Stora Enso Finland – most startup-friendly company 2020, an honorable mention for Fortum

Stora Enso wants to spread a startup-friendly spirit among large companies and set an excellent example, the jury justifies the choice. Stora Enso has been founding the Combient Foundry, and in 2020 operations expanded to China and materials technology.

Stora Enso has been chosen as the most startup-friendly company in Finland in 2020. Stora Enso launched significant cooperation with numerous startup and growth companies, and private equity investors are also actively involved in the networks.

The latest results of the collaboration include an IoT humidity sensor for real-time detection of moisture leaks in buildings, developed with Wiiste, a start-up company focusing on measurement systems for the construction industry, and new digital tools for customer service developed with SnapSupport. Close cooperation enables Stora Enso’s partner startups to gain an accelerated path to international markets.

  • “Innovation and business development take place in collaboration. Bringing external insights and expertise, as well as cooperating with startups brings new perspectives, insights, solutions and opportunities, ”says Antti Vuolli, Stora Enso’s Vice President.

Stora Enso has also been setting up the Combient Foundry, an innovation network between large companies. In 2020, the Combient network consisted of 30 member companies, expanded into China, and built a new materials technology-focused startup network. Stora Enso’s strategic goal is to promote startup cooperation between large companies around the world.

  • “Stora Enso is active in dozens of tech hubs. The company wants to spread the startup-friendly spirit to large companies internationally and set an excellent example for itself. The new international openings and holistic approach to startup operations brought Stora Enso a victory in the tight race, ”commented Vesa-Matti Ruottinen, Chairman of the Jury, on the selection of the winner.

The competition was held in November, and was attended by more than 10 large companies estimated to be at the highest level in Finland, with a turnover of at least EUR 10 million. The competition evaluated the operating models of companies in ecosystem- and company-level startup cooperation and in promoting an internal-startup culture.

  • “The competition was the fiercest of all time, and companies took on the positive challenge of participating in the competition to spar their own operations. More and more companies are investing in startups, which is excellent in terms of growing global growth opportunities for startups and communities,” commented Mellonmaa.

The startup community organizing the competition, Tribe Tampere, handed out the prize for the third time. The community reacted rapidly to this changed situation this year.

  • “This year, the evaluation criteria further emphasized the digital utilization of abilities that affect startup friendliness, the interviews were all conducted remotely and the award will be presented in live video as part of the Subcontracting Fair Virtual Event 2020,” says Juho Mäkinen, Chairman of Tribe Tampere.

Due to the level playing field, Fortum will also be awarded a special honor thanks to the launch of the company’s new startup-friendly unit. Founded this year, the Valkea Growth Club has created a quick and concrete interface between Fortum and startups.

Further information:


Recipient of the Main Prize “The Most Startup Friendly Company 2020”, Stora Enso:

Antti Vuolli, VP, Digital, Stora Enso: email antti.vuolli (at) Stora Enso.com, +358 50 487 4172

Recipient of the Honorable Mention, Fortum:

Tony-Frank Holmström, Manager, Investments & Partnerships, Valkea Growth Club, Fortum: email frank (at) valkea.club, +358 45 787 454 20

Chairman of the selection panel, Tribe Tampere:

Vesa-Matti Ruottinen, Project Manager, Tribe Tampere: email Vesa-matti.ruottinen (at) tribetampere.com, +358 40 837 2696

Event organizer, Subcontracting fair 2020 (Alihankintamessut 2020):

Tanja Järvensivu, Communications Manager, Tampereen Messus Group: email tanja.jarvensivu (at) tampereenmessut.fi, +358 50 536 8133