards partnerships and competence development.

Zeynep Falay von Flittner

Business Development, Design, Strategy & Leadership

Zeynep Falay von Flittner has about 15 years of international experience in service design and design leadership. She has been designing digital services for large companies, such as Nokia, TeliaSonera, Danske Bank, Turkcell and Garanti Bank.

Currently she helps organisations to transform their culture into more user centric direction. As an IDBM Alumni from Aalto university, she is an experienced consultant with strong digital and strategic business design expertise. Before joining to Hellon, Zeynep has worked as design director at Fjord, where she helped starting and growing Fjord Istanbul office.

She has experience in building and managing design teams, teaching service design as well as consulting start ups in service design and innovation. 

Karita Reijonsaari

Business Development, Health & Wellness, Strategy & Leadership

Karita Reijonsaari directs PwC’s healthcare consulting in Finland. She has versatile experience in healthcare service development and operations management. She has worked internationally with a wide network of healthcare providers and technology companies over the last decade.

Karita holds a PhD in Industrial engineering from Aalto and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Medical School.

Juha Pinomaa

Business Development, Health & Wellness, Strategy & Leadership

Juha Pinomaa is a seasoned business executive with a long experience in developing businesses within consumer products space, having an extensive domain experience in health and wellbeing.

Under Nokia, he led Nokia’s market entry in India, helped Nokia to become a market leader in the US, and initiated Nokia’s emerging market focused strategy and business approach.

During the last 10 years, Juha has been doing pioneering work in the health & wellness wearables market. He led Suunto into the body monitoring space, and brought two US based early stage wearable start ups to Finland. Most recently, he helped Nokia to start one of its new digital health business programs in Sunnyvale. 

He can help you to fine-tune your product market fit, advise you on go-to-market strategies, and work on your growth phase planning. 

Mikael Frisk

Business Development, Strategy & Leadership

Mikael Frisk is the former Senior Vice President, Corporate Human Resources of Fortum Corporation, a member of the Corporate Executive Management and responsible for Corporate IT and Business Process Management.

He has a long career within the human resources area, and his other previous positions were Vice President of Nokia Mobile Phones, HR Global Functions, in 1998-2001, and Vice President, Human Resources of Nokia-Maillefer, Switzerland, in 1993-1997.

Mikael has been involved in several change processes including major integrations and leadership and cultural journeys.

Eero Pennala

Business Development, Partners, Product development, Technology & Software

Eero Pennala is currently Concept Manager of TeliaSonera Healthcare in Finland. His experience spans from business and product development/marketing to data science and technology. Previously he has worked at Alimetrics Ltd and Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science at Aalto University. He has a passion to make the world a better place to live by using technology in a sensible way.

Eero holds a M.Eng. in Bioinformation Technology from Aalto University in Helsinki and has also studied both at TU and LMU in München.

In his free time Eero has many sports activities, such as soccer, downhill skiing, boxing, tennis and triathlon. He also follows new technologies and ideas closely and invests in promising stocks. Enjoying life with good friends is naturally big part of his life.

Mario Mariani

Investments, Marketing & Media, Technology & Software

Mario Mariani has more than 20 years of experience in Telecommunications and New Media working in companies such as Video on Line and Telecom Italia. He joined Tiscali in its startup phase and managed the company as CEO of the Italian operations.

Mario has worked with the Ministry of Economic Development to write legislation that encourages technological growth and development in Italy. In 2009, Mario founded The Net Value accelerator and scouted several successful startups.

Daniele Pagani

Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness, Product development, Technology & Software

Daniele Pagani is currently Director of Sports at the fast growing social sport platform. He back running in first line as startupper after leading Startup Strategy at Microsoft and previously Mobile App Ecosystem Development  in Italy, Spain, and Portugal at Nokia.

Daniele landed in Nokia thanks to the acquisition of a startup in mobile internet space where he was leading pre-sales activity in Europe.

A real sport geek, with unique passion for sport and technology, Daniele is going by a ‘never give up’ karma acquired in his sport career as triathlete in Ironman distances.

Juho Immonen

Business Development, Health & Wellness, Product development

Juho Immonen is a medical professional with complementary business education, widely interested in healthcare innovations and follows closely VC & startup activity related to life sciences. Currently, Juho works as a management consultant at Nordic Healthcare Group and has been involved with healthcare IT, patient flow analysis & operational improvement, specialist care benchmarking, market analysis and due diligence, among others. Besides consulting projects focusing on healthcare and social sector, Juho maintains his clinical skills at Mehiläinen and GP practice once a week.

Formerly, Juho has gained broad clinical knowledge ranging from primary healthcare to hospitals and both public and private sector. Furthermore, Juho has experience from pharmaceuticals as a co-investigator. Juho holds MD from the University of Tampere and BSc in Economics and Business Administration from Aalto University added with exchange periods at Maastricht University and LSE, the London School of Economics and Political Science. Moreover, Juho has also obtained a preliminary touch in programming and databases.

As a former football player, Juho is an active sportsman and a dedicated supporter of Arsenal FC. Juho is enthusiastic about classic & hard rock and electric guitars and a huge fan of classic PC adventure games.

Jaana Pylvänen

Business Development, Technology & Software

Jaana is experienced leader and operational executive in innovative and scalable industries. She has international experience in telecom, design driven and property business.

Jaana has a long career in corporations as recognized innovation driver and execution focused and independent global project leader in all the continents. She has also experience in running her own design oriented business for 5 years as an entrepreneur with business in three continents, and passion for digital marketing and leadership of the teams. She has founded Girls in Tech Helsinki and currently working with education innovations.

Jaakko Iso-Järvenpää

Business Development, Marketing & Media, Product development, Technology & Software

Jaakko is a tech dude with experience from leading companies building and managing sales teams both in small startups and larger organisations. He is currently heading the sales towards Northern Europe at Dropbox; leading and developing driven cloud sales rockstars and helping large companies become more efficient through Dropbox’s collaboration solutions.

Prior to joining Dropbox Jaakko was responsible for business development and strategic partners at Kiosked, and worked at Google training digital- and media agencies on Google’s advertising solutions. He received his M.Sc. in Business from Turku School of Economics in Finland with focus on network theories, systems thinking and business management.

In addition to the tech life, Jaakko is passionate about balanced living (yoga, meditation, nutrition) and pushing own limits in the physical world (kite surfing, sailing, triathlon

Eeva Tiainen

Business Development, Food Industry, Health & Wellness, Partners, Product development, Strategy & Leadership

Eeva works in the Renewal function at Fazer. It is a Group function with visibility to all Fazer’s three business areas: Fazer Bakeries, Fazer Confectionery and Fazer Food Services, and two business units: Fazer Mills and Fazer Cafés. Eeva has worked at Fazer for five years in new business and concept development initiatives as well as in strategy work. Currently Eeva is actively involved in Fazer’s research and business development programme called “Brainhow” and leading Fazer’s Open Innovation activities.

Before joining Fazer, Eeva worked several years as a management consultant for top Finnish companies from various fields. The consulting projects were mainly related to strategy development, customer management and solution business development.

Outside work, Eeva is an active golfer and a food passionate with a crave for trying out new recipes.

Andrea Di Pietrantonio

Business Development, Go to Market, Investments, Sales

Andrea is Platform Manager at Inventure. Andrea focuses on digitalisation of venture capital processes as well as streamlining the deal sourcing and value creation within the portfolio.

He joined Inventure after four years with the equity crowdfunding platform Invesdor where he was responsible for sourcing and supporting Nordic and British companies during their fundraising processes. Prior to moving to Finland, he lived and studied in Italy, Iceland and Japan.

Heli Arantola

Food Industry, Investments, Partners, Product development, Strategy & Leadership

Heli has broad general management expertise from 10 years of branding, marketing and business development in the telco sector; 11 years of consumer relationship management and strategy consulting for several industries like machine building, banking, media, utilities and gaming; as well as 6 years of FMCG new business development, marketing and operative business management. Currently she is head of Milling business as well as Strategy & Renewal at Fazer. The renewal team is partnering with Vertical as part of the Fazer Brainfood program.

Heli holds a doctoral degree in economic sciences and is a member of the board at S-Bank, a retail bank with 2,9 million customers, and Tobii (Nasdaq OMX Stockholm), a technology company focused on eye tracking solutions. She is the author of 3 business books and several reports for think tanks and governmental organisations, and a fellow of the RSA Royal Society of Arts.

Harri Paananen

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Media, Partners

Harri Paananen is the City of Espoo’s Manager for Economic and Business Development. He has a background both in innovation management research as well as private sector work, ranging from consulting and business development to marketing and sales in Finland as well as internationally. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, he has naturally also dabbled in startups. Growing up Harri played a lot of Sim City and Civilization, probably because already then his dream was to work in urban economic and business development.

Taru Lintunen

Health & Wellness, Sports

Taru Lintunen, Ph.D. is a Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and an Adjunct Professor (Docent) in Education, at the University of

Oulu, Finland. Dr. Lintunen’s research and applied interests are in the areas of social and emotional learning and group phenomena in sport and exercise. Other research interests include self-perceptions and motivational processes of physical activity. She has served in the editorial boards of several international journals and has been a member of the Managing Council of International Society for Sport Psychology (ISSP), and is a founding member of the certification committee of sport psychology. Dr. Lintunen has also been the coordinator and member of the European Curriculum Development Network of master’s and PhD studies since 2003.

Aapo Bovellan

Design, Entrepreneurship, Investments

Investor in innovative, early stage companies. Experience as an early shareholder in 19 companies, including one decacorn. 15 of the investments to date are through Proxy, world’s first venture capital company with its own brand studio designing brands for all of it’s portfolio companies.

Companies Aapo has branded include Supercell, Peak and Nokia. Lead and follow-on investor’s in Proxy’s portfolio companies include Index Ventures, Creandum, Octopus Ventures, DN Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and Sunstone Capital. Proxy has its own design studio that works with all portfolio companies, and select external commissions.

At Microsoft, responsible for defining the first Android range of devices, the Nokia X family. Prior to that, headed Nokia Brand and Marketing Studio, in charge of completely renewing Nokia’s global brand identity and responsible producing the global launch assets for all new product launches at Nokia. Awarded with Design Museum’s “Design of the Year 2012 / Graphic Design”, D&AD, Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, Clio Gold and more.

Specialties: Strategy and Vision creation, Product Management, Portfolio Management, Human-Centered Design, Branding and Identity, Marketing Management, Product Launches, Product Concepting, Graphic Design, Software and Service Design, Brand Management, Start-ups, Entrepreneurship

Dr. Sandhya Sriram

Health & Wellness, Product development, Technology & Software

Sandhya is a scientist, entrepreneur, manager and serendipitous journalist. She lives in Singapore currently and wears many hats – Programme Manager (former Research Fellow) at SBIC, A*STAR; Founder & CEO of SciGlo (; Co-founder & Author, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; and a mother of a very active and inquisitive toddler!

Sandhya strongly believes that innovation and entrepreneurship in the health sciences, biotech and healthcare sectors is the way to go and the only way mankind can exist in the future.

Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. Apart from research work, Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists – SciGlo (, a one-stop solution for anything science.

She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.

Elin Wallberg

Business Development, Partners, Product development, Technology & Software

Elin is heading Samsung’s Nordic team in impact technologies with a focus on driving innovation in education, healthcare and sustainability. Her area of responsibility covers Samsung’s accelerator programmes, social innovation and partnerships in the ecosystem mainly focused on mobile, wearables, IoT and VR/AR.

Elin has over 10 years experience in driving innovation and partnerships in various organisations. Prior to joining Samsung Elin was Head of Programmes at Global Child Forum where she ran the initiative Children in a Digital World. In 2009 she was instrumental at Save the Children in setting up a social enterprise the Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Beijing, China. She has worked as an advisor to several international companies and is former Chairman of Social Venture Network. Elin has a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration from Stockholm University with additional management studies at the Universidad de Autónoma de Madrid. Elin has also introduced the Ring Back Tone service to Sweden at the earliest days when value-added services entered telecoms.

Elin has lived and worked across the world, including India, China, Pakistan and Uganda. As a global citizen she speaks Swedish, English, Spanish, German and Dutch and is a true believer that the global digital economy and tech will improve the state of the world and make it a better place. Elin is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Marc Wullings

Business Development, Go to Market, Health & Wellness, Sales
Marc Wullings is founder of Skip Red, a consulting firm specialised in Go-to-Market strategy and execution. In this role, he has helped dozens of companies scale to internationally and to establish foreign subsidiaries. Marc also is an advisor at Dutchbasecamp, a non-profit organisation that supports Dutch startups to go abroad and foreign startups that want to set foot in Holland. Dutchbasecamp is part of the Dutch Startup ecosystem and works closely with the Dutch governmental and regional initiatives. Finally, Marc is actively participating/investing in a number of startups that are related to health and wellbeing, some of them from Finland.
Earlier, Marc spent 13 years in various sales and sales management positions at Oracle, mostly dealing with large corporate clients. He also worked for various other pre-IPO software and SaaS firms in his career. Marc holds a Masters Degree in Service Marketing from Karlstad University  and earned an MBA at Webster University Leiden. In his free time, Marc enjoys cycling and speed skating, tries to keep his golf handicap reasonable and hopes to improve his sub-par cooking skills.

Mikko Puhakka

Go to Market, Investments

Mikko was born in Finland but has lived in 4 continents (Europe, US, Africa and Asia) and has just relocated from Beijing, China back to Europe and to Malta after a more than a decade in China.

While majority of his work during last 25 years has revolved around developing business models and strategy in software companies, the result oriented approach has led to ‘’all sides of the negotiation table’’ successfully helping companies raise money, investing in companies, selling companies and also buying companies in diverse cultural environments.

Besides direct assignments to companies ranging from start-ups to listed companies,Mikko has been actively building ecosystems around companies via various initiatives internationally including incubators and accelerators and chambers of commerce’s’.

Currently Mikko is a partner in a Hong Kong based consulting company Lion Partners and Senior Advisor to London based investment company Ariadne Capital.

Nicole Cham

Business Development, Go to Market, Marketing & Media, Sales, Strategy & Leadership

Nicole is a business developer and marketer in emerging technological solutions, both in B2C and B2B sectors.

Currently, she is bringing immersive XR (AR and VR) experiences to many businesses and corporations in Finland, Europe, US and Asia.  Nicole has made numerous initiatives for new technologies to drive industry adoption. She launched the first navigation and maps services for integrated GPS smartphones for Nokia. She has been working with international partners in Europe and Asia for years.

Nicole enjoys helping innovative startups in sales strategies and coaching them in business and marketing planning.

She has lived and worked across the world, including Finland, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Gabriele Aimone

Community Management & Support, Technology & Software

I’ve had the luck to work alongside some of the greatest minds in the Finnish game industry, and my passion for operational services and for videogames was taken to another level thanks to that. I want to put my knowledge into good use and help other startups to reach a great level of experience for their users. I previously worked at Supercell as Outsourcing and Support manager handling a team of 300+ located in different continents, and currently at Playraven as Player Experience Lead and Live ops manager

Christina Forsgård

Community Management & Support, Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Media, PR & Comms, Product development, Strategy & Leadership

Christina Forsgård is the Founder of Netprofile Finland, Social Media Strategist, Consultant, Speaker and Influencer, Startup Coach at Aalto University Startup Sauna, Board Member of Innovation Journalism Association and Author of Social Media Book SUHDE. Christina was nominated among TOP100 ICT Influencers in Finland in 2009. Netprofile was nominated Agency of the Year in 2012. Christina served 2009-2014 years as the Chairman of MTL Communications Consultancies and was the Finnish representative at ICCO (International Communications Consultancy Organisation) Board. Her company Netprofile  received several awards and nominations for outstanding client PR campaigns both in Finland and globally.

Phil J. Łaszkowicz

Design, Entrepreneurship, Product development, Technology & Software

Phil is a seasoned creative technologist in the digital technology sector having worked for some of the most successful organizations around the world, including Audi, Barclays, Citigroup, IBM, Lloyds Banking Group, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, Porsche, Sony, United Nations, and Volkswagen Group, delivering innovative technology programmes, solution and service design, and product development.

Phil has delivered intelligence systems, identity and access management systems, enterprise financial systems, telecommunications solutions, machine learning / AI / bot products, mobile platforms & apps, cloud services, core operating systems technologies, augmented & virtual reality solutions, award-winning video games, embedded media systems, wearable technologies, and coaching in agile & lean methodologies, and service design.

Having created several startups, and worked with many from conception through to series-B investment, Phil now works at his own design and development studio, whilst supporting various programmes as a startup coach, board-level advisor, and occasional speaker at events for the use of open source and open standards in the enterprise, as well as start-up best practices.

Martin Hagger

Health & Wellness, Sports

Martin Hagger is a health and social psychologist with speciality in behavioural science and behaviour change. He is John Curtin Distinguished Professor in the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology at Curtin University, Perth Australia and Finnish Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) in the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä,Finland. His work is funded by TEKES, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, the Australian Government, and various funding agencies in the health and social sciences.

He focused on how psychological factors such as attitudes, intentions, self-control, action plans,and motives affect health behaviour and what health professionals can do to change health-related behaviour. He conducts research on the effectiveness of behavioural interventions based on psychological theory to promote physical activity, healthy eating, smoking cessation, alcohol reduction, anti-doping behaviours in sport, and medication adherence. He is founding Director of the Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Research Group at Curtin University and editor-in-chief of Health Psychology Review and Stress and Health international peer-reviewed journals.

Teemu Järvinen

Legal & Financial

Teemu works at Patiq as patent analyst, and has strong capabilities in software and ICT business segments.

Earlier in his career Teemu has worked at Nordea, Finnish Genome Centre and at a telecom operator.

Teemu has strong entrepreneurial background,  having founded and managed a software company prior co-founding Patiq. The software company built web applications and consulted its’ clients on open source solutions.

Antti Pirnes

Health & Wellness, Legal & Financial, Technology & Software

Antti is Chairman & Co-founder of Patiq Oy, where he helps clients on various IPR matters. Antti has knowledge on peering and evaluation of new technologies especially in the fields of life sciences (biotechnology, chemistry, pharmaceuticals and medical devices) and consultation in IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) related questions. Antti has evaluated hundreds of business ideas from IPR perspective and consulted independent inventors, CEO’s of many growth companies and experts from a number of publicly traded companies.

Antti has earlier acted as research scientist in University of Helsinki, as research team leader in Finland based plant biotechnology company Unicrop which was acquired by Agragen (Cincinnati, OH, U.S.A.) and as a patent specialist in VTT.

Philippe Santraine

Entrepreneurship, Food Industry, Health & Wellness

“To be able to disrupt and change, himself and others, one must have done mistakes, enjoyed success, daily scout the world for evidence and turn them into opportunities.”

Involved with many startups since 1999, co-founder and CEO of Newolo, a mental health online service provider notably certified in Germany by health insurance companies, My field of expertise has been e-health for the last 6 years.

What I can help with, dear startuper, is sharing with you dos and donts when it comes to early stage startup company structure and ownership, fund raising, business planning, and focus!

Simon Panelius

Business Development, Food Industry, Go to Market, Partners, Strategy & Leadership

Simon has 10 years providing digital solutions and business change as consultant for global clients, 7 years procuring and managing digital solutions in an international company, 5 years business owner of digitalisation on management team level.

Fascinated by the possibilities of combining different competences and technology to create new innovations. It’s like the magic happening when a restaurant chef combines various raw materials and cooking technologies to provide new taste sensations.

Juhani Polkko

Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Media, PR & Comms

Juhani works with entrepreneurs to build and scale companies to become global category winners with leadership in marketing strategy, branding, communications, content, media relations, influencer engagement, community building, performance advertising, SEO, and visual design.

He has worked with startups since 2004 when he spent two years in Silicon Valley. Juhani is the founder of marketing and PR agency San Francisco and the Startup100 media.

Liisa Paavilainen

Business Development, Go to Market, Investments, Marketing & Media

Liisa works as a senior consultant at Futurice helping companies in digital and emerging businesses. She is passionate for new business, technology & venturing. She is experienced international business development and operations professional: start-ups & corporate venturing, product marketing, go-to-market, business management & finance

Miikka Maijala

Business Development, Health & Wellness, Legal & Financial

Mr. Miikka Maijala, M.Sc. (Eng.) has been the Chief Executive Officer of Clinius Ltd since 2006. Mr. Maijala served as a Business Segment Manager of GE Healthcare Finland Oy from 2004 to 2006. He served as Director of Business Development at Instrumentarium Corporation (currently GE Healthcare Finland Oy) from 2000 to 2004. He served as supervisory and executive positions within sales, marketing and financial management at Instrumentarium Corporation since 1992 to 2000. He has been a Director of Lassila & Tikanoja Oyj since March 31, 2010.

Päivi Juolahti

Business Development, Food Industry, Go to Market, Marketing & Media, Partners, Strategy & Leadership

Päivi has more than 10 years of experience from various brand, marketing, product management, business development, strategy and market intelligence roles at F-Secure Corporation. Currently, Päivi is leading Fazer Group’s Renewal team that is responsible for identifying new business opportunities and taking them into the market. Open innovation is also high on the team’s agenda. Päivi has experience from successful internal start-up way of working and is keen on experimenting lean start-up principles also at Fazer. Fazer’s major research and business development programme called Fazer Brainhow provides an excellent platform to test the MVP approach in new concept creation and service design.

Pia Virtanen

Currently Pia is supporting few start-ups in their business development and Go-to-market activities. She is driven by understanding the market & customer needs and desires to ensure growth of a business. Previously she has worked in various roles in leading consumer electronic companies, Nokia and Suunto in various business development roles.  During the Suunto years she also lead the Suunto Women project. Within two years a strategic project was made into a commercial success by listening to the consumers and working closely with all internal teams.

Pia has a entrepreneurial mindset –she is a co-founder & chief-of-WOW at WOW it. Ltd. Pia relaxes by running – and listening to crime novels while running – such as Jo Nesbo – she claims it makes her run longer – and sometimes faster ….

Claudio Riva

Product development, Technology & Software

Claudio has a passion for technology with about 20 years experience as research scientist, software architect, engineering manager and CTO. Deeply technical on mobile services, web development, cloud technologies, scalable architectures, big data and GIS systems. He is an experienced leader of small and large agile teams working in quickly changing and challenging environments. He remains also very hands-on and enjoys consulting start-up and large companies on technology and software issues.

Earlier he was CTO at Navionics, world leader of marine cartography, where he has been involved with their mobile, web and cartographic products. Prior to that, he spent 15 years at Nokia where he covered various roles in the corporate research center and in service creation teams. He participated in the world’s first and largest Life & Livelihood Improvement information services platform ‘Nokia Life Tools’, touching the lives of 125 million users around the world.

He holds a MSc in Telecommunication Engineering and a PhD in Computer Science. He has been actively participating in the academic world by writing articles, contributing to international conferences, managing large research initiatives and teaching.

He loves all outdoor activities like mountain biking, trekking, alpine skiing, climbing, kayaking and sailing. He is the proud owner of a fantastic Santa Cruz downhill bike that he’s still learning how to master.

Antti Akonniemi

Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness, Sales, Sports, Technology & Software

Antti has worked on software projects for 20 years of which the last ten years he has been building Kisko Labs that builds digital services for their clients. He has been part of many wellness startups and projects – Strong focus on doing.

Kristian Vepsäläinen

Health & Wellness, Open Data, Technology & Software

Kristian works at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in Helsinki, aiming at do data science and data analytics using THL data resources. If you have some kind of data and analytics needs, please contact me!

Antti Tuomi-Nikula

Health & Wellness, Open Data, Technology & Software

Antti is working at The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in Helsinki, aiming at better visibility, usefulness and use of THL data resources. Startups! Go to to see what we have in store for you!

Steen Thygesen

Business Development, Investments, Product development, Technology & Software
I have +25 years of experience within the wireless, networks, telecommunications and software platform industries and within the field of social business, as well global scaling and fundraising experience. As an entrepreneurial manager, I have a solid track record within market development and the launch & growth of new ventures from companies such as Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Microsoft, Symbian, Psion Software, CompuServe Network Services, and TDC (Tele Denmark). I am currently heading the Nordic region for Cogniance, a Silicon Valley-rooted design and development agency working with innovative startups and industry leaders.
Prior to Cogniance, I served for for 5 years initially as Chairman and subsequently as CEO of the Specialisterne Foundation, a global not-for-profit social business dedicated to creating employment opportunities for people with autism spectrum disorders. I have also working experience within venture capital and investment management, and been on the board of a number of start-ups.

Jessie Cat Kelley

Marketing & Media, PR & Comms

Jessie is a specialist in shaping language to send the right message. She has 12+ years of seeing to the heart of written texts across a broad range of subjects and mediums, supported by an education background in linguistics.

Jessie looks all the facets that affect audience impact: details such as spelling, grammar and word choices; and bigger picture stuff such as structure, comprehension and cohesion. At every step, Jessie works closely with authors to retain their individual style and voice, and coaches skills for use in future projects.

Petri Niinisalo

Go to Market, Health & Wellness, Product development

Petri is a solution-focused pharma & life science professional with over 10 years of research and over 9 years of commercial experience ranging from 2 person startup to a 50 000 employee multinational pharma company. Previously he has worked in various business intelligence and development assignments in e.g. Philips InnoHub, AstraZeneca, Orion Pharma and Sanofi Genzyme. Petri also has extensive academic experience from being Innovation Manager at the University of Vaasa to Business Advisor position in Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship. In his academic positions, he had a major role in negotiating and creating joint projects with several business partners and raising over 1,1 M€ for projects.

In addition, Petri’s professional experience covers areas such as market access, regulatory affairs, and clinical studies. He is a true go-to guy when it comes to making things happen, finding alternatives to move forwards, and executing fearless networking moves.

Examples of established connections include MSD, Biogen, Abbvie, GSK, Orion Pharma & Diagnostica, VTT Expert Services, PerkinElmer, Novartis, Pfizer, Farenta, Oriola, FCG (for DRG and SOTE), Bittium, Research Institute for Olympic Sports (KIHU), networks for medical markets in China.

Currently, Petri is advancing his Ph.D. in Drug Research Doctoral Programme at Medical School, University of Turku, and at the same time performing Business Expertise curriculum at Turku School of Economics. Petri is also one of the Supermentors for Spring Batch 2017.

Tiina Leivo

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness, Product development

Tiina Leivo is an experienced MD, who holds a PhD and a MSc(Econ.) degree. She has keen interest in digital and other new health services and products development, and entrepreneurship. She has extensive experience in health care leadership, clinical medicine, health economics and medical research. Tiina has also been an education entrepreneur and a CFO in an investment and media company. Her key expertise is to develop innovative health services and products, which work in real-life.

Ashwin Rajan

Design, Product development

Ash has served leading corporates as well as start-ups, public, non-profit, and academic organisations in a 20-year consulting career, at firms such as Fjord and Deloitte. He is Pilot Year alumni of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID). In 2015, he founded Fabric, a consultancy that provides behavioural strategies and tools to help clients unlock value in the global market.  

Ville Simola

Marketing & Media, Strategy & Leadership

Ville is currently leading digital development at Lassila&Tikanoja (Nasdaq, Helsinki). Previously he acted as VP Partnership for health tech startup Checkmylevel. He is also a co-founder and former captain of Startup Sauna, one of the most recognized startup accelerator program in Europe. 

Ville describes himself as a very hands-on guy: a great plan does not work without superior execution. On his free-time Ville is into #swimbikerun. He dreams on being sub-10 Ironman one day 🙂

Tuomas Partanen

Entrepreneurship, Investments

Tuomas has over 34 years of proven experience of IT research, advisory and consulting business. Tuomas was a co-founder of Marketvisio, which operated in Finland, Baltic Countries, Sweden, Russia and Ukraine. After 27 years Marketvisio was acquired by a global leading research and advisory company Gartner.

Tuomas worked in Gartner for 3 years as Regional Vice President, Executive Programs, Central and Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean. He was responsible for Executive Programs in 15 countries.

Currently Tuomas is working as an entrepreneur and investor operating in different countries in Europe.

Tuomas is passionate about helping others especially in the following areas: growth, international expansion, building multicultural teams, sales, leadership and change management.

Andris Berzins

Business Development, Investments, Sales

Andris leads the micro-VC firm Change Ventures, a seed fund based in the Baltic States that invests in Baltic founders worldwide. He began his investing career as a venture partner at Creandum and helped set up the first Startup Wise Guys accelerator program in Estonia. Andris is an advisor, board member, and investor in several of the more successful startups in the Baltic states, including Infogram (recently acquired by Prezi), AirDog, and SonarWorks.

Before venture, Andris served as CMO at Livebookings (Europe’s OpenTable), which was later acquired for $110M. Andris has co-founded several startups, including his share of failures. He joined his first startup, AeroScout, as VP of Marketing and Business Development. AeroScout was acquired by Stanley Black & Decker for $240M. Andris holds an MBA from Stanford Business School and completed his bachelor’s degree in London at City University. Andris co-founded the non-profit foundation TechHub Riga, Latvia’s leading organization supporting the startup ecosystem.

Christian Lardot

Business Development, Go to Market, Health & Wellness

Christian has a solid experience and industry knowledge of the pharmaceutical and diagnostics sector. He is an experienced B2B and B2C marketing and sales professional of products and services in healthcare, health tech and life sciences having worked in the industry for over 20 years both in Finland and USA. He has a proven track record of leading global brands, execution of product strategies, building product support functions and leading product support teams.

Christian has worked in international marketing and business development positions in Schering, Roche Diagnostics and Thermo Fisher Scientific. In addition he has also worked in Start-up companies and have functioned as a mentor and business advisor for several Start-up’s. Primary focus has been to advice companies in business development, challenge and fine tune their product/ service offerings, work on Go-to-Market strategies and provide expertise in how to build their international distribution network. He has a Master of Science in Business and Economics from the Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki. He is also a member of FIBAN (Finnish Business Angels Association) since 2012.

Veronica Fellman

Business Development, Health & Wellness

Veronica Fellman is a leader of finances and funding management, propriety management and agreement/judicial issues especially in the social and health care industry. She manages questions concerning economy, procurement, real estates and business with several years of experience within the first, second and third sector thanks to her positions as Managing Director as well as a trustee in several top positions. Being a daughter of the CEO of a small company, she understands the challenges the start-ups face. She is glad to be mentoring start-ups with the right attitude.

Damaris Rodriguez

Design, Technology & Software

Damaris Rodríguez is a design & strategy consultant working on global social innovation challenges. She is a founding member of Sonder, a collective of experienced global design minded professionals with the aim to inspire, connect & co-create positive social change.

Throughout the past, she has lead design research, developed concepts and implemented services for vulnerable and underserved communities. Before Sonder, she has worked as a Service Design Lead in M4ID involved on improving access to HIV testing linked to care services in Tanzania and several projects on maternal health challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa and India including BOLD or Lab.our Ward.

Maria Fyrsten

Business Development, Food Industry, Strategy & Leadership

Maria has been heading HR for Fazer Bakery business since 2015.

Before joining Fazer, Maria worked as HR Director at Fiskars, where she held various European and global HR positions.

Previously Maria has worked in HR in a consultancy company and as a management consultant both in Finland and internationally.

Maria is known for her passion towards leading change and translating business strategies into impactful people and organization development actions.

Mika Videman

Business Development, Community Management & Support, Food Industry, Strategy & Leadership

I am experienced, international & energetic business and HR leader. I have extensive track record on business development, project management, marketing and product management both in service and solution space with my 15 years at Nokia Corp and 6 years at Fazer Group. My unbiased business focus and widely recognized people leadership skills have helped me to excel in building executive consensus and fostering team trust, collaboration, and motivation across global teams in all levels. I think it’s equally important to focus on both “What and How. I believe in personal accountability – anything is possible but you yourself need to make it happen. My motto is therefore: “Life is too short to drink bad wine”. Wellbeing and balance are cornerstones also for my life. Outside of work I run, yoga as well as enjoy my big family and friends often over the good food and wine.

Lara Saulo

Business Development, Food Industry, Strategy & Leadership

Lara is heading Fazer Group’s Transformation and Performance Improvement function, fueling the group’s change and strategy execution performance, driving operational excellence as well as ensuring renewal and innovation in the firm.

Before joining Fazer, Lara worked several years in the Boston Consulting Group, in various leadership roles.

Outside work, Lara has a busy family life with three kids and their hobbies, but she makes sure to also dedicate some time for personal interests such as sailing, singing in an a cappella quartette, sports and well-being.

Livia Hakala

Design, Product development

Livia Hakala is a digital designer with experience in concepting, designing, and redesigning digital services for established businesses and startups alike. She specializes in user experience & interface for applications and websites, with a background in service design at consultancy Fjord.

Her current passion, as a designer at Motley Agency, is to help clients make the leap to e-commerce and international growth, by constantly trying out different design patterns and strategies to optimize MVPs and to validate business cases.

When she’s not collaborating with startups she likes to cook and try do-it-yourself projects.

Ari Tulla

Health & Wellness, Product development

During years of family health struggles, Ari Tulla began to see major flaws in the US healthcare system. He realized it was easy to find information about specific diseases and illnesses online, but there wasn’t a way for consumers to find the right doctor who treats these illnesses. His frustration with the system and belief that he could build a solution prompted Tulla to co-found BetterDoctor in 2011 with his friend and Nokia colleague Tapio Tolvanen.

BetterDoctor is a data company that powers the US healthcare market with accurate and validated doctor data. BetterDoctor collects information from all the 1,000,000 US doctors and makes this data available to the healthcare ecosystem from health insurance companies to consumer apps. Since the inception BetterDoctor data has helped tens of millions of patients find the right care. Today thousands of developers use BetterDoctor data and APIs to build better solutions that impact millions of patients each month.

Prior to BetterDoctor, Ari led Nokia’s game and application businesses where he was responsible for creation of thousands of mobile apps with over 100 million downloads. Ari has over a decade of experience on creating new delightful consumer products and experiences.In his free time, you can find Ari on Northern California’s steep cliffs, powdery slopes, big waves or on Twitter @umbar and @BetterDoctor

Jonatan Hedberg


Jonatan is a design consultant with over 16 years experience of creating digital services. He helps clients ranging from start-ups to large corporations with their branding and digital presence by designing engaging and intuitive user experiences.

As a consultant Jonatan also collaborates with some of the industry leading design agencies in the Nordics as part of their teams, providing UX and visual expertise on client projects.

Micke Paqvalen

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Investments, Marketing & Media

Lars-Michaël “Micke” Paqvalén is the Founder & CEO of Kiosked. Micke is a serial entrepreneur who has founded, built, and sold four major software companies.

Micke has over 20 years of international senior executive and serial entrepreneurship experience in new business development, general management, sales and marketing, design, product management and development, finance, and people and team leadership with global technology and innovation leaders, in 6 countries. Most recently, Micke has founded and runs Kiosked, the leading intelligent advertising platform.

During his tenure as founding entrepreneur he has been awarded with the European ICT Grand Prize, the award for Best Enterprise Software solution at the Mobile World Congress, Red Herring Global Award, The American and European Business Award, and many global design awards.

Mikko Moilainen

Business Development, Health & Wellness, Partners, Product development

Mikko Moilanen, M.Sc. (EE), has been President of Suunto Oy since March, 2010. Under his leadership the company has turned around from low performance state to a profitable growth path and has become major player in a constantly evolving global environment of sports instruments and solutions. He is also a member of the Amer Sports Executive Board, where he represents the Sports Instruments business area and is a key leader in digital transformation across the group.

Prior to taking over of the President responsibilities Mikko worked at Nokia for 17 years, where he held various international executive and senior manager positions in R&D, product creation, program and portfolio management as well as demand supply network management and strategy. Mikko has always been interested in the art of leadership and has had a luxury of having several mentors himself over the years. He is passionate about customer and user centricity in product and service businesses.

Mikko is also a passionate sportsman and adventurer, both on the terrain and under water.

Olli Riikkala

Business Development, Investments, Product development

Olli Riikkala has extensive experience of building global medtech companies. He has functioned as CEO in several companies from 1982 to 2004, most recently at Instrumentarium, which was sold to GE Healthcare in 2003. At GE Healthcare he continued as the CEO for the EMEA region until the end of 2004. Most recently Olli has functioned as a board member and Chairman for several large corporations and startups.

William Cardwell

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Investments, Pitching, Strategy & Leadership

Currently, William Cardwell wears a few hats. He is a partner in Courage Ventures, a seed funding and lean startup training company. He is also lecturer on entrepreneurship and venture capital topics at Aalto University Executive Education, and Aalto School of Science (the Aalto Ventures Program). He serves as a mentor in several accelerators, including Startup Sauna and Vertical.

Formerly, William was in charge of coordinating Aalto University’s strategic university partnerships, as well as being involved in teams that work with corporate partnerships. In 2010 he cofounded and ran the Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE), Aalto University’s tech transfer and spinout arm.

Melanie Wendland

Design, Health & Wellness

Melanie is an independent service designer and co-founder of social design collective Sonder. She has over ten years of experience in designing digital and analog services using design thinking and human centred design approaches. 

Previous to her independent career she has worked as Director of Service Design and Innovation at social impact company M4ID, leading a team of designers working on some of the most challenging service design projects in the field of women’s health and rights globally. Melanie has spent over 7 years at digital service design agency Fjord practicing both design and strategy for digital services and working with a big range of clients and industries globally.

Melanie is a regular speaker, mentor and lecturer in service design, social innovation and impact strategies. 

Ekaterina Gianelli

Entrepreneurship, Investments

Ekaterina Gianelli is Director at Inventure, a leading venture capital fund in the Nordics & Baltics. Inventure was in the Top 3 most active investors in The Nordics in 2014 and the most active in Finland. Ekaterina focuses on seed and early stage investments, and works with the portfolio companies in mobile & online space.

Prior to joining Inventure, Ekaterina has been involved in many innovative companies, including an adtech startup, Kiosked, and a leading service design agency, Fjord. She is passionate about design, innovation, digital health, and other cutting edge services.

Kai Öistämö

Business Development, Investments, Product development, Strategy & Leadership

Kai Öistämö is a CEO level executive with broad profit/loss and functional experience on a global scale. He has experience in driving high tech product and R&D operations across the globe.

Executed and has been the business owner for several acquisitions, divestments, spin-offs as well as structural transformations. In depth experience on creating partnerships across both industry behemoths as well as startups. Very broad experience in change management from very high growth situations to running turnaround program as well as restructuring situations.

Kai has lead global organizations up to the size of 20.000 employees. Recognized leader and coach with the ability to inspire and lead diverse group of individuals and teams. Broad experience in emerging markets, has been the business owner of a leading emerging markets business. Experience in managing and leading very multicultural and global teams successfully.

He is a good communicator with lots of experience with various stakeholder groups – investors, press, television, conference and company internal communications, and can help your team to take the next steps to perfect your skills in this field too.

Lars Buch

Business Development, Product development, Technology & Software

Lars Buch is on a mission to create world’s strongest accelerator program on mobiles and related technologies with Startupbootcamp Mobile.

Lars has been the R&D Director for Copenhagen site at Nokia where he spent 13 years in various leadership roles.

Juha Ruohonen

Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness, Investments, Pitching

Experienced entrepreneur, VC as founding Partner at Superhero Capital and Drill Sergeant at Startup Sauna, Juha Ruohonen is now helping Finnish tech companies to enter the global markets. He was previously the CEO of Juno Medical , a company with a unique solution for training readiness and recovery monitoring.

Juha is an expert in pitching and presentation training.

Jaakko Salminen

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Investments

Jaakko Salminen is an angel investor with passion for helping startups and other growth companies succeed. Jaakko has experience in leading business units and professionals, and managing international accounts at international corporations. For the past 10 years, he has been involved in startups and growth companies as Vice President, CEO, Partner, Angel Investor, Board member, and Advisor.

Anita Navaratam

Business Development, Product development

Anita Navaratam has over 15 years of experience in global business management in the area of mobile communication. Her experience spans from business development, sales, product development, product management and product marketing. Her key area of expertise is the ability to bridge R&D concepts to tangible marketing/sales proposition. Anita has both studied and worked in the US, Europe and South East Asia.

Sergio Palomo

Design, Product development

Sergio Palomo designs. Currently he designs Hone, a toolset for people who want to perfect their digital products. Previously he has lead the interaction design of communications service Wire, has been a Principal Designer at Nokia, and has worked for the design agency Fjord.

Sergio strives for the creation of meaningful, clear, and beautiful products that improve your life.

Tapani Jokinen

Business Development, Design

Tapani Jokinen is Strategic & Eco-design professional. He has over 20 years extensive design experience in various capacities and global locations. He has been building brands, products & user experiences, fostering creativity, accelerating and driving cross functional innovation, exploring new business opportunities on business development and guiding business strategies. Tapani was the Lead Designer for Nokia 3310 and Nokia 1100 which are to date the most sold and loved mobile phones in the world. His solid background in building design strategy and advanced design creation in practice gives him an unique insight in managing complex business, paired with design thinking.

Tapani has unique skills to apply theory into practice. Using efficient design tools and methods he can accelerate and drive innovation, foster creativity and guide business strategies. He knows how to build a vision and turn creativity into viable product experiences.

“With great success comes greater responsibility thats why he talks Design and think Business with sustainability in mind”

Steve Graham

Business Development, Design, Product development, Strategy & Leadership, Vertical Team

Steve Graham specializes in design thinking and brand evolution for a wide range of digital services and products.

Formally an MA graduate at Central Saint Martins, London, Steve was an instrumental factor in the global success of digital design consultancy Fjord where, as Head of Service Design, he achieved awards for the BBC (iPlayer and News) and Yahoo! (Go), and headed projects for Nokia, Samsung Europe and TeliaSonera. Now, with over 20 years experience, Steve continues to lead by example. He remains both a dedicated hands-on creative and design consultant for start-up businesses and major corporates alike in the entertainment, fashion and Fintech sectors.

When Steve isn’t affecting the future of digital he spends time flying as a private pilot and also plays classical guitar!

Alex Sozonoff

Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Investments, Strategy & Leadership

With more than 40 years of international business experience and industry knowledge in both Europe and the US Alex Sozonoff brings a wealth of business strategy and industry expertise to the Board. 

Alex has worked as the General Manager of HP’s worldwide channel business and subsequently Vice-president of Customer Advocacy where he was responsible for building key strategic partnerships around the world, creating and directing its global sponsorship programs for the FIFA World Cup and Formula One. He has also chaired a task force developing the e-world vision for HP, which subsequently led to HP’s e-services strategy. Alex later served as Senior Adviser to the CEO of Hewlett Packard. In addition he has served on a number of boards in Finland and abroad.

In 1997 Alex was named Executive of the Year by the North American National Account Management Association (NAMA) for his leadership and vision in guiding HP’s global sales operations through the rapidly changing IT industry. He was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor’s degree from the Kaunas Technology University for his contribution to the Entrepreneurship program in Lithuania.

Alex is married to a Finn and has a son and daughter plus three grandchildren.

Aki Karjalainen

Health & Wellness, Product development

Aki Karjalainen has over 10 years experience in business, new technologies and products, specially in the field of sports, health technology, and wellness industry.

Currently Aki is developing new processes for knowledge transfer, creating new business and product concepts, and international collaboration in the University of Jyväskylä. He is also consulting start-up companies and organisations on business development, growth related issues (funding, road-maps, etc.), and project management.

Aki has over 15 years of basketball coaching experience from junior national teams, mens championship league and 1st division, and junior championship leagues. He is also experienced in sports coach education development, sports academy and high-performance center development.