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Business Kitchen Breakfast gathered full house of people again in the beginning of December, when our topic was teams and teaming up. The audience heard inspirational talks from former head of startup accelerator, Mr. Eero Kaikkonen and CEO Indoor Atlas, Mr. Janne Haverinen.

Mr. Kaikkonen has a long history as serial entrepreneur, a business coach and raising VC money, so he really knows his stuff and what is the name of the game. Based on his vast experience, he had quite a many tips to give to the entrepreneurs and other interested present. Here are a few:

  • Know what you are doing and what not

According to Kaikkonen, it is very common way of thinking that a startup company sells their know-how and develop their own product at the same time, but this is not de facto possible. The reason is that both of them require different kind of mindset and skillset. If you are good at one, you’re probably not in the other.

  • Hire only top experts in the specific field

We prefer to work with like-minded people or people we already know. But this is not what you should do if you want to succeed. To flourish, we need to work with top professionals in their own field, because only they are be able to drive our business forward in the field in question. You may not like them at the beginning, because they challenge you and your way of thinking. But actually that’s what they are for. For the same reason, it’s not good idea to hire your friends, either.

  • Genuine teamwork is needed

As Mr. Kaikkonen pointed out, when you hire top experts, you actually hire people more clever than you are. So what is your job then? It is to really listen the experts around you. Remember, that they do not work FOR you, but WITH you. However, if you are the CEO, in the end it is you who make the final decisions. According to Mr. Kaikkonen, “CEO is the guy who runs the show” eventually.

Also Janne Haverinen emphasized the importance of know-how, but noted that it is not the same as academic degree. In the academic world, it is typical to think that when you have a degree you also have the knowledge needed.  According to Mr. Haverinen that is not necessarily the case. In fact, you may have acquired your expertise just because you are especially interested in something and done it on your free time for long etc.

As Mr. Haverinen pointed out, also a company which has its roots at the academia and team members strong academic background, must dare to challenge their status quo. They need a suitable mixture of academic wisdom and practical skills, despite the fact that there may be years-long research behind the business idea.

________________________________________________________________________ Business Kitchen Breakfast is an event, which we organize monthly basis with various, current topics. We invite two or three keynote speakers on stage to tell about the topic in question: both experts and entrepreneurs. We also serve a tasty and healthy breakfast, which gives you energy for the workday. Then we call people in to enjoy the program and to network with each other.