World Entrepreneurs' Day: 10 Hottest Finnish Startups

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World Entrepreneurs'Day is celebrated every year on August 21st around the world! Traditionally, the purpose of the World Entrepreneurs' Day is to create awareness for entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership throughout the world. In honor of this occasion, we are highlighting top 10 hottest Finnish startups to look out for and celebrate in 2019!



#1 Varjo - pioneering a new reality

Founded in 2016 in Helsinki, Varjo is producing an industrial-grade VR / XR headset that allows professionals in sectors from aerospace to architecture to work in human eye-resolution quality virtual or mixed reality when designing new products. The company is undergoing an exponential growth - they raised $31 million in Series B funding in October 2018.


#2 Solar Foods - protein source reinvented

Founded in 2017, Solar Foods is creating “food out of thin air” – producing an entirely new kind of nutrient-rich protein using only air, water, and electricity. An innovation created by leading clean-tech expertise of Finland and based on a concept by NASA, the unique and pure single-cell proteins of Solein are produced from CO2, water, and electricity. Startup has already raised €2 million.


#3 ICEYE - ’new space’ movement

ICEYE provides broad access to timely and reliable radar satellite imaging for a variety of industries (to both commercial and governmental organizations). Using SAR technology, ICEYE is able to monitor acute issues, such as illegal fishing, oil spills, melting icebergs, and floods. The company launched its first micro-satellite (the world’s lightest of its kind) in January 2018. The startup has raised $65 million in funding and plans to have a network of 18 satellites up by 2020.


#4 GetJenny - new generation AI chatbots

GetJenny helps customer service people focus on tasks that require life experience by enabling companies to quickly and easily teach, deploy, and maintain human-directed AI to instant messaging on live chat platforms. Currently, the chatbot is available in over 30 languages. Startup has closed a $2.3 million seed funding round and have already partnered up with giants like Microsoft, Salesforce, and Slack.


#5 Etsimo Healthcare – doctor in your pocket

Founded in 2016 in Turku, Etsimo aims to put a doctor in everyone’s pocket. By leveraging AI on a platform built specifically for healthcare, Etsimo’s virtual assistant helps patients to determine whether they need to see a doctor by entering their symptoms into Etsimo’s self-diagnosis solution. The startup raised funding from the Finnish healthcare service company Terveystalo in exchange for 20% equity.


#6 Grib – 3D without limits

Founded in 2016 in Helsinki, Grib is the world's first 3D software for augmented reality, that was created for students, designers, and anybody else that wants to easily create 3D models and unleash their creativity. Grib’s mobile AR technology is designed to provide users with a sense of the scale, size, and form of 3D models.


#7 Ōura - living your best life

Oura ring is the the most accurate and comfortable sleep and activity tracker on the market. The new Ōura ring comes with advanced sleep tracking features and daily guidance that helps users align their lifestyle, activities and sleep habits to their natural circadian rhythm – the 24-hour genetic clock that regulates the functions of the human body. The startup has won multiple awards, and is continuing to gain high momentum on the market of smart wearable devices.


#8 HoxHunt – gamified cybersecurity

Founded in 2016 in Helsinki, HoxHunt offers gamified training solutions for employees to improve cybersecurity. HoxHunt’s AI solution simulates real phishing attacks on organisations’ users, while revealing the techniques attackers use to infiltrate organisations. Employees are rewarded for reporting the attacks – both real and simulated. The startup is trusted by the world’s leading security professionals, and has already raised €2.9 million.


#9 ResQ - no meal left behind

Founder in 2015 in Helsinki, ResQ is on the mission to reduce food waste by offering their solution to restaurants, bakeries, cafes and hotels. Their mission to “leave no meal behind” saw them rescue more than 2M portions by allowing consumers to discover new restaurants at a 50% discount rate by ordering meals at the end of the restaurant day. With a 97% satisfaction rate on all orders, saving the world has never tasted this good.


#10 Zadaa - your very own boutique

Founded in 2015, Zadaa is a marketplace app which allows you to turn your closet into an online boutique. You can both sell and buy high fashion clothing straight from someone else’s closet. The service is extremely easy to use and is a great way to connect with shoppers alike from around the world. The startup has already expanded its services to over 300 fashionable cities in Germany, Denmark, Finland and more in the nearby future.


Happy World Entrepreneurs'Day! More content on Europe’s hottest tech innovations, corporate venturing, digital transformation and more on our blog!

2 Must-read eBooks for Corporate Leaders

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These resources have been written and summarized by our in-house business thinkers, data analysts and growth hackers based on decades of experience in the startup, tech and innovation field as well as collaboration and discussions with +200 industry-leading corporates across Europe.

3 Key Elements of Corporates That Attract the Best Startups and Tech Innovations


The best startups and tech companies are like coders. You don't choose them - they choose you.

- Exploring partnership with new tech and innovation players: startups, scale-ups and growth companies? - Great! You landed to the right place.

Having discussed and collaborated with +200 industry-leading corporates across Europe, our business thinkers and data analysts at Catapult have summarized essential elements, structures and attitudes that drive growth amongst the most startup-attractive corporates.

The level of digital transformation maturity and readiness to partner with startups vary a lot from corporate to corporate. However, there are some practical steps (short-term and long-term) that can be taken to turn a large company into the most attractive collaboration partner for the best technology companies and startups worldwide.

This eBook provides a summary of those elements. All based on decades of experience and work with corporates in venture collaboration, innovation and tech scene.


11 best sources to find startups and new tech innovations


According to Forbes Insights, 77% of CEOs are concerned about whether their organization is keeping up with new technologies.

A growing number of corporates are facing a challenge of generating disruption, whether disrupting core business or expanding into a new business segment. As the tech scene has dramatically changed over the past decade, many corporations choose not to develop new offerings and technologies in-house, but rather explore partnerships with new tech and innovation players: startups, scale-ups and growth companies.

The problem is not to find good innovations or startups. The problem is to find those that can have the biggest impact on your business.

This e-book gives an overview on the most feasible ways to find a startup as well as provides a comprehensive comparison of these solutions.


Interested in this topic? - Check out Catapult blog!

9 Essential Podcasts for Corporate Leaders & Innovators

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Busy corporate leaders, thinkers and innovators often turn to podcasts as a source of inspiration and knowledge. We’ve picked these 9 sources that feature stories, interviews and use cases of the world’s largest companies, industry-leading tech innovators and corporate leaders. Highlighting best practices and strategies, these podcasts are a go-to source for insights that would unveil best business transformation and people transformation stories.



#1 The Innovation Engine

Bi-weekly podcast featuring interviews with best-selling authors and innovation experts from around the world. The main focus of these podcasts is to dive deeper into the world of corporate innovation through the lenses of leadership, company culture, emerging trends and technologies.

#2 Innovation & Leadership

This podcast series has over 1 million downloads. Featuring interviews with uncommonly high achievers from CEOs and NY Times bestselling authors to pro athletes and venture capitalists. Its masterclasses help on practicing skills pioneered by FBI hostage negotiators, Harvard professors, and some of the worlds most successful companies.

#3 Lean Startup podcast

When speaking of innovation, you ultimately stumble upon lean thinking. As a methodology and a mindset, lead startup encourages innovation in iterative, agile and experimental mode. These podcasts consist of interviews with leaders and innovators in the Lean thinking world, use cases on "how lean is done elsewhere", best practices on integrating lean into large organizations and many more lead-related "dive-ins".

#4 HBR Ideacast

The popular Harvard Business Review articles turned into short information podcasts featuring the leading thinkers in business and management. Covering everything from digital leadership, gaps in equality to founders' stories and corporate innovation.

#5 The Growth Show

“It’s never been easier to start a business, but it’s never been harder to succeed”. Podcast by HubSpot, it explores the inspiring stories behind how people grow a business, an idea, or a movement. It is a deep dive into trends, turning points, and wins into a sustainable business growth.

#6 The Innovation Show

Exposing stories from industry leaders, authors, renowned professors, inventors, innovators and change-makers to inspire, educate and inform. These podcasts celebrate change and satisfy human need to learn in a vastly transforming world.

#7 The McKinsey Podcast

McKinsey is running conversations with experts on the issues that matter most in business and management. Featuring inspiring stories on topics of business, leadership, transformation, organizational culture, innovation strategies, market insights and many more topics relevant for the leaders of today.

#8 Startup Meet Corporate

This original podcast by Startup Daily is looking at the way corporates and startups across Australia and New Zealand work with each other and approach innovation. The podcast features stories and use cases from large companies across various industries and verticals.

#9 Outside In

This podcast takes a look at the strategies, best practices, tools and philosophies of the world’s most customer-centric brands. Featuring interviews with executives, journalists, authors, and thinkers. Great source of knowledge and inspiration for the consumer trends, industry disruptions, and cultural forces that are influencing business from the outside.

6 Stages of Digital Transformation


Ever heard of “Digital Darwinism”? - It’s us living, working and building companies in the era when technology and its impact on business and society are constant with inevitable degrees of evolution. Digital Darwinism ultimately created an environment, where businesses must “adapt or die”. To conclude - ignoring change is no longer an option for any organization across the world. To thrive in these times, many companies are investing in digital transformation, which, firstly, should begin with a radical shift in perspective.

63% of executives revealed that the pace of technology change in their organization was too slow. And the most frequently cited obstacle to digital transformation is a lack of urgency.
— MIT/Sloan Research

Digital transformation strategy of any organization must align with market changes. Companies should exploit new technology that serves as an enabler to compete at scale in the new (and rapidly changing) world. To guide organizations through the stages of digital transformation, a series of patterns, components, and processes have been identified and analyzed. That, in turn, led to the creation of these 6 distinctive levels of digital transformation maturity:

  • Business As Usual

  • Test & Learn    

  • Systemize & Strategize

  • Adapt Or Die

  • Transformed & Transforming

  • Innovate Or Die

Digital Transformation

What stage is your company at?


“We’re profitable today! Why should we change?” is a common definition for this stage of digital transformation maturity. Processes and tools are scattered and decentralized across many departments within a company. If your organization is at the “Business As Usual” stage, there will be evident signs, like (1) lack of urgency, (2) outdated technology-first roadmaps and processes, (3) lack of understanding or infrastructure around digital, (4) technology is not viewed as a mechanism for optimization, scale, and efficiency in operations, (5) lack of “one” customer view across the organization, (6) marketing is still campaign-based across multiple social, digital, and traditional channels with little or no collaboration across different disciplines, (7) data exists in separate caches for every channel… And the list goes on.


At this stage, teams usually still work in silos but become increasingly efficient at experimentation and tracking results. It takes a “change agent“ within a company to recognize that things aren’t working, that other businesses doing things differently and that it’s time to take action. That, in turn, might create an internal buzz and hype around change as well as amplify the chances for chaos as inconsistent experiments occur in isolation from other departments. At that point, companies start to courageously explore how to better understand the connected customer journey and start to invest in research, internal training programs, workshops etc. If your company is at the playground of “Test & Learn“, it is normally time to farewell with the comfort zone.


Time to accelerate the speed of change! At this level of digital transformation maturity, companies are getting smarter, with its change agents seeing the bigger picture and starting to progressively work toward it. It’s when the corporate team begins to explore tech investments and partnerships to scale pilots and possibilities. Additionally to that, (1) metrics start to mature for investment optimization, (2) data becomes a fundamental tool for decision-making, (3) digital customer is placed at the center, (4) executive education is introduced, (5) digital literacy becomes a primary focus, and (6) most importantly, innovation as a strategy becomes a focal point to identify new business opportunities and potential disruption outside of the company.


At this point, there comes a notable momentum, wherein change is recognized and appreciated by the entire organization. Businesses in this stage are becoming resilient. Efforts in digital transformation become intentional with short- and long-term goals supported by investments in infrastructure, people, processes, and technology. Resources are shared across departments (Data, CRM, Content, Education & Training and Governance). Remarkably, learnings gained through the digital transformation journey bring teams and executives together. New roles are established to further lead transformation in priority areas. Efforts shift from the traditional sales/marketing/commerce funnel to a more dynamic model that adapts change in technology and consumer behavior.


Digital transformation is no longer a temporary phenomena, but a gene in company’s DNA. At this stage, leadership establishes new agenda around culture, purpose, and the future of the organization. Digital literacy is now a way of leading and growing business. Learning becomes consistent, continuous and conscientious. Decision-making is optimized and focused on immediate and next-gen results. Every part of the organization is in sync, is aligned with goals and is responsible for jointly undergoing digital transformation and adapting innovative culture. Most importantly, new products and services are developed as a result of this transformation. Now, it is evident that organization is operating in a more unified manner with digital transformation efforts led by a governing body.


You did it! The teams/departments once dedicated to transformation and technology are now shifted toward innovation and disruption. It is when a culture of innovation ultimately becomes prevalent. Now, new models, roles, and investments shift towards innovation to accelerate transformation and identify new (unconventional) opportunities for business growth. At this stage, companies often form in-house innovation departments or centers or move those to an innovation hub around the country and even beyond. The main mission for these teams, naturally, vary but often include: (1) Recruiting new talents, (2) Identifying new technologies for internal/external piloting, (3) Investing in or acquiring startups, and (4) Scouting new opportunities for products and service development.


What is your company’s level of digital transformation maturity? Book a free 1-on-1 consulting session with us to find out what data-driven steps your corporate can take to successfully undergo digital transformation.


Evaluating Startups: What Metrics Matter the Most?

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In the previous blog, we have discusses what are the “5 most important questions to ask your organization and yourself before going to bed with startups?” Now that you are ready to dive into the startup world, let’s review the essential metrics for startup evaluation to determine how suitable the case is for your needs and how likely it is to survive long-term.

It is important to understand that the company evaluation for early-stage startups and more advanced growth companies (aka scale-ups) can and will differ. The younger (the more early-stage) the company is, the more essential it is to remain focused on finding the first paying customers as soon as possible to find and prove the product-market-fit. Wherein growth companies fight for the firm position on a market space comparing to its competitors, set a steady revenue stream, scale its operations, grow the team and attract new investment/partnership opportunities. Hence, identifying what stage company your corporate seeks for will then determine what metrics matter the most in startup evaluation.

Since Catapult’s services rely heavily on data, only more advanced growth companies are to be seen in the data-pool, and consequently to be validated for startup-corporate collaboration. Metrics presented below correspond to the needs of corporates to find and collaborate with more advanced cases.

What metrics matter the most when evaluating a startup from corporate perspective?



  • Investments & Investors

  • Turnover

  • Valuation estimations

  • Estimates of the runway with present funding



  • Descriptions of the product/service

  • Growth speed

  • Growth speed of the company compared to competitors

  • Presence in different medias weekly compared to competitors



  • Founders & their success with previous ventures

  • Team members & their background

  • Employees growth

  • Board members & Advisers


In the next blog posts, we’re going to dive deeper into each data-driven metric and understand how to comprehend data to make conclusions on startup evaluation.