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Tampere Ambassador: Aleksi Pulkkanen

Where are you from?
I was born in Kuopio, Finland. I moved to Tampere when I started my studies at Tampere University of Technology back in 2005.

What would you like to tell about yourself?
I used to be very interested in physics and still at TUT I studied Industrial Engineering and Management. Now I’m a web startup entrepreneur and I’ve been working on the Internet industry for 6 years. Life takes us to interesting places, when we just keep an open mind.

I’m an avid sports guy and my summer is usually quite filled with golf. And yes, as a Finn from Kuopio, I’m a big supporter of the hockey club KalPa Kuopio.

Why is Tampere the best place to live?
When I was a teenager, my older brother lived in Tampere. I used to visit him quite often. Back then, simple things made the difference – the local ice cream shop, cheap busses and having everything so close (he lived in Hervanta). As a young lad, I knew this would be the city where I want to study and live on my own for the first time.

Things have changed a bit, but I still love ice cream and Tampere. I feel very comfortable here – there’s enough forest and water around to make you relax, there are plenty of activities for people of all ages, it’s safe and easy to get around and the city centre is active.

Tell about your professional activities?
We founded Agendium Ltd with my business partner Ismo Paananen in 2013. Agendium (www.agendium.com) lets people create the perfect online workspace for their team by choosing the needed collaboration tools and bringing them together on our secure platform. Our mission is to make online collaboration simple.

What is your involvement in international activities?
My whole working history is from the Internet industry, which is as international as it gets. Our current startup is what you call “born global” - the challenges we’re working on, the users and partners are international.

However this wasn’t the case on my previous company. Back there in 2010 we made the decision of hiring the first international employee to then 12-year old 100% Finnish company. What started from here was a great learning experience from me – seeing the many-sided benefits of a diverse team and international atmosphere on a company. That company went on to hire more internationals soon after.

Since then I’ve been involved on mentoring and many other Talent Tampere -activities. It makes me very happy, if I can be of assistance for local companies or internationals on the area. Usually the best way is as simple as connecting the right pair.

What is your mission as a Tampere Ambassador?
I feel proud to pitch about Tampere for my international networks. I know Tampere is the greatest place there is, but unfortunately there are still some people in the world who don’t know it. That’s the challenge we face, getting the word around and opening minds about what Tampere can do for you and what value each of us can bring to Tampere.

What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
I think Tampere has great potential to be a leading modern city where we appreciate diversity, sustainability, collaboration and new initiatives. We have a huge amount of potential here already, but we’re not using fully and sometimes we’re stuck to our old habits. Tampere should also work hard to be a leading innovation centre e.g. on ICT- and Cleantech-industries for years to come.

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