Archive by Author | katrirantanen

At the Footprints of Nobel Winners – Cambridge Venture Camp 2017


We are three Master´s Degree students from Laurea Tikkurila where we are studying in a program called “Future Studies and Customer Oriented Services”. Last autumn we participated in a course ”Digitaalisen palvelun käyttäjäkeskeinen suunnittelu” and there we started to develop a business idea for a digital application called ”Big Steps for Little People”, and with that idea we won WeLive -designing competition early 2017. After that our teacher encouraged us to apply to Cambridge Venture Camp 2017 with our business idea. Cambridge Venture Camp is an international entrepreneurship boost camp by Laurea Entrepreneurship Society, LaureaES. We sent in our application and received invitation to be interviewed. We heard afterwards that LaureaES had received about 50 ideas/applications and only 8 of them were chosen to participate the camp. Guess what? We were one of them!

So that was a start of an interesting and motivating journey to learn about entrepreneurship and developing our business idea further. First there was a Finnish week at the end of March in Leppävaara campus which included lectures of pitching, team building, MVP (minimum viable product), external funding and finance. Week also included different kind of workshops for example regarding value proposition canvas. We also got to visit Microsoft Flux, where we had our first pitching competition. In our team it was Katri, who lost in lottery. Just kidding, Katri is a great speaker and for that reason she presented our idea.

The highlight of the Cambridge Venture Camp 2017 was the Cambridge week, that was organized during 9.-13.4.2017 in Cambridge. At the same time as we were there, Laurea´s BIB Bootcamp participants were also there. We had partly the same program with them. We stayed at Downing College in Cambridge University. Week included lectures from local professors and Finnish lecturers as well.

During the week we learned about Cambridge ecosystem, market research, marketing and business design, valuation, creating prototypes, funding possibilities for startups, lean business model canvas and also more about pitching skills. We had many workshops and we learned to use different kind of service design tools. During the whole week we developed our business idea further with help of all this. Days were very intensive and required 100 % attention the whole time. This was a great hands on way to learn basics about entrepreneurship and business idea development in a short time. All the lecturers were great and very professional. We also got realistic feedback about our business idea from lecturers and from other participants as well.


Trinity College. Photo: Katri Rantanen.

But it was not just hard work and studying! On Tuesday evening we had a fine dining dinner at Trinity College (picture above) with all the LaureaEs and BIB participants and also some Cambridge professors joined us. Trinity College is a very rich and highly appreciated campus. They have 32 Nobel winners and for example Prince Charles has studied there. Dinner tasted excellent and we had many interesting conversations during the evening with other participants. After dinner we had an after party in Vodka Revolution Bar. On Wednesday we went all together punting on the River Cam (picture below). Luckily it was a great weather and we had some sparkling and strawberries with us. Yam! We also had some free time in the evening to see the beautiful city and do some shopping. It is easy just to walk around in the city because distances are short. We recommend Cambridge to all, it will make you feel very intelligent (or not).


Punting on River Cam. Photo: Katri Rantanen.

During the whole Cambridge Venture Camp 2017, we had great atmosphere and team spirit. LaureaES did an excellent job organizing everything and making sure that we could focus on the essential – learning and development. Did you know that they do all this on their free time?

In overall this was a once in a lifetime experience. We encourage everyone to apply to next Cambridge Venture Camp with your own business ideas, in case you are interested in entrepreneurship or just learning more. As Isaac Newton, one of Cambridge University´s famous alumni said “What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”

Mervi Kleimola, Katri Rantanen and Niina Rinkinen

#CVC17 #WeLoveBusiness #LaureaES

Global Service Jam Helsinki 2016 – rookie´s point of view

Global Service Jam Helsinki 2016 took place at Laurea Leppävaara campus on 26-28th February. There were about 50 Jammers at Leppävaara but we had other Jammers all around world; about 40 countries and 100 cities were Jamming together with us at the same time. The main idea of the Jam is to work in small teams and develop new services and solutions based on a certain theme by processing ideas into hands-on solutions while using service design methods, problem solving, testing and prototyping.

The secret theme was announced on Friday evening; a sound of a water splash! This splash inspired everyone thinking a problem related to this sound which they would like to solve during the Jam. Small teams were created around those problems which we participants found were the most interesting ones.

Our team´s problem was: How to reduce the use of water bottles and still look cool when drinking water. On Friday we started brainstorming ideas and themes around this problem. We used Legos building up different environments where people use water. We also thought of different purposes people need water for. Based on this, we ended up thinking if people would know the closest source for water, would it reduce the amount of bottled water purchased from e.g. supermarkets and stores. As a solution we created a mobile application “Easy Water”, which finds you the closest water point based on your location and provides you a map to locate it. We built a paper prototype of the application to show to people at Sello shopping center on Saturday.



On Saturday we interviewed people at Sello and showed and talked them through our application. At the same, we gathered their ideas and development proposals. Back at campus, we tried to develop our idea and application further based on that information. Because none of use hadn´t shoot videos before, we started working on a power point presentation as our final presentation to show on Sunday.

On Sunday we continued working on the final presentation when heard from mentors and tutors that power point presentations were not liked (at all) as a way of presenting. We didn´t know this, being rookies all the three of us… We had roughly two hours left before final presentation show time to come up with totally new idea of conveying our solution to other and to judges. We ended up acting it!! What a relief it was when the presentation was over. We made it, with so little experience and in such a short time!

My advice: Go Jamming even if you´re a rookie! It will be a learning lesson by doing, not lectures. It feels difficult and frustrating at times but you also gain those Ahaa!-experiences as well. And you learn a big deal from others; mentors, tutors, visiting lecturers, other teams and from your own team members. You even might want to go jamming again!