Quickly around right negotiations tables

Kasvun Roihu’s effective counteraction towards the cost cuts in public internationalization services
Press release 26.10.2017

Within one year, Kasvun Roihu Oy, one of the founders of the Kasvu Open program, has taken over 40 Finnish growth companies to the Chinese and US markets with the help of an operational model based on the support of a diversified and high-level partner network. In this productive operational model, experts from public and private sectors spar the growth companies that are selected for the program through an application process. Kasvun Roihu decided to take action due to the recent, heavy cost cuts in the public internationalization services which limit the companies’ ability to enter international markets. The idea is to gather sparring teams that consist of experts from different fields and who have influential networks in the target country.

Kasvun Roihu invests heavily in increasing its network. The international partners are ready to invest in finding Finnish growth companies to add to their network. The partners include, among others, Techcode, a Chinese business accelerator focused on start-up companies. Kasvun Roihu’s partner network also includes Nasdaq, a stock exchange expert operating in the United States, specialized in the listing and trading of technology company stocks.

Chinese business giant’s investor network wide open

Kasvun Roihu’s latest partner is the world’s largest home appliance manufacturer Haier Group, who is looking for innovative products and cutting-edge technology from all over the world. The company has set up a growth fund for all of today’s ”hot industries”, including health technology, intelligent transport, artificial intelligence and cleantech. With the agreement, the companies selected for Kasvun Roihu’s Grow to Market programs will have access to Haier’s investor and reseller network.

“With our help, Finnish growth companies can expand their business to China more easily and faster. In turn, cooperation gives us the opportunity to explore the most interesting Finnish companies and discover new innovations,” says Amber Yu, Haier HCH’s Overseas Business Director.

“Through Kasvun Roihu, we can get involved in the ecosystem of Finnish growth companies. Cooperation works both ways: we hope to help as many Finnish companies as possible to enter the Chinese market and as many Chinese companies as possible to enter the Finnish market,” Yu adds.

Together in high spirits

The Grow to Market programs include joint workshops for companies and partners and a one-week networking trip to the target country. The trips are carefully planned and meetings have been booked for companies to meet with potential partners. The program is built around the actual needs of the growth companies and communality as well as high spirits are emphasized in the program activities. Five years of experience from Kasvu Open and profound familiarity with the companies’ challenges of internationalization has provided Kasvun Roihu with unparalleled knowledge on which the model is based on.

“We do not make companies wonder around in fairs; we take them directly to actual, high-level negotiating tables. This is made possible through our partner network, which includes top actors in the fields of finance and jurisprudence, among others. We select as our partners only the best actors in the field who are committed and experienced and already have networks in the target country. This way, the value of the network increases like compound interest,” says Matti Härkönen, the CEO of Kasvun Roihu.

Rewarded curiosity

Oviku Oy, a smart lock company aiming to enter the Chinese and US markets, has participated in the Grow to China program, with good results. CEO Tomi Ek admits, however, that they were somewhat skeptical at first.

“We had not really considered China as the target market, but that changed quickly. We have grasped the potential of the Chinese market in a whole new way. We found ourselves around the right negotiating tables much faster than we would have on our own. We are now negotiating cooperation with major actors. Along the way, we have also attracted a group of investors from Finland to our company,” Ek tells.

Ek encourages companies to follow the example of small children who are constantly learning through their endless curiosity. Ek believes that curiosity is the most important quality for a growth-oriented company.

“I encourage companies to look fearlessly under every rock, since often the best things are discovered partly by chance,” Ek says.

Petri Palviainen, the Head of Advisory Service in the globally operating audit community Crowe Horwath Finland and a partner in several Grow to Market programs, acknowledges the functionality of the model as well.

“This model has proven to be very productive. The companies’ learning curve is incredible, given the brevity of the project,” says Palviainen.


Application process for the Grow to China program starts

Next spring, Kasvun Roihu will once again take 15 interesting companies to China. The application process for the Grow to China program starts in Jyväskylä, in the Kasvu Open Carnival on October 26, 2017.

The Grow to Market program is intended to be easily accessible.  Companies are not required to have a great amount of resources and the duration of the project is kept short. Two selected companies will get to participate for free, and others will pay a fairly reasonable participation fee.

“The goal is to give the companies a chance to get quick answers to all the essential questions and to test their internationalization plans in practice. The company does not have to be far along in its internationalization process, but enthusiasm and motivation are definitely required,” Härkönen says.


More information:

Kasvun Roihu Oy
Matti Härkönen, CEO
+358 40 578 2688