Kasvu Open® 2017 in Tampere has come to an end and yielding very interesting outcomes.
This year’s general theme for Pirkanmaan Kasvupolku was Smart City Solutions. Local SMEs of related specialties seeking for new ideas and funding interacted frequently for over a month with expert millers and international talents. At first sight, it would seem that the most advantaged party is the companies, however, the benefit is in fact for all the parties involved – getting to grow in some way from their respective roles. The sum of all the individual and collective growth steps put forward – no matter how big or small – add up as well to develop further the city of Tampere.
The last event for the Talents for Growth track of this year’s Kasvu Open took place on May 19th at the Tampere Talent Space. First was an award ceremony for talents. The jury utilized a set of criteria to rate the performance of talent teams, such as the companies’ feedback and popularity votes among talents. Resultantly, out of 13 teams which made it through the entire process, the winner was announced: the talent team for Denovo Oy, composed of Nick Cotton, Sakari Paloviita and Muhammad A. Tahir. The runner-up was the talent team for BubbleCap Oy made up of Van Le, Juho Rissanen and Ryoko Sasaki.
Because individual efforts were also worth recognizing in outstanding cases, some of the talents received this honor in addition: Nick Cotton, Riitta Kerminen, Kenneth Klinge, Marja Niska, Sakari Paloviita, Jukka Raisamo, Ryoko Sasaki and Muhammad A. Tahir. By the way, separate from the Talents for Growth track, the winner companies for the generic Growth track for this Kasvu Open edition were Radientum Oy and Fintras Oy (read more in Finnish: https://goo.gl/mwYc0C).
The second part of the event consisted of talent workshops entailing Internationalization, Sales & Marketing, Technology/ICT and Diverse Growth Skills. Besides the 13 growth-seeking which participated through it all plus other companies as interested observers for the day, there were altogether over 30 companies represented in the event, and the international talents were able to mingle and network with many of them.
Next steps with the companies
The runner-up talent team for BubbleCap Oy recently informed the Kasvu Open facilitators of their steps forward after several meetings and discussions with the CEO Janne Alasaarela: one of the members has been offered a Sales Manager position in the company, another one may choose this experience as their thesis work, and there are perspectives to eventually expand to Asian markets including the Japanese and the Vietnamese.
We then had the chance to interview the talent team for Denovo Oy more closely. To begin with, one of their best lessons is that multicultural teamwork proves to be effective. In terms of cultural backgrounds but also in professional skills, bringing in diverse richness in all senses. Denovo Oy, a Tampere-based company with a considerable experience and knowledge in automation and embedded software development, provided exciting IT challenges, a straightforward strategy and precise selection of their market segment to the international talents Nick Cotton, Sakari Paloviita and Muhammad A. Tahir.
This Brit, Finn and Pakistani were determined to use their multidisciplinary experience and knowledge to support the company’s growth and succeed in other markets overseas. It was evident to see that the communication between them ran smoothly despite their different cultural and professional backgrounds. “We openly shared and agreed on whatever our point of view was, with respect for the other person. I think this is mainly due to everyone in my team having a mature professional attitude”, Muhammad A. Tahir points out.
“Talents bring value to Kasvu Open”, Sakari Paloviita firmly believes, who would would like to emphasize the role of multiculturalism and teamwork in solving companies’ growth-related challenges too. “We found a diverse team with mutual interests and valuable contributions to all. Our talent colleagues in other teams were very helpful by challenging us to find new approaches and also sparred with us to prepare our pitches.” On a final note, “working with Kasvu Open has been a great experience regarding a feeling of getting back to business. Talents have been able to make a real difference to their growth paths”, says Nick, whose networking opportunities in his area of expertise have increased substantially.
Overall, according to the feedback received by the end of the program, 66% of the participating companies found new know-how through the talent teams, and 87,5% of the companies made future collaboration plans with their talents, and 92% of the talents thought that the Growth Workshops were useful. For now these are the short-term outcomes, the mid to long term outcomes are still to see. Thereby, the Kasvu Open journey shall continue!
We will be back next year with a new Kasvu Open edition, spread the word and we hope to see you again!