Northern Stars Seminar “Creative Entrepreneurship in the Arctic” 5.4.2017

InnoBarentsLab (IBL) hosted the annual international Northern Stars Seminar on April 5th at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Rantavitikka Campus. This seminar is inclusive part of our Winter School.

InnoBarentsLab is an active student union in Lapland UAS, which promotes entrepreneurship in the Barents Region by developing and supporting new innovative ideas and business services. Students of the Arctic Business Winter School also participated to the seminar to complete the course. Northern Stars Seminar is for students, existing or aspiring entrepreneurs and anyone interested to hear about innovative business opportunities & creative entrepreneurship in the Arctic!

Many people are dreaming of starting their own business, but the actual entrepreneurial career may be a big mystery. Already during studies, it is important to get a realistic peek into the successes and failures of real-life business-doers. During the Northern Stars Seminar day, we learned about innovations and fresh business solutions that are implemented and in use in the Arctic Region. The seminar also proves that one does not have to leave Arctic area to become an entrepreneur; there is many opportunities in the north as well!

The seminar started with opening speech by Ms. Kaisa Lammi, Head of Degree Programme in Rovaniemi and continued with Mikå Mered, who wanted to remind the audience why entrepreneurship in the Arctic matters. He was also hosting the event. Mikå is Arctic/Antarctic analyst, lecturer and professional speaker.

Kaisa Lammi and Mikå Mered
Kaisa Lammi and Mikå Mered
Mikå Mered hosted the event
Beatboxing by Bogdan Molchanov
Beatboxing by Bogdan Molchanov

Jonna Jakkila works as a Chief Development Officer at Kuntoutuspalvelu Paju Oy. She is also the Local President of Junior Chamber International Rovaniemi. Jonna wanted to talk about dreams and especially importance of dreaming. She encouraged everyone to share his or her dreams to someone. Jonna also urged the audience to find things that are annoying or doesn’t work; you might find new possibilities.

Jonna Jakkila

Dr. Lassi Heininen is a Professor of Arctic Politics at the University of Lapland and an Adjunct Professor at Trent University (Canada) and University of Oulu (Finland). Lassi’s lecture was about the globalized Arctic as an exceptional space in international politics. Key themes were environment, global warming, pollution and world politics: how these affect Arctic region.

Dr. Lassi Heininen

Elba Horta works as a Sales Coach and Business Mentor for StartUps and small businesses in Helsinki. She worked in Silicon Valley during 1996-2001 IT boom. She shared her story how your studies are important no matter what field you are in, but may not be the key factor on your future career steps. She went from geology to IT, because of her own interest and choices made during studies and early working life.

Elba Horta

Heli Huhanantti is a former Lapland UAS’ International Business student and works now in Arktikum Service Co. as a Sales Manager. She shared her story from Lapland UAS student to Sales Manager by emphasizing how active participation during studies may help you in your future career path.

Heli Huhanantti

Dr. Dwayne Ryan Menezes is a Director of Human Security Centre & Polar Research and Policy Initiative, UK-based international thin-tank dedicated to Arctic, Nordic and Antarctic issues. Aims of PRPI is to raise the profile and understanding of the Polar Regions in the UK and the Commonwealth. Dwayne talked about opportunities for trade and investment; trade between Arctic States and the UK is already significant.  Finland and Lapland hold a positive image in the UK and the Commonwealth.

Dr. Dwayne Ryan Menezes
Joona Jauhiainen played the piano in the lobby during a coffee break

Day also included a pitching competition! It was a great opportunity to test own business ideas in front of a jury. The students participating were from Startup Lapland project and International Business/Winter School students. Ideas pitched during the competition were, for example, Smart Table, handmade training workshop for quilling cards, online shop and hostel.

Opening speech of the competition by Anete Krastina
The jury
Participants of the pitching competition
Elba Horta, Anzelika Krastina (Lapland UAS), Anete Krastina and Katarína Hollá (IBL)
IBL leader Katarína Hollá
Seminar organizers, International Business students 🙂



Arctic Business Winter School 14.3.-16.3.2017

Tuesday 14.3.2017

The first annual Arctic Business Winter School started in Rovaniemi! Arctic Business Winter School is a spin-off of Tornio’s Summer School and it is one of the Business and Culture Unit’s free-choice electives studies.

The first week of Arctic Business Winter School was organized together with Travel and Tourism Management. Participants in TTM were mainly from Russia but there was also few participants from Norway. Winter School participants are Lapland UAS’ students and they are studying mainly International Business. Altogether, we had over 30 students participating in the first day of The Winter School.

Day started with welcome speech, given by Ms. Kaisa Lammi, Head of Degree Programme in Rovaniemi and continued with an interesting lecture about Defining the Arctic by Ms. Anzelika Krastina, Project Manager and Lecturer. Students received their first assignment, which was about Tourism as Business in the Sea Lapland and Rovaniemi region. Students have to reflect the historical aspects and as well as the development and future of tourism in the region.

Ms. Kaisa Lammi, Head of Degree Programme
Ms. Anzelika Krastina, Project Manager and Lecturer

The day continued with a visit to Santa Claus Village! Santa Claus Village is one of the most popular locations in Rovaniemi, where people from all over the world come to greet Santa Claus and cross the magical Arctic Circle. You can also visit Santa Claus Main Post Office, which receives tens of thousands letters every year. 

Meeting with Santa Claus

More information about Santa Claus Village:

Wednesday 15.3.2017

Second day started in Museum and Science center Arktikum. Arktikum provides information on Arctic issues and tells stories about Lapland. An Arktikum exhibition is an enormous information package of what is going on today in the evolving Arctic region. It will also educate about Lappish history, culture and nature from Rovaniemi to the further reaches of Upper Lapland. This was a great opportunity for students to reflect the historical aspects in Lapland and in Rovaniemi and its affect to tourism.

Museum and Science Center Arktikum

More information about Arktikum:

In the afternoon, the whole group headed outside beside beautiful river Kemijoki. We had a campfire and lots of sausages and marshmallows to barbecue!

All participants

Some of the students had a snowball fight 🙂

Thursday 16.3.2017

On Thursday, it was our turn to visit Tornio and Kemi. Students had a lecture about tourism in Sea Lapland given by Kati Koivunen and Liisa-Maria Tiihonen. Liisa-Maria has worked as a guide in Sea Lapland for a long time and she was sharing her experiences on working in Lapland. The lecture also included a group assignment. All groups had to pick a local company and make a two-minute presentation about developing those businesses.

After lunch, we visited Kemi SnowCastle. This artwork of ice and snow can be found right by the sea near the city center in Kemi. The enormous SnowCastle is a highly unique venue for visitors offering various activities. Great light-effects will add charm of the snow- and ice-sculpting as well as to the structures about the SnowCastle. They also have the world’s largest SnowRestaurant, which seats over 200 guests, SnowChapel with mystical atmosphere for a memorable wedding ceremonies and SnowHotel with unique, beautifully decorated snow rooms offering a true arctic adventure. SnowCastle is made entirely of snow and ice from the sea water. In 2017 SnowCastle of Kemi takes part in celebrating the 100 years of independency in Finland and the theme is Finland 100 years.




More information about Kemi SnowCastle: