I founded my first company before I even started my university studies. In 2015, I joined the student entrepreneurship community Aalto Entrepreneurship Society (Aaltoes) with the aim of finding people who would be excited to develop my business with me at the time. In the process, I fell in love with the community, the people in it and their way of thinking. Instead of focusing on the company, I decided to join Aaltoes to develop ways for other young entrepreneurs like me to get started more effectively. From this process, the entrepreneurial accelerator Kiuas was born. Through Aaltoes and Kiuas, I also found my own company partners, and after many projects as well as twists and turns, in 2019 we founded a health technology company, Veri.
Entrepreneurship has always seemed like a very natural option for me. My father is an entrepreneur and ever since my childhood, I have almost avoided conventional work and acquired an extra source of income independently. As a young man, I played football passionately, but after getting injured, I wanted to direct that same motivation and intensity towards something else. After losing my own health, studying medicine seemed natural, but I was always slowed down by the fact that I wanted something more scalable. I was mostly interested in the intersection of medicine and technology, and I finally came back to that idea in 2018 when we started conceptualising Veri with my co-founder, Verneri Jäämuru.
Entrepreneurship strongly includes incompleteness.
Entrepreneurship strongly includes incompleteness. You must be fine with the fact that even if a product or service is still unfinished, you must dare introduce it to the market and look for feedback. I come from a Finnish-Nigerian family, from a relatively modest background, which makes me feel privileged to be an entrepreneur in a certain way. I have nothing to lose, I can bet everything I have without worrying too much about what others think.
The people you work with are at the centre of everything.
Growth entrepreneurs often idolise visionary leaders who sleep in the office and live on noodles, the so-called 24/7 entrepreneurs. Personally, I think the people you work with are at the centre of everything. The ideas are indifferent. With a good team, you can build impactful products again and again.
In the end, you won’t remember anything about your life other than who you shared and built everything with. Recently, I learned that the best companies and cultures are the ones that have a high ability for empathy. Without it, it is hard to build anything truly lovable.