Ville Riikkala joins Coventures

We’re excited to announce that Ville Riikkala has joined Coventures as an Entrepreneur in Residence. 

When it comes to building and growing businesses, Ville understands both the technical and business side of things. He has a broad understanding and good sense of the software industry as a whole, how digital companies can scale, and how to develop software products to succeed.

He has worked with many public 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, coaching and validating them for funding. 

Most of all, Ville is great fun to work with. He has a great sense of humor, strong drive, and works well with nearly anyone. 

Tell us how you ended up here.

I first heard about Coventures through a former colleague. He knows me well and thought my skills and personality could be a good fit for Coventures. 

After discussions with Marko, Juho, and some other Entrepreneurs in Residence, I felt Coventures could be my new home. 

What sort of experiences have you had? Where does your background lie?

Like most of the EiRs, I'm a bit of a generalist. I have a solid technical background, as I started my professional career as a software engineer 20 years ago. During the last ten years, I've done sales, founded and successfully exited a company (Industryhack Oy, a company that helped large organizations to solve challenges with open innovation and collaboration), and helped dozens of clients build ventures.

I also have experience in several industries, allowing me to bring solutions from one sector to another. Having coached hundreds of teams and seen thousands of startups, I've picked up a lot of good practices and ideas, but also a healthy dose of realism, especially when it comes to new business ideas. 

What are some of the most impactful ventures in your career?

I have to say Industryhack Oy. The company enabled dozens of successful ventures. Industryhack had a great impact on how many big Finnish companies innovate new solutions and build new businesses. 

As an entrepreneur, how do you help clients grow meaningful businesses?

As I speak both business and tech, and as an entrepreneur, I can quickly understand the big picture and pinpoint the real challenges when building a new business.

I always start by making sure I understand the problem. After I know what my client is struggling with, we can start building a concrete model to solve the problem. I keep working with the client until the new business is on track. 

I tend to ask many questions, and I think there are no such thing as dumb questions. It's better to make sure everyone is on the same page before starting to build a new business, for example.

Why Coventures?

Coventures has a large team of entrepreneurs and experienced professionals. This ensures that every client gets the best possible help. It also allows me to develop myself by working with other professionals on exciting projects. And, of course, the freedom of being an entrepreneur is the icing on the cake.