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Coaching Start-ups is rewarding and fun

Posted 13/4/2016

Yesterday I spend a marvellous day at Start-up sauna listening and coaching 12 different Nordic companies in E!nnovest Venture Academy. I have been involved with start-ups now for a bit over one year listening closer to 200 pitches and coaching over 30 companies. Here are some of my takeaways based on my experiences so far.

I have seen a huge variety of companies in multiple industries with products or services targeted to both businesses and consumers. I am taken by the enthusiasm, excitement and entrepreneurial spirit of the people working in start-ups. I am impressed how well some of them apply the latest technologies and how fast they develop globally scalable solutions. I enjoy the flexibility, agility and let’s make things happen –attitude how these start-ups run their business. I feel the most improvement is needed in how to go to the market, putting enough resources on sales and marketing vs R&D and avoiding unnecessary modesty when telling about your company and seeking for funding.  

As an angel investor it seems that the more I hear different companies to pitch, the pickier I get. My key selection criteria for potential investment are:

  • I get really excited about the business idea

  • Business model, go-to market model and scalability of the business easily convince me about the business potential

  • The team has both business and technical competency

  • The team is coachable and our chemistries match

  • I can contribute to the success of the company with my experience and networks

If you are interested more about business angel investing, I very warmly recommend you to join Fiban ( It is a very active, friendly and competent angel network. Also for a start-up company, it is a place to look for funding and experienced angels.

Angel activity is not a full-time job for me but an interesting and important add-on to stay tuned what is happening in digitalization and what kind of new innovations are popping up to apply it as well as to give my contribution to grow new business in Finland. So far it has been mentally very rewarding and fun – the financial rewards hopefully also come one day.

Diversity on Boards

Posted 27/11/2015

Board Professionals (BPF) had this week a great event on Diversity on Boards for close to 300 Finnish decision makers. BPF is an active network for 120 board ready, competent business ladies. On the home page tab ”jäsenistö” you can find CVs for members with links LinkedIn-profiles.  

Highlights from Slush

Posted 13/11/2015

What a great event again! Great topics, meetings, networking and greatly organized all by volunteers.

Here are some of my highlights:


 The best presentation was given by Robert Gentz, a co-founder of Zalando, Europe’s largest on-line fashion store. Zalando went to public last year and it’s doing great in terms of growth and revenue. However, Robert had got a wake-up call in his trip to China: Chinese online shopping is boosting and delivery can be as speedy as 3 hours thanks to local bag ladies. To be competent in European market Zalando has started a major change to become the leading technology platform for fashion including possibility for three hour delivery and stylist services.


Two interesting presentations by large companies pivoting themselves were Logitech and Nokia. Logitech needs to find new areas for its business when PC sales volumes decrease and there will no longer be such a need for keyboard, mouse etc. They continue to harvest PC peripherals area (tree) but have launched five new business areas (plants) and created 6-8 internal start-up innovation groups (seeds) to grow and find new businesses.     


It was interesting and encouraging to listen Risto Siilasmaa and his team to talk about what is going on in Nokia. Nokia’s pivot means that once the two announced transactions (Here and Altacel) have been completed, 99% of over 100.000 people Nokia employs, will be different from the people who worked for Nokia three years ago. And 95% revenue will come from different businesses than three years ago.  


This fall was the first time I was a coach at Start-up sauna. On Wednesday evening it was great to see how the pitches and business models of the 14 participating companies had developed over the five week coaching period.


Slush 100 pitch competition had great four finalists with amazing business ideas. The winner was CareMonkey from Australia. CareMonkey has a risk management system that automatically keeps medical and emergency data up to date and makes it instantly available on mobile devices. The winner received an award of 650.000€ funded by FIBAN angel syndicate and Evli. As a member of this syndicate I will shortly have a tiny share of this Australian company.

Fit Advice Ltd. has been launched

Posted 9/11/2015

Fit Advice Ltd. has been launched on the 2th November 2015. We have started cooperation with one ICT growth company and with few start-ups. You will find news on us and other interesting stories in this blog - so please stay tuned. 

See You at Slush!