blog

In our blog, we share things we've learned about leading, advising, and building ventures.

Why do we need a strategic narrative?

In the world today, companies need to have a real purpose for their existence. This purpose is worth nothing unless it's visible in the communication and strategy. A modern tool on how to include your purpose into the strategy is forming a compelling strategic narrative.

From Retail to Entrepreneurship: My Journey to Coventures

Join us in welcoming Matti Torniainen to Coventures as one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence. This blog delves into Matti's journey from a successful ecommerce professional to an innovative entrepreneur, highlighting his transition from corporate roles to launching his own brand. Gain insights into his experiences in retail, ecommerce development, and agile transformation. Discover how Matti applies his expertise to help clients navigate business growth, digitalization, and operational strategies, showcasing a career defined by creativity, leadership, and a deep passion for the retail industry.

The Crucial Entrepreneurial Skill-Set: Igniting Innovation and Revenue Growth

The entrepreneurial skill set often requires a unique blend of abilities that are rarely found within the confines of a traditional corporate environment. To truly cultivate this mindset, companies should actively seek out individuals with proven entrepreneurial expertise, and embrace diverse perspectives to drive growth. Read more on the importance of an entrepreneurial approach to innovation and revenue growth.

Jesse Heikkilä joins Coventures

Jesse Heikkilä is an experienced product professional and startup founder. ‍He has solid technical experience and a background in computer science and business. Jesse has co-founded the global startup Playven, a SaaS sports facility management and scheduling solution.‍ We asked Jesse about his background and why he decided to join Coventures.

Riku Kokkonen joins Coventures

Riku Kokkonen is an experienced serial entrepreneur and venture-building professional. From his 10+ years of experience as an entrepreneur, he has gained deep knowledge in building science-and-technology-led businesses from the ground up. Riku helps companies build new businesses and products, developing with them the best approaches and strategies to succeed.

Product validation: validate before you develop

Many businesses often get excited over a new product or service and rush to launch it without conducting thorough groundwork. You may have a general idea of who your customers are, but developing your new product or service without research can be a recipe for disaster. Find out how experienced entrepreneurs do product validation.

Samu Seppänen joins Coventures

Samu is an entrepreneurial-minded business professional with strong experience in startups, the technology industry, venture building, and venture capital. He has spent the last few years working in Berlin and London, learning how to build, scale, and finance startups and digital businesses.

Product validation: How to build enterprise SaaS products

In this article, Juho Harmaa discusses the importance of product validation for SaaS businesses to avoid investing resources in developing a product that may not have a market demand. He explains different validation techniques, such as audience validation, survey validation, and competition validation, that businesses can use to test their product ideas.

Sampo Lehtiniemi joins Coventures

Sampo is a deeply experienced strategy advisor, implementing corporate transformation and offering development programs. With the help of business owners' expertise and leading benchmarks, he has created new service revenue streams for energy, telecom, and digital businesses. Sampo has over 15 years of management experience and a proven track record in leading companies to grow.

Scaling your software development team: when and how

There is no one way to scale a team or company. Understanding what is already working and unique about your business will provide clues for how to best adapt as you scale up operations. In this article Jesse Heikkilä discusses when and how you should scale your software development team.

Sebastian Aniszewski joins Coventures

Sebastian Aniszewski is a business development, strategy, and innovation professional. With more than a decade of valuable experience in the corporate world and a strong entrepreneurial mindset, Sebastian is now eager to help our clients to solve meaningful problems and execute them to deliver results.

How to build an enterprise growth strategy framework

This article examines the most common types of business growth strategy as well as the 6 best ways to build an enterprise growth strategy framework.

Ville Riikkala joins Coventures

When it comes to building and growing businesses, Ville really understands both the technical and business side of things. He's worked with many publicly listed companies in such areas as growth management and innovation. Ville has also been closely involved with startups, helping to screen them into accelerators, building teams, and coaching and validating them for funding.

Video | How an experienced entrepreneur can help you in the early stages of your business

What if there's a faster, more efficient way to bring your ideas to life? Enter the experienced serial entrepreneur. With years of experience under their belt, they have the ability to quickly and effectively gather the evidence needed to make informed decisions. Watch Riku Kokkonen and Sebastian Aniszewski talk about how experienced entrepreneurs can help you in the early stages of your business.

Why and how entrepreneurial mindset amplifies new business creation

Discover the key to startup success by embracing the entrepreneurial mindset, overcoming uncertainty, and creating value. Choosing an entrepreneur to lead your new business creation process brings you a faster road to results than the typical innovation manager route. In this article, Aki Soudunsaari an experienced entrepreneur, a startup scientist, and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Coventures discusses how hiring an Entrepreneur-in-Residence can accelerate business growth and innovation.

Video | What is Coventures?

Coventures is a platform that provides a professional home for seasoned entrepreneurs who want to use their experience and insight to help others build their businesses. It's a unique solution to a problem that has existed for years. Customers need the skills to build new companies and businesses, and experienced entrepreneurs have those skills. Coventures bridges the gap between these two groups, providing a platform where entrepreneurs can offer their expertise and help clients succeed.‍

Why corporations need to rethink innovation

Innovation has risks, but the one that succeeds can boost revenue and customer satisfaction. A recent survey estimates that 84% of customers want to buy from innovative companies. Organizations like Nokia, Blackberry, Circuit City, and MySpace ended up failing because they ignored the importance of innovation in their business.‍ Clearly, how a company approaches partial or total disruption can determine its future. So, why do corporations fail to adopt new ideas, and what's the solution to the fear of innovation?‍

Why agile enterprise solutions are key to winning

In software development, agile methodology focuses on the delivery of individual software parts rather than the entire package. It's ideal for teams that are working on common goals, but with different functional expertise. Companies using agile solutions can feel confident about their end-product since they've performed extensive testing in various ways throughout the design and development process. ‍Agile enterprise solutions help companies to collaborate with consumers and the client organizations. What is different, however, is that they don't just buy an end-product, but also play a part in the planning and execution processes. ‍The solutions value a pragmatic-mindset and a flexible approach. Considering that change is inevitable, enterprise organizations can use a distinct flavor of agile to continue winning in the marketplace. ‍Read on to learn why agile enterprise solutions are the key to winning.

Video | Bringing together entrepreneurs and established companies to create impactful businesses

To bring together the necessary components to build impactful ventures, we must look towards individuals with the right experience – seasoned entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs have used ideation, prototyping, testing, and scaling to build successful ventures. They have faced funding challenges, team-building, and navigating the competitive landscape. Thus, they have gained valuable insights into building an impactful business that addresses real-world problems. In this video Juho Vehviläinen, the co-founder of Coventures, shares his insights into entrepreneurship, and the impact an entrepreneur's mindset and skills can have on established companies. He stresses the importance of adopting a growth mindset and embracing failure as an opportunity to learn and iterate. He also highlights the importance of creating a culture of innovation and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit among employees.

Aki Soudunsaari joins Coventures

We are delighted to announce that Aki Soudunsaari has joined Coventures as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Aki is an energetic serial entrepreneur with a mission to improve people's health, happiness, and performance in a planet-positive way. ‍Aki is probably best known for co-founding Naava, the world leader in green walls and biological indoor air purification. At Naava, Aki served as CEO and in various strategy and brand/marketing roles. Naava is listed in the Financial Times' Fastest Growing Companies in Europe 2020 list and has received multiple sustainability and design awards.‍ Let's give Aki a chance to tell us more about himself and how he will use his experience to help customers grow their businesses.

Building new value on top of your unfair advantages

It’s rather unfortunate that most of the best actionable content for digital innovation is often written solely from the angle of startups, where you’re building upon a clean table. The reality, after all, is that >90% of the world’s current value is tied to legacy systems and organizations, as well as existing management practices— and with good reason: Old strategies and systems have been trialed and tested by time, and they’ve simply been proven to work.

Best practices for change management

Change management is an ongoing team effort by you and your employees to embrace new changes that will ultimately improve the company. These can be structural changes in the management or organization or larger systemic changes that rebuild the company culture and set new core values. All of this runs parallel to the day-to-day management of your company. Change management ensures transitions happen smoothly while establishing practices that prepare your employees. It entails training, communication, operating procedures, and campaign and sales strategies. Despite our natural hesitancy for change, actively seeking improvement will help your company remain agile. This article outlines ten change management best practices to keep your company moving forward.

Can corporations embrace the serial entrepreneur mindset?

A serial entrepreneur is exceptionally creative at coming up with new business ideas and working hard to develop those ideas into a new venture. Unlike most business owners, who spend a significant amount of time in their industry and concentrate on what they know, serial entrepreneurs delve into various sectors. They must learn about different businesses and industries. But how can corporations develop a successful serial entrepreneurship mindset?

Building ventures: what large enterprises can learn from a new generation of startups

Whether a bootstrapped startup or a corporate behemoth, starting a new business has always been a hit-and-miss endeavor. According to the decades-long formula, you design a business strategy, offer it to investors, assemble a team, launch a product, and begin selling aggressively. And somewhere along the way, you'll almost certainly experience a deadly setback. According to research, the chances are stacked against you; a whopping 90% of all start-ups fail.‍However, to mitigate the odds that are definitely against new founders and certainly not for the faint of heart, we should consider a new way of doing things by emphasizing experimentation and iterative design over traditional "big design up front" development, and customer input over intuition or old rigid models. ‍Where companies often tumble is their deep misunderstanding of the product/market fit.

Fast-tracking innovation: why corporate entrepreneurship matters

Corporate venturing is about entrepreneurial activities that require a mindset of innovation. This is where corporate entrepreneurship comes into play.

Coventures - Our Story

Marko and Juho wanted Coventures to be a place where entrepreneurs and people who wanted to become entrepreneurs could practice their skills, develop themselves as professionals, and help clients who have an urgent need for our assistance. Read how we became Coventures.

Eemeli Metsäntähti joins Coventures

Eemeli Metsäntähti joined us in January to help our clients with their early phases of venturing. Eemeli focuses on helping clients identify ideas for third horizon growth and packaging the most promising ones into customer-friendly concepts and value propositions.

Embrace the disruption

In today’s world, it’s rare for things to be completely clear or precisely determinable. Not everything is black and white. The demands on modern organizations and management are more contradictory and paradoxical than ever before, challenging orthodox value systems and business principles. In a world where the “what” takes a back seat to the “why?”, making bold decisions requires courage, awareness, and a willingness to make mistakes. In digital transformation, this ambiguity is often forgotten. In this article, we’ll discuss why disruption is inevitable and how to embrace it.

Eljas Pajamies joins Coventures

We are happy to tell you that Eljas Pajamies has joined Coventures as an Entrepreneur In Residence. Eljas is a business design professional and an entrepreneur with a foundation in human-centered problem-solving and data-driven design. Eljas' approach to development and venture building is always fact-based, hypothesis-driven, and structured. During his career, he has learned to use strategy, analysis, and human-centered problem-solving as generative design tools to help companies turn ideas into outcomes with long-term viability.

Emma Grönlund joins Coventures

Emma Grönlund, a serial entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in building new digital businesses globally join Coventures as n Entrepreneur in Residence. Emma is a generalist executive with the ability to set up processes for companies from scratch to get to important product launches.

Enterprise Agility: What It Is and Why It Matters

One of the defining characteristics of modern times is the fast-paced, exponential change we are all going through. The business environment is so disruptive that business organizations have to adapt and pivot dynamically within very short periods—this is enterprise agility. Enterprise agility refers to the ability of whole organizations to adapt quickly to changing business conditions based on feedback from stakeholders. Even though it carries forward many of the goals of traditional Agile models, enterprise agility doesn't arise directly from business agility. Instead, it is based on new theories and scientific concepts that help companies deal differently with rapid change.

How corporations can instill and cultivate entrepreneurial spirit

Energizing an enterprise-scale company with innovation isn't easy. Cash-hungry startups fuel themselves on lean operating models and growth-generating funnels like AARRR, Lean Canvas, and the Lean Startup Model. But established businesses don't have the luxury of hyper-focusing on rapid, all-or-nothing growth. They have a core business model to protect and old rigid patterns to emulate. How do you break out, develop that amazing new product or service, and tread gracefully over the all-too-common scaling frictions that sink most ventures? You need to infect your venture with the same entrepreneurial spirit it had back when it successfully scaled into the sunset and built a terrific and consistent core.

From health business to platform economy - Case SYKE Tribe

When starting a new business, we often jump straight into choosing a digital service or a vendor and forget something vital. We forget to spend time figuring out what we really need and when that happens, the digital aspect of our business is left with untapped potential.

Ira Wichmann joins Coventures

We are excited to announce that Ira Wichmann has joined Coventures as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Ira has extensive experience in product design and development, eCommerce, strategy, marketing, and customer experience. She has built and led teams of professionals, designed strategies, and built products in both the UK and Finland. Wichmann's expertise lies in building product organizations from scratch, changing and improving existing product management processes, and creating data-driven product culture. Ira chose to join Coventures because she believes it provides a platform to collaborate and learn from other brilliant minds.

How to build a killer product strategy

A well-defined product development strategy is undoubtedly the secret to building a successful company. Whether developing a new product or revamping an existing one, a clear vision, goals, and initiatives make all the difference. A clear roadmap that accounts for the rightful resources and an apt timeline are a must. Once the high level roadmap is clear, you have all the flexibility in the world to add features or other tweaks along the way. Building a killer product strategy doesn't have to be complicated, but it should be time-consuming, as a good strategy is the antidote to chaos in a sea of unpredictability. Now, let's look at some of the key elements needed for a winning product strategy.

How to build a product development strategy

A Product Development Strategy (PDS) is a well-thought-out and structured approach that helps you to manage your product planning, product release, and pricing. It aids your end-to-end development including product ideation, marketing, and lifecycle management. A highly structured PDS is a must to remain competitive, optimize revenue, and release customer-centered products.‍ Your PDS often works hand-in-hand with your Product Strategy to ensure the success and relevance of your product in a particular market, or price point, or to check that it is in line with your company’s brand image.

A good agile team should exhibit the following qualities

A strong agile team will not be defined by traditional roles and responsibilities. The agile approach looks holistically at the contributions of each member and the final results. Each team will be unique and will require managerial trust as it finds the working methods that best suit them. ‍A good team should consist of diverse players, each with their own tasks including testing, analysis, and implementation. Through direct and open communication they will quickly adapt in real-time and learn to cycle through different workflow phases. ‍In this blog post, we will look closely at the markers that make the most successful agile teams, as well as important considerations when building ventures. Lastly, we discuss the role of product manager when leading agile teams.

Juho Harmaa joins Coventures

Juho Harmaa has joined Coventures as an Entrepreneur in Residence. He is an experienced product, technology, and business leader with expertise in data-driven business models. He has consulted some of the best-known companies in Europe and the US on data, business transformation, and product management. Juho has a background in working in fast-growing SaaS companies and consulting for exciting startups and established companies. He enjoys working on data-driven projects around technology and strategy. Juho believes that to grow meaningful businesses, it is essential to listen to clients and understand the context and have a holistic view from within the company, especially from customers. He joined Coventures because it brings together a unique perspective and expertise, and he is amazed at the experience and spirit of the people.

Mirka Parenteau joins Coventures

Mirka is a corporate communication professional working to create positive, measurable change for the communities and businesses she works with. Her work is people-oriented and aims to make daily life more engaging and rewarding for members. As Community Manager, Mirka's role is to facilitate communications, bring contributors together, connect like-minded individuals, and grow the Coventures community.

Matias Koskinen joins Coventures

We are happy to announce that Matias Koskinen, an experienced interim COO, has joined Coventures. Matias has always been brave enough to try and learn something new when an exciting opportunity has presented itself. But there's a clear common thread: he's often the right hand for visionary entrepreneurs. Matias is certified in brain-based coaching, an approved chairman of the board, has an Executive MBA, and is an IT engineer (B.Eng.). Let's give Matias a chance to tell us more about himself!

People, Process, and the Product - How to coach product managers

Coaching product managers is a challenging but rewarding task. It requires a deep understanding of the skills needed for product management and the ability to develop customized coaching plans based on the PM's strengths and weaknesses. With the proper guidance, product managers can become effective product leaders and drive the success of their products and companies.

Pekka Walkama joins Coventures

We are happy to announce that Pekka Walkama joins Coventures as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Pekka is a highly experienced entrepreneur and CEO and has worked in the tech and digital business industry for over 20 years.Our clients will benefit from Pekka's experience building product businesses, scaling up and transitioning from consulting to a product-led business, and building/running a vast reseller partner ecosystem globally across all time zones.

Paula Ylisassi joins Coventures

For over two decades, Paula Ylisassi has worked in the field of product leadership; creating and implementing customer-centric strategies, leading global marketing and sales operations, and helping organizations build new digital services. She has a uniquely human perspective on strategy and product development, which has allowed her to successfully develop large-scale products with companies like OP. We are thrilled to have her join Coventures as an Entrepreneur in Residence! Let's hear what she says about Coventures and her role in helping our customers succeed.

Petri Ahti joins Coventures

Petri Ahti, a Product and Business Development professional, has joined Coventures as an Entrepreneur in Residence. He has a strong leadership background from various executive-level roles. Petri has built his career around fintech and the payments industry and has many demonstrated success stories to share along his career. At Coventures, Petri will use his extensive experience to help our clients build and manage successful product businesses. Read more about Petri and his background!

Online event: Idea to Revenue - How to build an organisation that can create new business

It goes without saying that every business leader wants to grow their business and find ways to increase revenue, cut costs, and increase profitability. New revenue can be generated by opening new markets, building new products, or doing more of what is already working well. Often requires doing something differently or building something new, and then we usually talk about innovation. Innovation might mean, for example, that you need to rethink what you are selling or who you are trying to sell it to. Whatever changes you make to your business, you need to ensure that what you offer meets the market's needs. In theory, this is perfectly clear, but why is it so damn difficult to put into practice? What do the companies that have successfully built new businesses have in common? In Coventures' upcoming online event, Marko Oksanen and Valtteri Tuominen will share concrete stories of these bold entrepreneurs who have built something new and innovative while generating new revenue.

5 Perks of Hiring an Interim Product Manager for Successful Product Launches

Building a new product is exciting but, at the same time, very demanding and requires a specific skill set. It also requires a significant amount of time, money, and resources to develop and bring a new product to market. One critical role in this process is that of a product manager who oversees the entire product development lifecycle. ‍However, finding the right person to fill this role can be challenging. In this article, we will explore the perks of hiring an interim product manager, how they can help your company launch a new product successfully and challenge the organization's current thinking and management style in a healthy way.‍

Positioning and why it’s relevant to Spotify and the next up and coming startup

Positioning is a key element for growth and longevity. Positioning defines how you stand out in the market, deliver value to a distinct customer group, and ensure our products remain relevant. And equally so, recognizing when it’s time to update it.

Product management plays an important role whenever we create something new

Product management always exists when building or growing a new product business. We need to decide on what to build, ergo you have product management. So it's not really a question of whether you have product management, but on what level your product management is, and whether it creates real value for our company.

What is product/market fit, and how to find it?

What is product/market fit, and how to find it? This article discusses what product/market fit (PMF) is in practice. To understand how we can achieve it, we get to know an early learning process called Product/Market Fit Discovery.

Tommi Huovinen joins Coventures

Say hi to our new team member Tommi Huovinen! Tommi joined us as an Entrepreneur in Residence and jumped right into a client project, helping Lassila & Tikanoja build and scale their first-ever consumer-facing business.