Finland ranks 4th in the IMD World Talent Ranking

Finland has placed fourth in the 2014 IMD World Talent Ranking, produced by the global business school based in Switzerland.

The ranking, which compares the economies of 60 countries, assesses a country’s ability to develop, attract and retain talent for companies that operate there.

It considers investment and development in home-grown talent, reflecting a country’s public investment in education and the quality of its education system; appeal, reflecting a country’s ability to retain home-grown talent and attract talent from overseas; and readiness, reflecting a country’s ability to fulfil market demands with its available talent pool.  Finland rated second for readiness after Switzerland.
The ranking is based on more than 20 indicators. Some of these are statistical and others are drawn from an opinion survey of 4,300 international executives.

Finland, which was second in 2005, has ranked in the top ten every year since 2005 apart from 2007 and 2008.

Switzerland, Denmark and Germany led this year’s ranking.
Good News from Finland

Sharetribe brings your ideas to market


Helsinki-based startup lets people create their own peer-to-peer marketplace.

Sharetribe began life as a hyperlocal research project for a university in Finland allowing students to buy from each other and share rides.

Today, farmers renting tractors in Canada, photographers searching for venues in the United States and pet owners looking for carers in Mexico are flocking to the open-source platform to buy and sell goods and services.

— We have the technology if you have the community, says Juho Makkonen, CEO and co-founder of the Helsinki-based startup, which lets people create their own peer-to-peer marketplace.

And it seems there’s no end to the communities in sight from selling rodeo equipment to renting surfboards, from booking a nanny to ordering a cake, from hiring a DIY expert to finding a venue for a pop-up store.

Sharing economy

Since the site’s launch with first paying customers in 2013, paying customer numbers are in the three figures. The company hopes they’ll be in four figures by the end of this year with the sky the limit after that.

— We thought finding these entrepreneurs would be our most difficult problem but once we put the website out there enabling people to create their own marketplace, they suddenly started contacting us, says Makkonen.

— They might not be the next Airbnb, the next billion dollar business, but they can still be an extremely good local business, supporting multiple people.

The company is riding the wave of the sharing economy, which is expected to grow dramatically.

In the two months since Finland’s premier tech conference Slush in November, when Sharetribe made global payments possible, more than 2000 people have created their own websites. Not all of them are expected to convert to paying customers at the end of the 30 day free trial but the trend is clear.

Speed and ease

Makkonen says what makes Sharetribe attractive is the speed and ease of setting it up, involving as little as 60 seconds to create a new marketplace. You can then customize it yourself and it is much cheaper than hiring a developer.

— What WordPress did for publishing we want to do for creating marketplaces, he says.

He adds that the company’s biggest challenge is that some customers are expecting the sort of services and support provided by giants like Airbnb or eBay while Sharetribe currently has just nine employees (including one in Canada and one in the US).

Sharetribe charges a subscription for the overall service with fees depending on the number of users each client has on their site. Clients make money by taking a cut of any transaction.

The company is planning to experiment with other business models, which may range from charging a membership fee to placing banner ads.

© Sari Gustafsson / Lehtikuva
Text: Vincent Landon

The 6th Arctic Business Forum

Artic ForumThe 6th Arctic Business Forum on March 10-12, 2015 in Finland introduces the latest business development and future prospects of the European High North economy. Arctic Business Forum is a discussion arena and a business to business meeting point.

This year Arctic Business Forum brings in discussion the recent and ongoing global changes in politics and addresses these changes strongly from mere business point of view. Brand new analysis on Northern Sea Route among other arctic transport and logistics, aviation for the first time also included – will be introduced. Traditional paper and steel industry is as well highlighted in the program for the first time.

The conference event in the heart of Lapland is ideal for learning, updating and discussing arctic business developments, networking and for doing business! By interactive conference sessions, trade show, matchmaking lounge and high class social program you are going to find your desired potential business partners.

Confirmed speakers include:
Ms. Dorothee Janezke-Wenzel , Ambassador to Finland, Germany
Mr. Mikå Mered, Managing Partner, Polarisk Group, United Kingdom
Mr. Malte Humpert, Executive Director, The Arctic Institute, Center for Circumpolar Security Studies, USA
Ms. Andrée Cooligan, Ambassador to Finland, Canada
Mr. Sergey Katikov, Adviser for the President of Russian Geographic Society
Mr. Kenji Shinoda, Ambassador to Finland, Japan
Mr. Tom Shearer, Director, IC Aviation, Ireland
Mr. Antti Vehviläinen, Director General, Finnish Transport Agency
Mr. Pekka Suomela, Executive Director, FinnMin
Mr. Jukka Jokela, Project Manager, Anglo American Exploration
Ms. Noora Raasakka, Environmental Director, Mawson
Mr. Tarmo Pipatti, Director General, Confederation of Finnish Construction
Ms. Johanna Ikävalko, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Finland

Welcome to Rovaniemi to experience an unforgettable and no ordinary business event!
Program, registrations and additional information at
Timo Rautajoki
President & CEO
Lapland Chamber of Commerce

Artwave wants everyone on waves

Artwave 1Aino Pohjola The first artificial Artwave was surfed on in October, and now Artwave wants to spread the joys of surfing all over the world.

Finland’s reputation as a surf country skyrocketed last autumn – all because of one wave. The first artificial Artwave was surfed on in October, and now Artwave wants to spread the joys of surfing all over the world.

In the autumn of 2011, Atso Andersen voiced out loud a crazy-sounding idea at Aalto University’s Design Factory. Would it be possible to create both artificial and mobile waves in Finland, a country full of unsurfable water?

— People in high places have told us this isn’t going to work. That’s the best possible sign that we’re on the right path, says Andersen, the coordinator of the project.

Fortunately there were believers, too. Soon the gang was testing the waters in a children’s pool at the Espoonlahti swimming pool – after hours, of course.

— After a lot of effort, the scale model started forming a magical view: a rising wave. That’s where it all started, Andersen reminiscences.

By spring 2012 Artwave had been accepted into Aalto University’s entrepreneurship programme, an invention announcement had been submitted, and patenting was on the cards. The quick pace of development was acknowledged by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation Tekes, and it provided Artwave with funding in the spring of 2013.

Last October an Artwave was surfed for the first time.

— It was a happy and humble moment. In sports terms, we scored a goal at an important moment, says Andersen.

Get on board, everyone

Artwave 2A huge group of people has been involved in Artwave, from Finnish surfers to frequency changer providers. It has also offered a topic for four academic dissertations.

Learning to surf with the help of a machine is safer than in natural waves, where streams, tides, pollution, animals, and other surfers need to be taken into account. (Photo: Aino Pohjola)

Andersen describes the technique as simple. The machine aims at maximising the water’s tendency to create waves.

— People who build ships want to decrease wave-making resistance, we want to increase it using as little energy as possible.

The ultimate goal is to make surfing more accessible to all age groups. Out in the world the sport is popular, and according to Andersen, it’s ”one of the finest forms of exercise”.

— Does surfing appeal to a teenager more than many other sports? If this gets young people more into exercising, we’re onto something big.

Andersen compares Artwave to ski lifts at ski resorts. Learning to surf with the help of a machine is safer than in natural waves, where streams, tides, pollution, animals, and other surfers need to be taken into account.

”We don’t go to vulnerable areas”

Artwave 3Surf parks with their artificial pools are already in existence. What makes Artwave different is its mobility. The machine is easy to install and it’s planned for natural waters, so there’s no need for big investments. The waves can be customised.

The only requirement is a large enough, 4-metre deep area of water and a sturdy beach. Access to an industrial energy source is a bonus.

Energy consumption is kept to a minimum in all possible ways. Andersen points out that the consumption is surprisingly small to begin with, because making waves comes naturally to water.

— We create waves together with the water by listening to what it tells us about its movements.

The point is to leave no trace in nature. When the machine is removed, the area is as it was.

What if a Saimaa ringed seal is nesting nearby?

— We simply refuse to surf in vulnerable waters, Andersen says.

With a drop of Finnish madness  

Andersen calls Artwave a masterpiece of Finnish engineering. The whole idea has a slice of Finnish insanity in it, as well as the way in which it connects with the natural environment.

A huge group of people has been involved in Artwave, from Finnish surfers to frequency changer providers. Atso Andersen (left), Aleksi Raij and Pekka Ijäs at a planning session. (Photo: Aino Pohjola)

— There are no waves in Finland, but we want to go surfing. We don’t stay around wondering what to do; instead, we make a wave machine.

Artwave wants to go global. The recipe is simple:

— We ship the product to its destination with two quiet blokes. They set things up, tell a local surfer to give it a go, adjust the settings, and get out a perfect wave. Then they grab a bite to eat and go home. If something breaks down, they come back and fix it.

Potential customers are event managers, holiday and ski resorts, and city councils. The interest has been keener abroad than in Finland.

Currently Artwave is looking for partners, planning the next stage in development, and negotiating additional funding.

Andersen himself wants to catch a wave or two, too. For him, surfing is a huge deal.

— I got on a surfboard once, and everything started to look different.

Text: Anne Salomäki
Good News from Finland

Luxurious adventure holidays in Finland

Luxury 1
Luxury Action Luxury Action is not a typical tour operator. They offer custom experiences in travel, and as their name implies, adventure is one of their specialities.

The Finnish company Luxury Action provides bespoke adventures for travellers to the Nordic region – and even makes movies out of the experience.

There is an old saying in motorsports that if you want to win, you should hire a Finn. Janne Honkanen of Luxury Action decided to take that maxim from his racing days and applied it to luxury travel.

— I used to be a professional snowmobile and jet ski racer in Europe and America. I had an injury in Minneapolis in 1999, where I broke my heel, my hip and my back. As soon as I got back to Finland and healed I got an idea for a snowmobile school for children, Honkanen says.

He set up his business at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland. Over time wealthy families returned to Finland time and again, and they turned to Honkanen because he was so good with their kids and families.

Luxury 2Janne Honkanen’s Luxury Action provides adventures for travellers.

— Returning clients requested me to plan their entire holidays and customise all services, so I kind of accidently ended up arranging high-end holiday packages and later Luxury Action was born. Currently we operate in Finland and all Nordic countries, says Honkanen.

Luxury Action is not a typical tour operator. They offer custom experiences in travel, and as their name implies, adventure is one of their specialities. Luxury Action has offered snowmobile safaris, kayaking, dog sledding, cruises on ice breakers and a trip to the North Pole.

But even the most hardened adrenalin junkie needs to relax, so the company has provided private meetings with Santa Claus, Nordic cuisine from renowned chefs and accommodation in ice igloos. If sleeping under a dome of ice is not your style, Luxury Action has other options.

— We manage exclusively a number of properties as the most exclusive private ranch in the Nordic countries, Honkanen says.

Hollywood in Finland
Luxury travel is a well-established industry, but Honkanen offers an unusual service which he calls the Hollywood Experience. The client comes up with a story idea which Luxury Action creates as a movie.
Some examples they give as inspiration are action adventures, car chases, fantasy movies or even reality shows like Deadliest Catch. Such a movie doesn’t come cheap: the cost is 10,000 – 20,000 euros per week with a one week minimum.Luxury 3

— The Hollywood Experience is a good, new and unique travel experience for wealthy families who want to offer an experience for their kids and grandchildren. The narrative can include the latest movie fairy tale or characters. You can live your dream, Honkanen explains.

For those with a dream of motorsports glory, it might pay to remember that adage of hiring a Finn to win.

— If a client wants to experience ultimate driving: back in August we had two-time F1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen and a very rare Mercedes-Benz rally car on a Finnish rally road, Honkanen points out.
Luxury travel offers an unusual service which they call the Hollywood Experience: the client comes up with a story idea which Luxury Action creates as a movie.

David J. Cord
Good News from Finland

Beibamboo aims to create the best baby outfits in the world

Beibamboo clothes have been designed with the needs of a baby in mind. The clothes are easy to dress, practically seamless, all labels are outside the clothes and materials are a mix of organic cotton and skin friendly bamboo.Beibamboo clothes have been designed with the needs of a baby in mind. The clothes are easy to dress, practically seamless, all labels are outside the clothes and materials are a mix of organic cotton and skin friendly bamboo.

Finnish company Beibamboo creates baby outfits with a difference. They have patented hidden seams, use environmentally friendly materials and have a line especially for hospitals looking after preemie babies. Now the company, born from a mother’s love for her premature daughter, is ready to take on international markets.

— When she was treated in the hospital, I was surprised how unpractical the baby clothes were. Especially since preemie babies are attached to all sorts of tubes and wires. Parents can’t even dress their own child, says Ignatius.

— I started to think about designing clothes from the point of view of what a baby needs.

It took Ignatius a few more years to come up with the first Beibamboo baby clothes in the summer of 2010. Since then she has been developing the clothing line in conjunction with neonatal ward staff in Finland and released two clothing collections. One targeted at hospitals and one for all babies up to 2.5 years old.

Beibamboo’s hospital range has been designed neonatal intensive care units in mind and all the clothes can be fully opened. This enables parents to dress their babies themselves as no tubes or cannulas need to be removed. The design has brought some surprising benefits.

— Since none of the tubes need to be detached, it reduces the risk of infection. Dressing and undressing is also painless for the baby, Ignatius says.

All the clothes are practically seamless, using the company’s own patented cover seams, labels are placed outside the garments to prevent scratching and the sizes are adjustable as babies grow. The designs are also aimed to be classic, rather than following any trend or seasonal fashion, to further extend their lifespan.

It is this combination of carefully designed features that makes the clothes unique says Ignatius, who also stresses that their production is environmentally friendly.

— The environmental aspect is also very important to me. We use organic cotton and bamboo in our clothes. Bamboo is soft for the skin and can be grown without fertilizers and pesticides.

Kick-start to internationalisation

Currently Beibamboo baby clothes are used in six hospitals in Finland and sold through the company’s own website and resellers in the Nordics. Ignatius also has international plans.

One step on that road has been cooperating with General Electric’s Health Innovation Village in Helsinki, where the company’s office and team of five are now located. According to Ignatius, US-based GE is the worlds biggest supplier of incubators also giving Beibamboo access to hospitals globally.

— The US is an attractive market for us due to its size and the contacts we have. And in Europe, our clothes have been recently been picked up by Germany’s biggest online children’s clothing store, says Ignatius.

Beibamboo has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to speed its internationalisation. As a part of the campaign, the company will donate their baby clothes to neonatal intensive care units in different countries.

— Of course the Nordics are a natural market for us, but our clothes can be used everywhere. We have even received some enquiries from China.

Beibamboo’s expansion plans are supported by a newly launched Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The aim is to get visibility for the brand and to raise funding for further product development and marketing. As a part of the campaign, the company will donate their baby clothes to neonatal intensive care units in different countries in exchange for donations.

The campaign has a familiar face. Il Divo singer Sebastian Izambard, father of prematurely born twins, is promoting Beibamboo in the company’s video.

Prior to starting Beibamboo, Ignatius had a 15 year career as a graphic designer. She admits changing careers was daunting but is driven by the desire to help new parents. Recognition for her work is growing and last year Ignatius was chosen on the international ‘40 Women to Watch Over 40’ list, popularised by Forbes.

—  Even though building a clothing brand without any previous experience has been tough at times, I have mostly slept well at night because I believe I’m helping to make people’s lives better, Ignatius says.

— If I can also create a commercial success that employs lots of people in good working conditions [around the world], I will be proud of my legacy.

Eeva Haaramo
Good News from Tue, 09 December, 2014:

Programa de Estratégias de Internacionalização

 Trata-se do programa “Estratégias de Internacionalização”, destinado a Administradores, Directores Gerais e Quadros Superiores de primeira linha de empresas que estejam a considerar, ou a desenvolver, processos de internacionalização como parte do desenvolvimento estratégico da empresa.

A internacionalização é a chave desse sucesso, porquanto permite uma extensão geográfica da base do negócio e compele a empresa a desenvolver e afinar mais rapidamente as competências necessárias para vencer em mercados exigentes e competitivos.

A abordagem deste tema centra-se na realidade das empresas portuguesas e procura benchmarks internacionais e casos de estudo que possam orientar a discussão numa perspectiva não só estratégica, mas também funcional.

Periodo de realização: 3/01/2015 a 24/04/2015

Principais Benefícios

Para o crescimento internacional de uma empresa seja bem sucessido há que garantir dois factores:

  • A capacidade de interpretar o mundo de hoje e de compreender os fundamentos dos novos processos de internacionalização;
  • A aptidão para implementar no terreno de estratégias de internacionalização. Este programa tem como objectivo dotar os participantes com estes conhecimentos, por forma a que se maximze o resultado dos processos de internacionalização a que estajam ligados.

Para mais informações poderá contactar Patrícia Rodrigues, pessoalmente, por e-mail (, ou pelos telefones 21 722 7801, 21 721 4220, 21 722 7800, 21 727 2634 ou pelo fax 21 727 0252.

Saiba mais aqui!

Agência Espacial Europeia lança incubadora de empresas em Portugal

AEEA Agência Espacial Europeia vai abrir uma incubadora no nosso País para apoiar empresas que apliquem tecnologia do Espaço na Terra em setores como saúde, energia, transportes, segurança e vida urbana.

A partir do próximo dia 5 de novembro passa a existir em Portugal o Business Incubation Center da Agência Especial Europeia (ESA BIC Portugal), que visa promover a criação de startups no domínio da transferência de tecnologia espacial para outros setores, como saúde, energia, transportes, segurança e vida urbana.

Nos próximos cinco anos, com um investimento de cerca de oito milhões de euros, o ESA BIC Portugal prevê apoiar até 30 empresas e criar 120 novos postos de trabalho. Este programa é gerido por um consórcio liderado pelo Instituto Pedro Nunes e que envolve o Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia da Universidade do Porto e a agência DNA Cascais.

Carlos Cerqueira, diretor do Departamento de Inovação do Instituto Pedro Nunes considera que “este programa tem características únicas, dado promover o surgimento de startups baseadas em tecnologias state-of-the-art já testadas em aplicações espaciais, que dotam estas empresas do potencial para criar inovações disruptivas e talhadas para mercados globais”.

O lançamento do ESA BIC Portugal e da Plataforma Embaixadora do Programa de Telecomunicações da ESA (o programa ARTES) realiza-se no âmbito do 5ª Fórum Português do Espaço, no dia 5 de novembro, quarta-feira, a partir das 9:30 horas, no Pavilhão do Conhecimento, no Parque das Nações, em Lisboa.

É um evento, cujo programa pode ser visto aqui, organizado pela Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, em conjunto com o Instituto Pedro Nunes, a Agência Nacional para a Cultura Científica e Tecnológica – Ciência Viva e a Agência Espacial Europeia.



VRT revolutionises underwater imaging technology

VRT1 VRTMarkku Ahonen, VRT’s head of operations in Australia, knows that diving can be dangerous: currents could sweep divers away and in Australia they could even be eaten.

A Finnish company’s innovative technology allows people to see underwater – and helps prevent divers from being eaten by crocodiles.

The crystal clear water one sees in pictures on holiday post cards is an aberration. Most water is actually rather opaque, and this creates all sorts of problems for people who need to see what is happening in the depths. Two Finnish civil engineers, Olli Auer and Kirsi Hänninen, recognised the problem and developed a solution.

— Our founders were looking at diver videos from underwater construction. In Finland it’s hard to see anything because the water is murky and they were thinking that there must be another way to do this, says Niko Tuominen, CEO of VRT.

VRT2Their idea involved using sonar. Using sound waves to recognise things underwater is a relatively old technology, but VRT’s innovation was how that data is interpreted and displayed. Auer and Hänninen closely guard their novel technology.

— They are still the only two people who know exactly how it happens, so it is sort of like a secret Coca-Cola recipe, Tuominen continues.

Kirsi Hänninen returning from an inspection trip in Brisbane. (Photo: VRT)

Avoiding crocodiles

VRT’s technology allows the inspection of underwater structures, such as harbour walls, bridge piers, dams or pipelines. The resulting 3D images enable engineers to see structural conditions and the topography of the river or seabed. They can then pinpoint the need for maintenance or repair work.

Underwater structures are normally inspected by divers, but there are a number of difficulties with this approach. Diving can be dangerous: currents could sweep divers away, equipment failures could put their lives at risk, and in some places in the world they could even be eaten.

— Healthy divers’ meat is the crocodiles’ favourite dish. Diving companies have special cages for divers in waters which bustle with crocodiles. This is an extra cost for clients and makes inspection work even more difficult, says Markku Ahonen, VRT’s head of operations in Australia.

Instead of sending divers down to swim with Australia’s salties, engineers can instead lower the sonar equipment from boats, solid platforms or even mobile platforms like trucks or railway cars.

Doubling annually

VRT is growing at about a 100 per cent rate annually. They have strong demand in the Baltic area, but are also receiving attention from all over the world. Tuominen points out that most of the world’s major cities are located on water and much of the infrastructure is decades old.

VRT’s 3D images enable engineers to see structural conditions and the topography of the river or seabed. (Photo: VRT)

— Global engineering firms, public road and railway companies and even diving firms discovered immediately VRT’s potential to help in their existing problems, says Ahonen.

The company’s services are so obviously useful that VRT is breaking some stereotypes.

— I’m most excited when I see how fast our type of new solution is adopted, even in the public sector which everyone sees as slow and bureaucratic, concludes Tuominen.

David J. Cord
Goodnews fro Finland

Fórum de Negócios – Oportunidades de Investimento na Albânia

CCILAInvestir no coração dos Balcãs, tão perto do centro da europa e de países como a Alemanha, França, Suíça, Áustria e Itália e a meio caminho entre o centro da Europa e da Turquia, pode ser uma oportunidade única e irrepetível. Para além da localização estratégica da Albânia, os incentivos fiscais existentes e os baixos custos de contexto, são factores a ter em consideração.

Sendo a internacionalização e a procura de novos mercados, um desígnio da maioria das empresas nacionais, a Câmara de Comércio e Indústria Luso-Albanesa, resolveu criar um Fórum de Negócios cujo tema principal é “Oportunidades de Negócio na Albânia”. A primeira edição do Fórum de Negócios terá lugar no próximo dia 20 de Outubro, pelas 18:00H no Bar Vestigius, no Cais do Sodré em Lisboa e será presidida pelo Presidente da Direcção da Câmara de Comércio e Industria Luso-Albanes e Cônsul Honorário da Albânia.

Programa do Fórum:

  • 18:00H Recepção aos convidados;
  • 18:20H Discurso de Abertura do Presidente da  Direcção da Câmara de Comércio;
  • 18:30H Caracterização económica do país e oportunidades de negócio;
  • 18:40H A Câmara de Comércio e Industria Luso-Albanesa;
  • 18:45H Sessão de Perguntas e Respostas;
  • 18:55H Encerramento;

Local do Evento:

Vestigius Wine & Gin Bar
Rua da Cintura do Porto de Lisboa, Armazém A, Nº17
(Junto à estação ferroviária do cais do Sodré)

Ver mapa
Câmara de Comércio e Industria Luso-Albanesa