Simo Kekäläinen, Facilitator at Demola


I moved to Oulu in August 2015. I got an email searching for participants for Demola projects. I applied for them and got chosen for one. First time I heard about Business Kitchen was when I visited the place for a Demola-related event. Later on, Johanna Bluemink, development manager at Oulu University (my current boss) asked me and one other team member to come to University of Oulu to hear about a new and exciting project named Tellus and share our ideas for it. When Tellus was finally opened in January 2016, I was chosen to become a Demola facilitator.


Business Kitchen has an open atmosphere; you can meet people from different walks of life and they come here in good mood. I feel that I´m a little bit reserved person as I often find myself pushing things forwards on my own. However, Business Kitchen encourages you to be open and talk with people and ask what they do. I took this challenge and did this. What I was surprised about was that others were genuinely interested about me as well. The great thing about Business Kitchen is that when you help others the others will help you. So, the most challenging thing in Business Kitchen has been to be open, communicative, sharing, and being able to discuss things forward. However, this is also one of the most rewarding aspects of this environment.


Three words that come to my mind about Business Kitchen are educator, enabler, and receptive. For instance, Business Kitchen educates towards the open attitude I discussed. Many people have found jobs, got somewhere, happened to meet someone, and founded a company. If you have some kind of a dream of what you want to do, by going to Business Kitchen you meet the right people and get forward with your dream. Where else do you have this kind of possibility? You always feel welcome when you to come to Business Kitchen. There is this atmosphere and attitude that you can go and ask or tell anything and people are there for you, listening to your thoughts. We would need more places like this in the world.


Business Kitchen has changed my life. I´m in working life because of Business Kitchen. Secondly, I have learned this completely different mindset of how to do things. My friendships around me have reshaped, in large extent due to all the networks I have acquired. With the help of these networks I have got to places where I can educate myself forward. These things have taken my life overall to a much more positive direction. Work and money related matters are completely secondary. Instead, what has been important are the people, learning the mindset, and improved self-perception. I have learned to appreciate others, listen and understand what they have to say. I have also learned that every one of us is expert in something. Through our community of giving and receiving, we also share this personal knowledge to create something even more valuable.