InnoStart 2019

The yearly event of InnoStart has been conducting again in year 2019, the event was held in OUAS Teuvo Pakkalan Katu Campus, 26 November 2019. InnoStart is a mandatory activity for the first year Business Students of OUAS, nevertheless if you are an International Business Students or Finnish Business Degree Students.

This year, there are 4 companies who participate in the event: Valossa, Kaleva Media, Boliden and Saint Gobain. Students are divided into different groups with different assignments according to company’s requirement.

The purposes of InnoStart 2019 event for students are: increase the creativity and community level while practicing the innovation and developing business instincts and will result in an innovation into a novel business models/ products/ services for the commissioner.

The event is started with a talk from each company representative explaining about company’s background. Then a task is given for the students. Students were divided into small groups and discussing their ideas for the task. The developed Idea will then be presented to all the groups for selecting the semifinalist. Commissioner companies will pick up the best ideas from the finalists. The InnoStart event will be ended with an award ceremony for the winner.

Kaleva Media

Patrik Kortet from Kaleva Media


Kaleva Media is 120 years old media company with multiple media brands. Kaleva Media has been expanding to digital media with company mergers.  Digital media is about content creation and user experience.

Title of Kaleva Media’s assignment for students is “your newsmedia”. The task is to think “What kind of news media you would consume now and in the future?”. This comprehensive task contains the need to think of “How you, as a young adult, would consume media with local news?” and “What would drive you to become Kaleva Media’s customer?”.  Interesting viewpoint would be how to cover the local news and what media should be used (audio, video, podcast or something else).

When evaluating the best idea(s) Kaleva Media will use the criteria areas in the usability in business, competitive advantage, the spirit of innovation and customer orientation with young adults as a target group.  Optional more challenging thing is to consider how to change the business model from free content (advertisement based) to subscription or pay for content based.

Kaleva Media will give winners prizes. Lastly the students are encouraged to think outside the box and value the spirit of innovation.


Interview of Kaleva Media representatives Simo Rontti and Patrik Kortet

Left: Simo Rontti, Service Designer

Right: Patrik Kortet, Account and development manager (B2B)


Why Kaleva Media participated to InnoStart?”

Simo Rontti:

“We have been doing collaboration, for continuously seeking new ideas with our product development. We want to build relationships with Universities and other schools. For example, in Dash Lapland Hackathon students generated new and creative ideas in Rovaniemi, University of Lapland on how to utilize Arctic brand capital as global media. Transformation from printed newspaper seller into digital media house is needed since the printed media has been declining in the past 10 – 15 years. There is a demand to develop new services for digital business. The big trends are the holistic advertisement solutions, content marketing and utilizing data gathered from different sources (for example CRM or web site) which is also analyzed by the Artificial Intelligence”.

“Printed media is not dead yet. In US the trend is that paper newspaper is even the new trend. Printed newspaper can be seen as a luxury product in some contexts.”

“Millennial generation is used to that news from social media channels are used for collecting their daily life of news. What would the millennials be willing and able to pay?  User experience is extremely important and contents is the king in the digital media world”.

Patrik Kortet:

“Kaleva Medias value is in reliability and strength is the brand’s integrity, free from alternative news and fake media. Arctic point of view is being thought as a platform for content. The arctic news, tourism and global warming would be the center of this platform.”

“Practice of printed media news world where the magazine cut off time for submitting news content is at 11 pm, then the paper goes for printing. Nowadays the content is first published in digital format and after that the information goes to paper version with deeper information and background information”


“Are you using this event as a way to see in the future through the eyes of young adults with media consumption?”

Simo Rontti:

“That’s one benefit of participating in these events. Young people do not have restrictions and can think of outside the box. At Kaleva Media, one of our values is “achieving together” is that the more brains think together the more wild ideas and creativity are harnessed. These events have good chances to find nuggets of gold. The more you cover the ground then the higher is the probability of finding gold. This analogue of gold digging can be used for events like InnoStart.”



All the information about Valossa is obtained from their site and presentation.

One of the participating companies is Valossa – a company that offers video intelligence and recognition platform. It is a world-leading technology platform and offers several services in video recognition. The vision of the company is to develop an Artificial Intelligence that understands video like a human does.

Otso Kassinen was presenting the company in the event. He works as a Chief Architect at Valossa. After the presentation we had a quick interview with him to ask his opinions and thoughts about the event. We asked Otso what Valossa is looking for at the InnoStart and how he feels about participating the event. He told us that Valossa is searching for new ways to use their AI technology, and he feels that InnoStart is a great place to find new innovations and interested to find most clever students. Otso told us that if they would find someone with really good ideas, they might be interested to offer them an internship or a job position. Also, Valossa is offering a little reward for the best ideas that are presented in Innostart event.

For the InnoStart event the students had to come up with a business idea for Valossa. Valossa is looking for cases that:

  • Add value of the customer
  • Have an unique selling point
  • Is not ruined by the fact that the AI makes mistakes
  • Exploit the existing capabilities
  • Are well illustrated
  • Also cost saving or revenue increasing for customer
  • Be ethical


Students opinion

We also interviewed a group of students working on the Valossa case. In general, they think the InnoStart event is a good way to practise what they have learned this year. Also, they think the companies are very interesting. Valossa is a difficult company for them though. The AI is a new concept for them, the students felt like they didn’t have enough knowledge about it beforehand. But after some research they came up with a solution and started to illustrate it.

In the beginning there was a language barrier because their group is a combination of international and Finnish students. But after working together and getting to know each other the groupwork progressed and the language barrier was solved. Overall, the students liked the InnoStart event and felt like they learned a lot during the event.

Group of students working on their case



Hua Chen, Matias Lakkapää, Fanny Fanny, Manon Reijbroek, Antti Koiranen

About the authors

We are second-year students in DIB-program and as an assignment for Corporate Communications-course we are doing a blog post of Innostart 2019 event to OUAS “Liikkeessä”-blog.

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