European growth buzzing
As a younger, Jukka Lassilan went abroad to travel. Based on the experience gained there, the European business atmosphere in Jukka felt more electronic than at home in Finland and the soil more fertile for growth companies. Jukka wanted to bring the same lively business culture and positive buzz to his native Central Finland!
Whenever he returned to his home corners, he wondered how the soil of European smooth growth could be brought to Finland to refresh the growth and development of our companies and the region. The idea came to mind if this would make a nice addition to the list of hobbies - or could the job be the right business?
Jukka, who has been in the world of ICT and telecom operators, found Juha Koskinen, who was already an old acquaintance in business circles, to share his thoughts on the industrial side. Together, the idea was strengthened that practical experience and accumulated know-how could be offered to other entrepreneurs - and for money.
The boys grew into men - and management consultants
In 2005, Central Finland Business Development was founded to sweep the world of ideas of local entrepreneurs and stakeholders. The vision of the hobby had changed into a business and so the consulting business started. Customers slowly found the office door, but first from elsewhere in Finland.
In Central Finland, co-operation was initiated with local development actors. Gradually, companies in their own area also smelled the scent of green growth in the wind. As early as 2006, Jukka and Juha got the idea to start their own business incubator operations. In 2008, operations were expanded as a provider of incubator services for the Jyväskylä Region Development Company together with Technopolis Ventures JSP.
As the operations had covered the whole of Finland from the very beginning, it was decided to change the company's name in 2011 to Suomen Yrityskehitys Oy. At the same time, the number of experts increased with the business.
Hunger increases when you eat, as they say. In 2014, Jukka acquired the company's share capital from Juha, which focused on growing its other company's training and coaching business. Jukka had developed a vision of an internationally operating business development organization.
On the basis of the 2015 incubator operations, the Central Finland Growth Accelerator was established in co-operation with the University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences and the City of Jyväskylä. Expanding the pool of experts and developing internationalization services would also provide excellent support for accelerator operations.
With the growth, it was decided to expand the ownership base and thus the wisdom and experience in the management of the company. Seppo Laine and Marko Sorri from the consulting board joined.
We started to hone our operating methods and business development path in earnest. There had been more consultants and they were all over Finland. Supporting internationalization would be best achieved by combining domestic expertise and local resources. Thus, co-operation agreements were made e.g. Italy, Germany, Sweden and the United States. The first own office outside Finland was established in 2018 in Stockholm under the name Venture Development Nordic.
Through experience to practice
Over the years, Business Development has been involved in many things - from Jykes' incubator service operations and the early days of the Growth Open to the establishment of the Jyväskylä Enterprise Factory and the creation of the Central Finland Growth Accelerator. Through internationalization, our operations can be said to have returned to their roots.
We have been on our journey of more than 10 years with our clients, and have been able to find that the wisdom we have taught applies to ourselves as well.
“We still do homework on a regular basis. We have tested the practices we teach in practice in working life or in our own companies. We share wisdom with our customers, which we have found through experience to work in practice. ”
- Jukka Lassila, CEO & Partner, Suomen Yrityskehitys Oy