InnoBarentsLab (IBL) hosted their annual international Northern Stars Seminar on April 5th at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Rantavitikka Campus. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.