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GlobalTech Seminar Preview – Unlocking Global Value Chains

Everyone here at ICTOulu is looking forward to our GlobalTech Seminar on Thursday 21st March. We are very excited to bring you a diverse program full of insights, resources, and advice around the theme of international business development.

This piece will expand on what to expect from the afternoon, but we first want to start with a question.

Why are we hosting GlobalTech?

Our aim is to prepare SMEs to put themselves in the best possible position for success, even in an economic landscape that is showing signs of fluctuation and variance. One glance at the markets on a general level at this moment would certainly make you feel as if there are more obstacles for startups and entrepreneurs to overcome than before. Finland is currently in a national recession and investors are becoming more refined in their funding decision-making criteria.

At the same time, this doesn’t mean that expanding one’s operations globally is suddenly a ‘mission impossible’ scenario. The truth is that there is still plenty of demand for solutions across the globe, which in turns give Oulu-based enterprises a chance to enter significant value chains. After all, venture capital funds and business angels will always be looking for that singular cutting-edge innovation to back.

Global success stories from Oulu

There are still opportunities for SMEs to achieve their internationalisation goals. In the long-term, we are seeing a rising demand for all kinds of ICT solutions in areas such as cyber security, AI, digitalisation of healthcare systems and so on.

But, in the here and now, there are plenty of local success stories and we will be hearing a couple of case studies at the GlobalTech Seminar from Oulu-based enterprises. Sandun Dasanayake (Co-Founder and CEO of Q4US) will discuss his company’s route towards working with building component manufacturers and their suppliers in the US construction industry, whilst Aki Määttä (Head of Marketing and Business Development from Cooliblade) will also share his own journey, with a particular emphasis on how he and his team managed to unlock markets in Germany.

Finding local support

If you are an SME that could do with some assistance with finding markets to sell your solutions overseas, there is no shortage of help and resources to be utilised. As well as what we offer at BusinessOulu, there are a range of organisations that can provide support in the form of grants under the provision that they are used explicitly for taking your product or solution into new territories. Not only that, but they can also share practical advice and guidance courtesy of experienced and knowledgeable experts.

One example is ELY-Keskus Pohjois-Pohjanmaa (or the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in North Ostrobothnia, to give it its English name). From this public body, we will be welcoming Sari Turtiainen, (Business Specialist) who will shine a light on what services are available right now for companies looking to expand.

The value in sustainability

One prominent underlying theme that is playing a role in investments right now is sustainability. There is no denying that a dramatic increase in the efforts by companies of all sizes to be economically responsible is necessary. Furthermore, if investors are prioritising green credentials more thoroughly in their funding decisions, the ability to have an environmentally-friendly solution and/or an ethos to operate responsibly is becoming increasingly important.

It can be very difficult to know where to begin but, once initial steps have been implemented, there are substantial benefits to adopting greener methodologies. Tanja Råman from TaikaBox will be delivering an eye-opening presentation on how they have changed some of their processes to develop a model of working that aims to reduce their own omissions, the challenges that arose from this project, and the opportunities available to all kinds of businesses through being sustainable.

Presenting your business to the world

Whilst everyone’s roadmap towards global markets will look different, a common truth is that getting your name out there at trade fairs and exhibitions is an important step in finding success. In regards to spreading the good word about your product/service to new audiences, this is one of the most key components of the entire selling process.

With the right amount of planning and preparation, as well as co-operation, these experiences can be enormously beneficial for startups and scaleups, even for those operating on tight budgets. We’re delighted that Ronja Brown, Project & Business Development Manager at Wulff Entre, will be able to share practical strategies and proven tactics on how SMEs can leverage B2B these events to their advantage and maximize their impact.

This event is part of the BOIM-JoinGlobal project. For more details please contact

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