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Boston Perspectives

Jussi Leponiemi, Key Account Director (ICT) at BusinessOulu, brings us his sixth report from the United States as he participates in the International Visitor Leadership Program.

It’s time for the final pitstop story in my journey through the USA, with a focus on business development and entrepreneurship—this time in Boston, Massachusetts, a knowledge and research hub. The official organizer and host for the Boston meetings was WorldBoston, an organization committed to promoting engagement in international affairs and cooperation with people from all nations and Boston. I extend my gratitude for an excellent agenda that covered activities related to business development from both private and public organizations. As in earlier articles, all individuals mentioned in this story have given their consent to be referenced.

Match the community with the business

Matching the community with businesses proved to be an insightful topic during a particularly valuable meeting with the City of Boston Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion. Mr. James Colimon, Boston’s International Partnership Manager, welcomed us alongside a large team of directors and specialists dedicated to economic development. The discussion shed light on commendable practices aimed at aligning communities with companies in diverse ways. In Boston, for instance, local areas and communities participate in voting or nominating their favorite businesses. The city then rewards the chosen company with a prize, including a small grant, and a nomination as a City of Boston Legacy business—an approach I would love to witness adopted more widely.

The power of Story and Pitch

While in Boston, I attended Chuck Goldstone’s session on pitching, and though there are some references on pitches in this series, I would like to emphasize a key point. Firstly, it’s crucial to show some mercy to ourselves, recognizing that serendipity plays a role in events where we share our ideas with diverse audiences. A practical approach to pitches involves being able to answer three fundamental questions: 1) What do you do? 2) Why does it need to be done? 3) Why should others care? Focusing on these aspects will steer you away from potential pitfalls like being too technical, delving too deeply into details, over-telling, or being too prescriptive about how the solution should be delivered.

Entrepreneurial mindset is the key

The final point I want to highlight is the entrepreneurial mindset—a pervasive theme not only in Boston but throughout my journey. An entrepreneurial mindset encompasses a specific approach to thinking and tackling challenges, a hallmark of successful entrepreneurs. It embodies a set of attitudes, behaviors, and qualities that empower individuals to identify opportunities, take calculated risks, and establish and expand successful ventures.

Entrepreneurs exhibit proactivity and initiative, actively seeking ways to create value, solve problems, and drive positive change instead of passively waiting for opportunities. Given the dynamic nature of the business environment, entrepreneurs must swiftly adapt to changes. An entrepreneurial mindset embraces flexibility and the ability to pivot when necessary. Building and running a business often involve setbacks and failures, but entrepreneurs with a resilient mindset see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth, considering failure as a valuable experience.

Lastly, an integral aspect of this mindset is the customer-centric focus. Successful entrepreneurs understand the significance of meeting customer needs, actively seeking feedback, and adapting their products or services to better serve their target audience.

This text concludes my brief series of insights from this particular perspective on my journey. As mentioned earlier, I will continue sharing insights from this experience through specific perspectives in the future. I am also open to consultations regarding this initiative. 

Thank you!
Jussi Leponiemi

What is the International Leadership Development Program? Read Jussi’s intro blog to learn more.

All of Jussi’s reports from the USA