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International talents in Tampere made an impression during Kasvu Open 2017!

Smart City Tampere was the main theme of last year's Kasvu Open initiative, where growth-seeking companies and talents based in the Pirkanmaa region got together to generate smart ideas and solutions in a unique and innovative setting. Kasvu Open was yet again organised by the City of Tampere in collaboration with Tampere Region Economic Development Tredea and hosted by Kasvun Roihu, who joined forces to create a new thematic focus on Innovative Solutions for the Market – ranging from digitalisation and smart traffic to smart city solutions. In addition, Kasvu Open provides a great platform for networking and meeting like-minded professionals from various industries.

This year’s happening tried a different approach and introduced talents to a great opportunity for meeting company representatives beforehand and getting to know each other. Petteri Valonkallio from the City of Tampere explains how such a small change led to an impact:

“With each workshop we organised, talents were really tied up with the companies and showed their interest. I feel that the talent teams are more competent and prepared now compared to last year, and came with better ways of sparring growth-seeking Finnish SMEs.”

Photo: Petteri Valonkallio and international talents during a workshop at Technopolis / Andruta Ilie

Regarding companies, Petteri Valonkallio believes there is still room for improvement as he expresses that “it’s nice to see many different companies offering solutions and products, but I’d like to hear about the thinking and value behind it. Often Finnish companies aren't mature enough from the selling perspective. I hope companies will start to grow because that will lead to new jobs. Kasvu Open is about speeding up their growth and giving them opportunities to continue cooperating with talents.”

What do talents bring about?

Christine Nguyen, a student at the University of Tampere is passionate about bringing Finnish products and services to the global market. Her competences can benefit Finnish companies by offering fresh and distinctive business perspectives and her experience in Sales and Customer Behaviour can assist them to approach the right market segment. Christine’s final choice was Radientum Oy because of their products and services.

“I believe my skills, knowledge of the Vietnamese market and Asian connections can help the company expand their business and grow internationally. Moreover, my educational background is diverse and suitable for working on various tasks in dynamic start-up teams”, says Christine Nguyen (on the right side).

Likewise, taking part in organising last year’s Kasvu Open and seeing how things evolved left Imaneh Ameli wanting to be a talent herself and take part in the brainstorming meetings as she “really liked the idea of analysing companies seeking for growth. I am personally a start-up lover and entrepreneurship passionate so being in such atmosphere brings value to me. More importantly, I think the start-up culture in Tampere is getting more multicultural with each day and gives talents from different countries the chance of taking part in such productive processes, beneficial for both companies and talents.”

Furthermore, according to Imaneh Ameli, from the kick-off session with companies pitching their growth challenges to talents and organisers to productive meetings with Cuppla Technology and The First Ingredient (her chosen companies), everything went really well.

“Understanding the essence of their businesses was a very enjoyable journey for me and my teammates. In other words, what I gained during this process of using my soft skills as a team player was appreciating different perspectives and seeing beauty in diversity”, she specifies.

Which are the selected companies?

From over 30 companies applying for the programme, the following 13 companies were selected and made it through this year’s Kasvu Open – Innovative Solutions for the Market Growth track:

  1. BubbleCap Oy: www.bubblecap.fi (Köörtilä)
  2. Coheros Oy: www.coheros.com (Tampere)
  3. Cuppla Technology Oy: www.cuplatechnology.com (Helsinki)
  4. Denovo Oy: www.denovo.fi (Tampere)
  5. Fintras Oy: www.fintras.fi (Tampere)
  6. Oy Globeon Ltd: www.globeon.mobi (Tampere)
  7. Lehtovuori Oy: www.lehtovuori.fi (Ylöjärvi)
  8. Pura Finland: www.puradesign.fi (Tampere)
  9. Radientum Oy: www.radientum.fi (Tampere)
  10. TamErgo Oy: www.armi-aktiivituoli.fi (Tampere)
  11. The First Ingredient Oy: www.tf.fi (Tampere)
  12. Tussitaikurit Oy: www.tussitaikurit.fi (Tampere)
  13. Vektorio Oy: www.vektor.io (Tampere)

Throughout this initiative, noteworthy is that the Talents for Growth component is something relatively new. The Kasvu Open initiative at first only consisted on companies sparring with expert millers to boost their growth potential in Tampere. Nonetheless, since last year, several talent attraction professionals have been actively promoting and introducing the Talents for Growth component. Therefore, by now Kasvu Open has opened up a new dimension, and there are not only millers but also talents involved in contributing to the companies' growth. An additional value that the Talents for Growth component brings is further integration of international talents – both Finnish and non-Finnish, as well as more experienced and student talents. The organisers behind this newer movement have been Talent Tampere, Stages & Workshops (ESF project) and TreStart.