Cajo Technologies from Oulu won first place in Kasvu Open’s Start Again category. The Startup category was won by Finnos Oy from Lappeenranta. Soilfood Oy from Helsinki received special credit in the Start Again category, and Popit Oy from Espoo received special credit in the Startup category.
The winners were selected from among 100 finalists. The finalists were selected out of over 804 companies that submitted their growth plan proposals to Kasvu Open. When selecting the finalists and winners, the judges paid particular attention to business credibility (e.g. revenue model, products/services, customer segments, demand), growth potential (e.g. team composition, attitude, credibility) and market potential (national and international, scalability). The choice was hard, but in the end, the jury was unanimous in its decision. What the winners had in common was that they all have a truly international business.
Cajo Technologiesis a growth company from Oulu, founded in 2010. Cajo Technologies has created a patented, additive-free laser marking solution that provides significant added value to material producers and processors.
“The company has great potential to reach big-name clients. The team is well prepared for its planned international growth. The company’s well-designed technology and effective management help the team achieve its goals,” says Seppo Sneck, the chairman of the jury.
Finnos, a startup company from Lappeenranta, founded in 2016, develops and manufactures log measuring systems which, according to the customers, increase raw material efficiency and improve product quality. The solution utilises X-ray measurement technology to scan logs and optimise the use of timber. Finnos was also one of the Kasvu Open finalists in 2017.
“Finnos has proven that customers are ready to pay for the company’s solution. The company has got off to a flying start after its business acquisition. The product creates great opportunities for international growth and new business models,” says the jury.
In the Start Again category, special credit was given to Soilfood Oy, a growth company from Helsinki, founded in 2015. Soilfood’s solutions help companies optimise the use of industrial and agricultural side streams. The company manufactures recycled fertilisers. Soilfood’s circular economy model has also been very well received by the industry.
“The company’s operations will have a great impact on our soil and environment. It has great market potential, despite the growing competition in the field. With Soilfood’s solutions, industrial waste will solve the global challenge of soil degradation. The company was also commended for its strong scientific proof of the effectiveness of the solutions,” says the jury.
Special credit was also given to Popit Oy, an Espoo-based company founded in 2015. The company has developed a solution that automatically detects and tracks the consumption of medications. The solution consists of an application, cloud service, and a device that can be connected to any sheet of pills The solution automatically detects when pills are taken and alerts the user when they have forgotten to take a pill.
“A contract with a major international company further validates the commercial potential of the solution. The technology is patented, and the product is easily accessible and suitable for various types of blister packs. In addition, the solution is backed by a talented and determined team,” says the jury.
In addition to the above-mentioned companies, the top 10 companies included Nellim Wilderness Hotels & Safarisfrom Ivalo, Notta Systems Oyfrom Seinäjoki, FinMeas Oyfrom Jyväskylä, Brighterwave Oyfrom Tampere, INARI Arctic Cosmetics Oyfrom Kolari and Globe Hope Oyfrom Nummela.
The jury consisted of Seppo Sneck (Largo Capital Oy), Saga Forss (Broadius Partners Oy), Titta Mantila (Finnvera Oyj), Torsti Tenhunen (FIBAN), Jaakko Salminen (Grannenfelt Finance Oy), Anssi Lehikoinen (Rocsole Oy) and Juho Risku (Butterfly Ventures Oy). The secretaries of the jury included Nina Rautiainen and Maria Häkkinen from the Kasvu Open team.
Maria Häkkinen, Business Director, Kasvu Open team, tel. +358 45 130 3751, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kasvu Open offers free-of-charge coaching to growth-oriented small and medium-sized companies and seeks to reward the most promising growth plans. This year, several growth companies across different industries and regions (excluding Åland, Kainuu and North Karelia) participated in the sparring events and received guidance from experts. Kasvu Open has been selected to represent Finland at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In addition, Interreg Europe, a programme that promotes good practices, has recognised Kasvu Open as a ‘good practice’ model for supporting small and medium-sized companies.
Kasvu Open’s partners include Nordea, Finnvera, Technopolis, Varma, If, Team Finland, BusinessJKL, the Regional Council of Central Finland, Grano, the Municipality of Laukaa, the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers, Jyväskylä Fair Ltd, Jyväs-Caravan, Isku and San Francisco Oy.