Finland’s CTOs of the Year 2019: Sauli Eloranta of Rolls-Royce Marine and Ilkka Varjos of Canatu12 Mar 2019
2019 CTO's of the year have been chosen by a jury of Finnish technology influencers....
Innovation Mill commercializes large corporation’s unused innovations that are not within the core of their corporate strategy. The accelerator started as cooperation between Nokia, Tekes and Technopolis and during the four years of operation it has created 74 new companies and 650 new jobs.
The timing for starting the Innovation Mill was successful. The accelerator started in 2009 when Nokia gave away some of the research results it didn’t continue to develop itself to be freely developed by others. Technopolis managed the accelerator and Tekes provided the funding. Restructuring in Nokia gave an opportunity for the entrepreneurial minded people to develop their ideas further and create new startups.
“Compared to commercialization done by universities, Innovation Mill has succeeded well and has created dozens of new startups with relatively small amount of money”, estimates Raine Hermans, Director, Strategic Intelligence from Tekes in Tekniikka & Talous.
Spinverse acquired Innovation Mill in September from Open Innovation Management. Spinverse is planning to bring new funding instruments available to startups in Innovation Mill.
“Our target is to create 30 new startups next year”, says Pekka Koponen, CEO of Spinverse.
The Innovation Mill -service was evaluated by professors Petri Ahokangas and Veikko Seppänen from University of Oulu. According to comments of the evaluators in Kauppalehti, the service should be attached to a large ecosystem. This ecosystem and national testbed comprised of corporations, research organizations, users and investors could help defining the needs and enable the offering of comprehensive solutions to customers in the international markets. The only criticism the professors find in the concept is that outsiders can’t access the ideas easily.
Pekka Koponen thinks the criticism is partly too academic. “Large corporations don’t want to make all their development work public and especially things they are parting with. They need a trusted partner to help them with this.”