Buzzing of European business-growth
As a younger man, Jukka Lassila travelled the world. Experience gained from abroad made the dynamic European business atmosphere feel more electrifying than that in Finland, and the ground for startup companies seem more fruitful. This exact dynamic European business culture and positive buzzing Jukka wanted to bring with him to the homely Central Finland.
Every time he returned home he wondered how the European fruitful ground for business-growth could be brought to Finland to refresh the growth and development of our region and its companies. An idea grew in his mind, would this become a pleasant addition to a list of hobbies – or could this be made into actual business?
Jukka, who has explored the ICT-world and the teleoperator-world, found Juha Koskinen, who is experienced in the industry-side of business and was an old friend from other business circles, to share ideas with him. Together the idea grew stronger. Their practical experience and know-how could be offered to other companies – and in exchange for money, too.
Boys became men – and business consultants
In 2005 Venture Development Central Finland was established to stir up the ideas of local entrepreneurs and stakeholders. Vision about a hobby had transformed into a company, and so the consultation business got started. Gradually customers found the door to the office, but from other parts of Finland at first.
Co-operation in Central Finland was launched with local business developers. Slowly also the local companies started to smell the fresh scent of business-growth in the wind. In 2006 Jukka and Juha came up with an idea about starting their own company-incubator operation. In 2008 they also got to expand the operation, becoming the Jyväskylä-area company-incubator provider together with Technopolis Ventures JSP.
Because the business had covered whole Finland since the beginning, the name of the company was changed to Venture Development Finland in 2011. At the same time the number of experts working in the company grew alongside the business.
Hunger grows while you eat, as they say in Finland. In 2014 Jukka bought the company shares from Juha, who focused on growing his other company’s training and coaching business. Jukka had envisioned an image about an internationally operating business development organization.
In 2015 based on the company-incubator operation, Central Finland Growth Accelerator was born in collaboration with the city of Jyväskylä, University of Jyväskylä and JAMK University of Applied Sciences. Expanding the group of experts and the development of international services would also support the acceleration services very well.
Through growth, the company’s ownership layout, and thus knowledge and experience in the administration was decided to be expanded. Seppo Laine and Marko Sorri came along from the consultants.
Business procedures and the development path were now being perfected seriously. There were more consultants and they were all around Finland. Supporting internationalization would best succeed by combining domestic experience and local resources. So, co-operation agreements were made e.g. to Italy, Germany, Sweden and USA. The first office outside of Finland was founded in 2018 in Stockholm under the name Venture Development Nordic.
Through experience to practice
Along the years Venture Development has taken part in many different things – from Jykes incubation services and the beginning of Kasvu Open to the founding of Jyväskylän Yritystehdas and the birth of Growth Accelerator. Through internationalization we can say that our business has returned to its roots.
We have travelled our over 10-year journey together with our customers. We can, and have had to say that the knowledge we teach also applies to us.
“We still do our homework regularly. We have tested what we teach in practice in working life and in our own businesses. We share knowledge that we have proven through experience to be functional not only on paper but also in practice.”
– Jukka Lassila, CEO & partner, Venture Development Finland Ltd.