Mr. Will Cardwell is senior lecturer on venture capital and entrepreneurship at Aalto University Executive Education, and Aalto School of Science (the Aalto Ventures Program). He serves as a mentor in several accelerators, and does some angel investing.
Formerly, Mr. Cardwell co-founded the Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship, and the $21m AppCampus Mobile App Accelerator. He has secured a large grant from Google to support community development around the new datacenter in Hamina Finland, and still manages the program.
Before that, Mr. Cardwell ran Finland's largest Technology Incubator, with over 200 customers large and small around Finland as well as St, Petersburg and Estonia. He has spent 15 years in the Finnish high-tech environment, as CEO of a startup (Valimo Wireless, sold to Gemalto in 2010, 3 years) venture capitalist (Eqvitec Partners, Conor Venture Partners, 7 years), investment banker (Robertson Stephens, 2 years), and researcher and lecturer (Aalto School of Economics, and Aalto University of Technology, 3 years), teaching new venture formation & venture capital at Aalto.
Over the years Mr. Cardwell has coached hundreds of young Finnish entrepreneurs, been on the boards of a number of high tech startups, and spoken at hundreds of events and meet-ups. His current passion is around inspriring and enabling entrepreneurial communities.
Mr. Vladimir Chizhov has held the position of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium since 2010.
Mr. Chizhov graduated with honours from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO - University) and joined diplomatic service in 1976. His prestigious career includes a variety of positions of diplomatic nature in foreign locations, as well as e.g. holding the office of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (2002).
Mr. Chizhov’s research interests include themes such as Russia-EU relations, European security and UN peace-keeping operations to mention a few.
Mr Tuomo Rönkkö is the chairman of the board of several companies, such as Maintpartner Group and Left Shoe Company. He is also the chairman of the board of both Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Society for Viipuri School of Economics and a board member of the Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. Prior to his current positions, he was the CEO of Ahlstrom Machinery and the Eltel Group. He has also served as a board member of the Confederation of Finnish Industries and Service Sector Employers PALTA.
Mr. Tuomo Airaksinen has been the head of Invest in Finland since 2005. Invest in Finland is the National Investment Promotion Agency of Finland. The main mission of the organization is to assist foreign companies in makinf investments in Finland. Previously Mr. Airaksinen was Director of Corporate Finance at Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, in charge of Venture Capital investments in early stage technology companies. He joined Sitra in 1999 from the position of Director and Deputy Managing Director of Nordic Aluminium Plc, a publicly listed company producing value added aluminium products.
Mr. Airaksinen has worked as Industrial Counselor at the Embassy of Finland in London in 1990-1995. Earlier Mr. Airaksinen has worked in electronics and engineering industry in marketing, sales and general management positions in Finland and abroad. Mr. Airaksinen holds M.Sc. degree in Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology.
Dr. Terhi J. Vapola received her D.Sc. degree in International Business from Aalto University. She also holds degrees in Industrial Economics and in Electrical & Electronic Engineering.
Currently, Dr. Vapola is Managing Director of Lureco, a seed capital firm investing in startups linked with LUT. Lureco’s focus areas are green energy & cleantech, sustainable value creation, and Russia. Prior to Lureco, she co-founded UNIQOTEQ, a Red Herring winning internet TV start-up. Earlier on, she has held various director roles at Nokia. Her first startup experience was at Vacon, a leading Finnish cleantech company.
Dr. Shyama V. Ramani is Professor of 'Health, Life Sciences and Development' at Maastricht University (Netherlands) and a Professorial Fellow at UNU-MERIT, United Nations University at Maastricht. Her research focuses on the relationships between technology, innovation and development, drawing upon the evolution of the biotechnology sectors in India and in Europe as illustrative case studies. She is currently studying the role of technology and innovation to attain the millennium development goals, and ensure the provision of essential commodities like food, water, sanitation, energy and medicines to low-income communities. Her EU funded research project MNEmerge investigates multinational enterprises impact on global development challenges.
Dr. Ramani holds a PhD in economics from Cornell University, USA. After the Tsunami of December 2004, she founded the non-profit organization, an action-research unit, 'Friend in Need' in India, to contribute to sanitation coverage in rural India. It is active and supported by the field participation of European and Indian students. She was one of the laureates of the 'Women of the Earth' trophy in 2008 awarded by the Institut de France and the Yves Rocher
Ms. Sari Mannonen holds the position of Director, Business Relations & Marketing for UPM Biofuels based in Helsinki, Finland. Representing and promoting the business she is responsible for defining and leading UPM Biofuels international activities. Her main contact groups are technology suppliers in biofuels sector, investors, reporters, EU and national decision makers, NGOs and financial audiences.
Ms. Mannonen has over 15 years' experience in leading global sales & marketing, customer strategy & business relations as well as business development in different global businesses. She graduated from Helsinki University and holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry.
Philippe Vanrie has, since 1999, been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EBN, the leading pan-European Network bringing together 200+ accredited business and innovation centres (BICs), and technology-based incubators and accelerators across Europe and beyond.
During the past couple of years, Vanrie initiated and headed several partnerships between small business incubation centres and several industry leaders such as the BT Group, Procter & Gamble, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, and Auchan. He conducted pilot schemes in the field of academic spin-offs, clusters, international business cooperation, digital content, satellite and mobile applications, local economic development and technology transfer. Despite a passion for Europe, Philippe has also accumulated experience outside Europe, particularly in Russia, Taiwan, Québec, Brazil, Chile, Singapore and Israel.
Vanrie has been and is still active in EC Experts Groups, such as the “Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3)” Mirror Group (DG Regio), the “Cross-Border Investment for high growth SMEs” expert group (DG Entreprise & Industry), and the Micro-Enterprises and SMEs working group of the ENISA EC Agency (information system security).
Mr Pekka Viljakainen has spent the past 20 years as a liaison between business executives and technology teams. With a background in engineering from the Lappeenranta University of Technology, Viljakainen began his career as an entrepreneur in 1986 by establishing Oy Visual Systems Ltd. In 1998, he joined Tieto through the acquisition of his company. He has been heavily involved in promoting the necessary preparations for a true revolution of services, and the strategic role of digitalisation across Europe, Russia and China. Starting from 1 November 2010, Viljakainen made the decision to step down from his operational roles. As of 2012, he has been an Advisor for the Skolkovo Foundation, Russia.
Mr. Paavo Ritala, D.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.) is a Professor of strategy and innovation at the School of Business at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). He is also the Academic Director of Master’s Programme in Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability (MSIS) at LUT School of Business. His research interests are in the areas of sustainable value creation, innovation, inter-organizational networks, coopetition, and business models. He has published over 100 research papers on these topics, including academic journals such as Journal of Product Innovation Management, Industrial Marketing Management, British Journal of Management & Technovation. He is also involved in business practice with regard to these topics through company-funded research projects, executive and professional education programs, and in speaker and advisory roles.
Mr Olli Rehn has been a member of the European Commission since 2004. During the mandate period of the first Barroso Commission, he was the Commissioner responsible for Enlargement (Nov 2004 – Feb 2010). Since February 2010, Mr Rehn is responsible for the Economic and Monetary Affairs, and since 2011 he is also the Vice President of the Commission.
Prior to his positions in the European Commission, Mr Rehn acted as e.g. the Economic Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister of Finland (2003-2004), and as a Professor and Director of Research at the University of Helsinki (2002-2003). Mr Rehn has also been an elected member of both the Parliament in Finland (1991-1994), and the European Parliament (1995-1996).
Mr Rehn has a Master’s degree in Soc. Sc. in political science from the University of Helsinki (1989), and in 1996 he earned the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in international political economy from the University of Oxford.
Mr. Micah Gland is the CEO of Helsinki Business Hub, the investment promotion agency for greater Helsinki, Finland. Together with his team, he aims to make Helsinki region one of the top five locations in Europe for foreign investments by the year 2020.
Mr. Gland has worked for the company since 2006: first as business development director, later as director of operations and since 2002 as the CEO. His background is in the private sector: he was a partner at Mobile-Zoom Ltd and worked as Knowledge Manager at OpenMobile Ltd before entering the field of investment promotion.
Mr. Martin Junginger is Associate Professor at the Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University, and leader of IEA Bioenergy Task 40 on Sustainable International Bioenergy Trade (www.bioenergytrade.org). His research interests cover biomass potentials, trade, logistic chains and related cost and GHG and Carbon balances, and sustainable biomass production in general, and lectures frequently on these topics. He is main editor of the book "International Bioenergy Trade: History, status & outlook on securing sustainable bioenergy supply, demand and markets" published in autumn 2013 by Springer.
Dr. Mari Pantsar-Kallio is leading the resource-wise and carbon-neutral society theme at Finnish innovation Fund, Sitra. In 2012-2013 she lead Finnish government’s strategic programme of cleantech business and earlier she has worked as the director of Finnish Cleantech Cluster and manager of environmental affairs at UPM. Dr. Pantsar-Kallio has a position as an adjunct professor at Lappeenranta University of Technology and she has been a board member of several cleantech growth companies and venture capital organizations.
Mr. Lassi Noponen (LL.M., MBA) is one of the first Finnish professionals active as an investor in cleantech in the turn of the millenium. He is the co-founder and CEO (2000-2006) of clean tech investment company Proventia Group Oy. Proventia has been active in wind power, electronics recycling, waste management, water and exhaust gas purification as well as sustainability management information systems.
Through Proventia Mr. Noponen was also the first external investor to Winwind Oy Ltd, a supplier of multi megawatt class wind turbines operating in Finland and in India. During 2000 - 2009 Mr Noponen served as a board member, deputy chairman and as the chairman of the board of Winwind Ltd. As the chairman he managed the original investors exit to an Indian buyer and subsequently a 120m€ equity fund raising from Abu Dhabi. In 2009 this was the largest clean tech deal in Scandinavia and Mr. Noponen was recognized by Cleantech Scandinavia Award and appointed to the Cleantech Scandinavia Hall of Fame.
Mr. Noponen is a steering group member in the Green Growth program of TEKES – The Finnish Agency for Technology and Innovation and was a steering group member in the SITRA - The Finnish Innovation Fund clean tech project, crafting a national cleantech strategy for Finland. All together he has 10 years of experience in the business connected with renewable energy and environmental technology. He has exceptional experience on venture life cycle management in clean tech industry as well as international business experience. He has previously acted also as M&A partner at Evli Corporate Finance and held different management positions at Neste Corporation, at that time Finland’s largest company.
Mr. Lars Peter Lindfors, Ph.D. (Tech.), MBA, joined Neste Oil in 2007. He is responsible for Research & Development, ICT, Procurement, Investment management and Neste Jacobs. Previously he served as Senior Vice President, Technology and Strategy (2009–2012) and as Vice President for the company's Research and Development unit (2007–2009). Lars Peter Lindfors was Executive Vice President, Renewal, Technology and Development at the Perstorp Group (2001–2007). Prior to that he held several managerial positions at Neste (1989–2001), both within the Oil & Gas and the Chemicals division. In 2013 Lars Peter Lindfors received the ‘Energy Initiative of the Year Award’ (by Tekniikka&Talous) and in 2014 he was recognized with the ‘ 2014 CTO of the Year award’ (by the Technology Academy Finland, SITRA and Spinverse).
Kimmo Jarva has been the mayor of Lappeenranta since December 2011. Previously, a mayor of Vihti in Uusimaa, Mr. Jarva has 16 years of experience in the civic sector in a governing capacity in seven different municipalities. A native of Tampere, he holds an MA degree in administration and speaks English, German and Swedish in addition to Finnish. Mr. Jarva sees the collaboration with trade and industry, as well as schools and universities, as one of the city's most important development resources in addition to the International relations. Mr. Jarva is the foremost in creating a supportive environment for global co-operation and networking.
Mr. Keith Silverang has been the CEO of Technopolis Plc since 2008. Prior to his current position, he had worked in the company for several years as e.g. the Director of Technopolis’ Helsinki Metropolitan Area operations.
Mr. Silverang, born and raised in New Jersey, USA, took a BA at Boston University in 1983. He entered the Finnish business life after completing an MBA degree on international business at the Helsinki School of Economics in the late 1980’s. After a few years as e.g. Export Manager at one of the Hackman Groups divisions, he concentrated full time on his own company, Internationalization Consultiong Services Ltd (ICS Ltd).
After turning his company from a consulting company to one of Finland’s first eLearning companies, Mr. Silverang sold the company to AAC Global Oy in 1999. He stayed at AAC holding several key positions, and helped e.g. Technopolis with its internationalisation until joining the company in 2004.
Mr. Kari Herlevi is currently responsible for the Resource efficient economy area in Tekes. He leads the Green Growth – Towards a sustainable future -program which aims to identify potential new growth areas for the sustainable economy business, which are essentially based on lower energy consumption and sustainable use of natural resources. The program’s focus areas are energy and material efficient products and services, bioeconomy and biomaterials, recycling, recovery of raw materials, waste treatment, business models, service concepts and comprehensive solutions. The program will support the generation of new innovations especially on boundaries between sectors, as future sustainable economy solutions will not be defined by traditional sectoral divisions.
Prior to his current position, mr. Herlevi lead the Vigo accelerator program in Tekes and supported Tekes management. He has also worked in Tekes Silicon Valley office for couple of years and his special interest is fast growing cleantech firms and developing countries like BRIC
Mr Jyri Häkämies serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) since November 2012. Prior to his current position he has served in the Finnish Government as the Minister of Economic Affairs, Minister of Defense and as the Minister in charge of Ownership Steering at Prime minister’s office. Mr Häkämies has been a member of the Finnish Parliament since 1999.
mr Häkämies holds a Masters degree in Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, in the field of political science. Before entering the politics, he worked as the CEO of the Kymenlaakso chambers of commerce.
Mr. Juha Varis is a professor of Production Engineering at LUT, and he also heads the institute of Mechanical Engineering at the university. Mr. Varis holds a Dr. Tech (Eng.) degree from LUT.
Professor Varis, born in 1964, has been co-operating with the Finnish metal industry since 1988, and he has been acting as a professor since 1999. His knowledge and skills can be summarized for DFM (Design for Manufacturing) related to mechanical joining methods, sheet and plate metal fabricating, metal cutting processes, cardboard post-processing, and reusing methods for wastes. Professor Varis has listed over 300 publications including 7 patents, he has evaluated 200 thesis for master’s degree, and two for doctor’s degree. He is working as an expert member of many companies and organizations.
Mr Jouni Keronen’s career started as a researcher at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland after he graduated Master of Science in Technology. Jouni Keronen joined Imatran Voima in 1990 and there he worked in managerial duties in sales, marketing and research and development until Fortum Corporation was established. In Fortum Corporation, Keronen has worked as CIO and as Vice President in innovation development. He has also worked three years in the Stanford Research Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute in the United States. He is a docent at Lappeenranta University of Technology. In addition to the degree of Master of Science in Technology, Keronen also has a Ph.D. and MBA degree. In 2008, Jouni Keronen was elected CIO of the year and in 2011 Influencer of the Year in the energy sector in Finland.
Mr Ilkka Pöyhönen is the Rector of Lappeenranta University of Technology. Earlier Mr Pöyhönen has held positions as the Vice-Rector for Education at LUT and Professor of Mechanical Engineering since 1996. Mr Pöyhönen’s degrees include Master of Science (Tech.) and Doctor of Science (Tech.). He has had a long career in leading managerial positions: Managing Director, Finnish Sawmills, Assistant Director, Central Association of Finnish Forest Industry, Director, Finnish Forest Industry Federation, and Cluster Coordinator of the EU TRA on Environmentally Friendly Construction Technologies (TRA-EFCT).
Mr Esa Härmälä was born in 1954 and he obtained his M.Sc. (Agriculture) degree from the University of Helsinki. He started as Director General for Energy in the Ministry of Employment and the Economy at the beginning of 2011. From 2006 to 2010, he served as Director General of Fertilizers Europe, a trade association of European fertilizer manufacturers, in Brussels. In 1994-2006, he was President of the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners of Finland (MTK). From 1991 to 1994, he was first the Economic Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Esko Aho and then a member of the Finnish negotiation team for EU accession.
Mr. Christian Breyer, PhD (Tech), is professor for Solar Economy at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). His major expertise is the integrated research of technological and economic characteristics of renewable energy systems specialising in hybrid energy solutions, energy system modeling and 100 % renewable energy scenarios on a local but also global scale.
Mr Breyer has been the managing director of the Reiner Lemoine Institute located in Berlin and worked previously several years for photovoltaic (PV) company Q-Cells. He is a member of international working groups like EU PV Technology Platform, IEA-PVPS Task 8, a member of the scientific committee of the EU Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and a founding member of DESERTEC Foundation. He has authored and co-authored about 60 scientific publications in the field of energy system analyses.
Mr Antti Peltomäki is Deputy Director-General of the Enterprise and Industry Directorate- General since February 2012. In this function, Mr. Peltomäki is responsible for regulatory policy including internal market and standardisation, sustainable growth and EU 2020, which includes e.g. industrial innovation.
Before his current position, Mr Peltomäki was Deputy Director-General in the Information Society and Media Directorate General, and he has also headed the Commission's representation in Helsinki.
Prior to joining the Commission in 2006, Mr Peltomäki worked for almost ten years in the office of the Prime Minister of Finland, initially as State Under-Secretary, then State Secretary for EU affairs.
A lawyer by training, Mr Peltomäki has also worked in the Brussels office of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), in the international office of the National Coalition Party, and at the Helsinki University of Technology.
Mr. Anssi Vanjoki, M.Sc. (Econ.) joined Nokia in 1991 and served as an Executive Vice President and General Manager of Multimedia. He served as a Group Executive Board Member of Nokia Corporation since 1998, as well. August 2013 Mr. Vanjoki started as a Professor of Practice in Lappeenranta University of Technology, where he shares actual knowledge to develop education, builds networks to economic life and strengthens university’s societal relationships. Mr. Vanjoki holds a Master of Science in Economics from Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. Also, he holds Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the same school.
Ms Anne Brunila has a wide experience as an economist in several key positions in the private and public sectors. Ms Brunila has previously served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Strategy and Member of the Management Team of Fortum (2009-2012). Prior to Fortum, she was the President and CEO of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation (2006-2009). In the Finnish Ministry of Finance she served as the Director General (2003-2005) and she has held several advisory and executive positions in the Bank of Finland (1992-2000) and the European Commission 2000-2002.
Ms Brunila holds a degree of Doctor of Science (Econ.) from the Helsinki School of Economics, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lappeenranta University of Technology in 2008.
Mr. Allan Alaküla has worked in Tallinn EU Office ever since 2007. Since 2012, he also chairs the supervisory board of Tallinn Television.
During his first working decade, Mr. Alaküla held different positions in Estonian newspapers Postimees, Sõnumileht and Kesknädal as editorial writer, political columnist and editor in chief. Later on he moved to Tallinn City administration to lead municipal public relations. Apart of general external communication of Tallinn he is involved closely into development and promotion of municipal e-services and free public transport issues.
Mr. Alaküla has graduated from Tartu University history department (1993), refreshed in Birmingham University on political science (1996) and in Indian Institute of Mass Communication on media (2000).