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How are the winners of the "Fiksu arki" -competition doing?

In the spring of 2018, Sitra’s Fiksu arki (“Smart Living”) competition honoured 10 small businesses whose products or services help us consumers make sustainable choices in our everyday life. We asked the winners of the development programme where they are now.


Harri Paloheimo, what is your solution for more sustainable everyday life?

You dont have to own everything yourself. With the help of sharing service Liiteri, you can easily reserve things like tools or bikes through a web service, 24 hours a day. The container is secured with an electronic lock, so you can access it with a mobile service. 

What did the programme give you?

The major business partners in the development programme had clearly identified their own needs and were ready to invest in startup experiments. Therefore, it was easy to identify the right partner for the co-operation, and we found one in YIT. However, it was equally rewarding to get constructive feedback, development suggestions and contacts from other companies as well. Good timing is important in co-operation, so even if there is no common idea right away, it doesnt mean that it cant be found later.

Where did we succeed together?

Our cooperation with YIT worked very well. We were able to implement the service directly to the users. Last autumn, we were nominated for the best solution for estate management of 2018. After this recognition, the newest Liiteri container was opened in Vuosaari, Helsinki. Since then, we have been able to experiment with the application of the technology to local food pick-up points, for example. 

What next?

Now that we have several successful experiments behind us, we will next focus on bigger projects. We are currently expanding our international networks, so we have interesting work ahead on customising the Liiteri service platform for other continents as well. 

Read the company introduction in Finnish.

Katariina Rantanen, what is your solution for more sustainable everyday life?

CosmEthics empowers users to make smart product choices. The app allows consumers to easily figure out whether a product has, for example, microplastic in it. It also educates both retailers and users on legal compliance and cosmetic ingredient safety.

What did the programme give you?

The great thing about development programmes is that you can’t always predict how you will benefit from it. In the programme, we learned a lot about the experimental culture of the corporate field. Entrepreneurs should be like plasticine, and act agile yet systematic. With the help of our mentors, we discovered new perspectives on our own business.

What did we achieve by working together?

Reaching major customers or financiers is often a big challenge for start-ups, or almost impossible without knowing how to open the right doors. With the help of the programme’s mentors we obtained some truly valuable contacts.

What’s next for CosmEthics?

We recently launched the application in the US, where we already have a database of 20,000 American products. In addition, we are already in all EU countries and China. In total, our database contains over 120,000 products that have been scanned over 2 million times. Now, besides developing the application, we are also monetising our database, which is the largest in Europe.

Read the company introduction in Finnish.

Johanna Kohvakka, what is your solution for more sustainable everyday life?

We participated in the competition as an association, but we also had business experience from the food-waste restaurant Loop. In the programme, we managed to refine the business ideas about tackling the problems related to food waste. When we started Loop three years ago, we were the world’s third food-waste restaurant. Since then we have received many interested visitors from around the world. Taking social sustainability into account has always been important for us as well. For example, we want to do our share to prevent exclusion by employing people who are unemployed and giving away excess food to charity.

What did the programme give you?

In the development programme we received valuable sparring on how to develop our unique organisation in the right direction. In addition to the restaurant Loop, we have also tried product development, such as the Wasted beer produced from waste bread.

What did we achieve by working together?

We had a great partner in Fazer, with whom we continued the pilot after the programme. We got to collaborate with other companies involved in the programme as well. The team spirit in the programme was great.

What’s next for From Waste to Taste?

The ideas were refreshed and next we are going to focus on catering services. We are currently also curbing the loss of food in the Urban Food project with a network of others in the area.

Read the company introduction in Finnish.

Marja and Juha Komppa, what is your solution for more sustainable everyday life?

Not many consider roach to be a great fish for a dish. Järki Särki (which rhymes nicely in Finnish but translates as “smart roach”) is a roach preserved with organic ingredients. The fish is caught from local waters with sustainable fishing methods. You can find the product in grocery stores all around Finland.

What did the programme give you?

The programme came at the right time for us. After two years in business we were ready to jump to the next level and we received a welcome boost from the programme. We are very pleased with our partnership with Kesko, and we also met many other useful contacts during the programme.

What did we achieve by working together?

Our product rating in Kesko’s stores has improved significantly, so now you can get our products from hundreds of grocery stores. As a result, our growth increased by 50 per cent after the development programme last year. This year we can expect growth of up to 30%.

What’s next for Järki Särki?

We’ve also had contact from abroad, especially from Japan. Time will tell whether we start to export Järki Särki. We are currently also developing new products from other fish species. Last year we built our own solar panel plant and switched to wind power, so our production is now carbon neutral!

Read the company introduction in Finnish.

Jukka Lepistö, what is your solution for more sustainable everyday life?

Kiks Technologies participated in the development programme with an application that encourages individuals to embrace the sharing economy. With the Goodrnt application, you can lend your occasionally needed goods and get a small compensation for doing so.

What did the programme give you?

It was valuable to get direct and constructive feedback. The programme taught us a lot about experimental culture and the corporate field, which are vital lessons for start-ups. The pace of the development programme was the spark to give us a great start but it did not overwhelm us.

What did we achieve by working together?

During the programme, our idea of ​​a goods rental application was further refined for the development of a mobile platform. YIT, the biggest construction company in Finland, had a need for this too, and we decided to try out co-operation with them. We soon discovered that our solution and their needs meet, and our co-operation continues to be close. Without the programme’s support we wouldn’t have been able to see the wood for the trees.

What’s next for Goodrnt?

Our co-operation with YIT continues and in addition to Goodrnt we also have a constantly developing online store for services. We are interested in global markets as well

Read the company introduction in Finnish.

CEO Paul Nyberg and CMO Santeri Petrell, what is your solution for more sustainable everyday life?

With Share It Global Oy’s consumer-oriented Blox Car service, you can lease your car to others for a fee. This will increase the usage rate of cars considerably, as private cars stand idle for up to 90% of the time.

What did the programme give you?

We liked the concept of the development programme. This was a very useful exercise for us about collaborative experimentation processes, but at the same time experiments were realised on a practical level. We and the online marketplace quickly created synergies and we believe that both learned from each other during the programme.

What did we achieve by working together?

We have doubled our number of users over the last year and Blox Car was awarded the best service supporting sustainable development at Slush in 2018. We gained a permanent partner in and it is currently one of our most important customer acquisition channels.

What next for Blox Car?

During the development programme, we began to refine internationalisation plans. Next, we are launching a crowdfunding campaign to grow business and active recognition as well as accelerate international growth in the Nordic countries and in Europe.

Read the company introduction in Finnish.

Teemu Kivioja, what is your solution for more sustainable everyday life?

App2Day is Tecinspire’s award-winning social calendar for families, sports groups and other communities. With App2Day you can plan events or car pools and organise your events together with your network, which saves you time and effort.

What did the programme give you?

Participating in the programme was very valuable for us. We received coaching and tips covering marketing, customer acquisition and business development.

What did we achieve by working together?

One of the outcomes was a design guide for App2Day. After the programme we landed a partnership deal with YIT, the largest construction company in Finland.

What is App2Day up to next?

Next, we are scaling up to global markets and our goal is to reach 1 million users by the end of 2020.

Read the company introduction in Finnish.

Ilona Mooney, what is your solution for more sustainable everyday life?

Work Ahead wants to add more transparency to global manufacturing chains. Corporations should be able to better demonstrate the durability of their business to support consumers’ purchasing decisions. Responses are given anonymously through our unique software to get the most accurate information on how corporate responsibility is realised in practice.

What did the programme give you?

The development programme can be a big opportunity for a start-up if you get to meet the right people. This worked well for us, and I strongly recommend using this opportunity. The application process was also very smooth and without any unnecessary bureaucracy.

What did we achieve by working together?

A pilot with Paulig that stemmed from the programme was a great experience that has now become a customer relationship. They were able to directly gather experiences with our technology.

What’s ahead for Work Ahead?

Currently we are growing steadily and on our way to global markets – after all, that’s how the manufacturing chains operate, globally. This spring we will continue expanding in the Caribbean and Central America.

Read the company introduction in Finnish.


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