The global market presents an unparalleled opportunity for growth minded businesses. The capacity to ensure preparedness to conquer the challenges related to going global means a deliberate investment to support such a move. In recognition of the demand, Business Tampere paved the way for leveraging international talents in conversation with local companies.
The Export Gateway was executed by two service providers: KREAPAL led by Veikko Törrönen and Kimmo Rouhiainen Consulting who were the successful bidders of an internationalization initiative as requested by Business Tampere. Together, they conceptualized and developed the Export Gateway project process.
The ensuing internationalization project saw talents and companies combine their strengths to advance strategic interest areas for growth. A two-week high impact interaction which included discussion on service design, lean start-up methods and innovation through co-creation showcased creative solutions on the closing session of the project where teams of talents made their presentations to an eager audience.
Discovering new possibilities with service design
So, what was the objective? We spoke to a few participants of the Export Gateway to understand their experience and score card for the project. For, Juha Koivunen, the Director of Tyoalusta and the winning team’s CEO the projects timing was perfect as he was developing a concept that would have benefitted from a new approach. Carita Savin, the Huoleti CEO aligned her objective going into the project as an opportunity to interrogate with a diverse team specific questions and develop solutions in a co-creative environment. What was evident from both these entrepreneurs was the demand on their companies to find methods to be better and consequently perform better ensuring their sustainability as the take on new markets.
Without a doubt the talents involved in the project were integral to the success of this bold initiative. For Nasif Yassin, a participant in the winning Tyoalusta team a love for being intellectually engaged in a process that was light, of high impact and with a diverse team was core to his decision to apply to the Export Gateway. Others like Jane Nguyen and Vivian Leung saw the networking potential and an opportunity to be a part of something enriching to their professional lives as reason to engage. Indeed, the response from entrepreneurs validated the need to tap into the international talent pool that resides in Tampere.
Experiences of the first Export Gateway
The results of the process spoke for themselves. As he silently contemplates the conclusion of the process, Työalusta.fi CEO Juha Koivunen whose solution focuses on addressing work preparedness for young youth smiles when asked about his team’s performance:
“It was as if they (talents) were hand-picked for the needs of my company I am spectacularly proud of what they did”.
Such glowing recommendations from auditors of the project as well as those involved were received at the close of the Export Gateway. Vivian who participated as a Huoleti team member says the pressure cooker environment drove innovation in her team. She drew on her international lens with which she views Finland to open up, tell and sell Finnish solutions in a new and different way.
As we review the completed project I asked the participants if they would recommend the Export Gateway process to others. Miss Jane’s response stood out for me. For her, the Export Gateway was the highlight of her student life in Finland.
“We certainly need even more conversation to build a better process. This is a solution that many companies would benefit from” – Ms. Carita says as we wrap up the interview.
A unanimous positive score card was delivered to the organizers who were hands on and accessible to both the talents and companies throughout the duration of the process. In addition, many have called for its development into a bigger feature that avails and connects businesses with the international talent richness that Tampere enjoys.
The resounding optimistic feedback was met with immediate action following the close of the project new collaborations have been developed where talents and companies have chosen to continue the partnership outside the parameters of the Export Gateway process.
It is without a doubt that the Export Gateway was a successful innovation by the organizers, KREAPAL, Kimmo Rouhiainen Consulting and Business Tampere.
Original article by: Njoki Githieya