Right from the beginning the intra- and entrepreneurship were pretty clear choices as the main focus for the project because they have become significant subjects to Finnish economy only in few years. This can be seen many ways in Finland. The amount of startup companies has increased significantly. Slush event is gathering record number of investors and startups around the word to Helsinki and the low level non-profit entrepreneurial activity in Finland is the most active in the whole world.* We, students, have founded nearly 20 Entrepreneurship Societies around Finland, we have build the largest venturing event in Europe and send over 100 students to the best startups in the world in Silicon Valley. All of this only in the past five years. (* Creating university-based entrepreneurial ecosystems evidence from emerging world leaders, Dr Ruth Graham June 2014, MIT Skoltech Initiative)
On January we had our first meeting with the whole team where we divided our responsibilities. That was the moment when the magic started to happen and 18 Prodeko students started working! Suddenly we had bunch of visits to big companies, startups, universities, local accelerators, a course to prepare us for the trip and interesting cases to work on. This whole journey of Prodeko USA project has been an eye opening experience for the whole project team. We have learned about the differences between Finnish and American working and corporation cultures, how development is done in small startups as well as in big organisations. One big learning has also been that how much the market size matters in the growing opportunities. We have visited the worlds biggest and most influential companies as well as the fast growing small bootstrap startups. These experiences made this journey priceless.
I want to thank Microsoft, Finnair, Nokia, McKinsey & Company and our other partners who made this all possible. It has been wonderful journey and learning experience for all of us and all the partners were part of this experience. Last but definitely not the least I want to thank the whole Prodeko USA team! Lauri, Mikko, Joona, Auri, Tony, Valtteri, Lotta, Jyri, Simo, Aleksi, Andreas, Pyry, Laura, Ville, Mikael, Marianne, Samuli ja Anna it has really been a pleasure to work with you all during this project!