Case Studies & Our Partners in Innovation
We discover new businesses and renew existing ones by helping you to work with and like startups. Get insights from some of our partners in innovation.
Creating a vision and development roadmap for Hankkija in a digitalising market
Smart farming is changing the farming market landscape both globally and in Finland. As a forerunner in the industry, Hankkija had worked on the topic with various projects and now wanted to build a holistic view about the trends and non-linearities that may change their operating environment in the future so that they can serve their customers better.
What Verona Growth did:
Verona Growth screened the global growth company landscape to identify to what kinds of companies, technologies and business models the venture capital investments are flowing to. Based on the insights, clear global trends were identified. Verona Growth interviewed farmers and experts in Finland to build an understanding of the relevance of these trends in Hankkija’s operating environment. Based on all the insights, a future view was developed to portray what smart farming will look like in 2027 for Hankkija’s customers. Finally, together with the cross-functional Hankkija project team, a customer-driven vision with a clear development roadmap was built for Hankkija.
With the project, Hankkija built a company-wide common understanding of how their customers’ needs will develop in the coming years. The vision and roadmap will guide them on where to focus and how to use the development resources, as well as build alignment across the organization.
Identifying and shaping new service concepts for Technopolis
Technopolis wanted to keep up with the latest developments in the office space provider market and serve their tenant customers better by offering them new services. Technopolis looked to extend their current service portfolio by looking at the innovation landscape and identifying what kind of new concepts & services are rising in the market space.
What Verona Growth did:
In the first phase Verona Growth screened the global innovation landscape and went through the best global benchmarks to build a comprehensive picture of the innovation trends within the market. In the next phase Verona Growth, together with Technopolis team, identified the best potential opportunities for Technopolis based on the previous phase screening, and in the end 4 new service concepts were chosen for further validation. In the final phase these 4 concepts were validated through gathering customer feedback from potential customers, discussing with relevant Technopolis experts and screening for potential pilot partners.
After the joint collaboration, Technopolis started piloting 4 new service concepts either independently or with identified piloting partners.
Designing a scalable model for business outlets
Schibsted’s Tori.fi is the leading C2C marketplace, and it is also recognised by Sitra as one of Finland’s most important circular economy companies. B2C e-commerce is booming, and contemporary society is overconsuming consumer products at a pace that is not sustainable. As the leading C2C marketplace with 3,4 million active users, Schibsted´s Tori.fi has a great opportunity to help businesses market and sell their outlet products. These types of outlet products, e.g. returned items are endangered to be discarded or destroyed. Schibsted and Verona Growth collaborated to design a scalable model for business outlets for Tori.fi.
What Verona Growth did:
Verona Growth interviewed +20 companies and Tori users about their needs and preferences regarding a B2C e-commerce platform. Then, by using service design methods, we created a tangible concept draft based on the gathered feedback and findings. Finally, we validated the concept with +10 potential clients to develop the final concept with recommendations and a roadmap for the future.
The majority of the interviewed potential clients thought the concept was exciting and wanted to hear more about it and continue discussions later. As a result, we engaged a new pilot partner, Gigantti, for Schibsted and found many potential sales leads. Schibsted will continue discussions with the identified potential partners.
Bringing a new reusable product to the market
The consumption of single-use packaging is constantly growing. Finnish startup Kamupak already had a deposit system for reusable takeaway lunch boxes. Their system was extended to coffee cups and piloted in several coffee shops in Helsinki. The ministry of environment partly funded the pilot.
Verona Growth’s circular economy LOOP team led the project to pilot reusable coffee cups in several cafes simultaneously. We found and engaged the partners and helped Kamupak to apply for funding for the pilot. After the pilot was launched, we coordinated marketing, communication and cooperation between the pilot locations and Kamupak. Fifteen locations attended the pilot, including Palmia, UniCafe, Vihreä Vuohi and Paulig Kulma. Kamupak decided to continue offering KamuCups after the pilot based on the feedback, data and general interest.
We were excited to work with Kamupak, one of the shortlisted companies in Sitra’s list of circular economy pioneers, to accelerate the use of circular packaging solutions.
“Collaborating with Verona during the Kamukuppi project was a pleasure. Jenni and Moona led the project efficiently and professionally and they were easy to communicate with during the whole process.” – Saara Smith, COO, Kamupak
Reduction of plastic use in housing development
To understand how the use of plastics can be optimized in the construction industry, a holistic approach from different parties in the value chain is needed. This is why Premico, Lujatalo, Ara, Municipality Finland and the Ministry of Environment wanted to find out what the current status of plastic use is in residential construction and identify the opportunities for the circularity of plastics. The focus was on the reduction of plastics use at construction sites.
Verona Growth interviewed experts and gathered learnings and data about the current situation, needs, opportunities and concrete tools already existing in the construction industry. Data was also collected from a pilot site, Metsäkissa in Vantaa, to increase understanding from the current situation. Valuable data was gathered for example about sorting rate, recycling rate, costs and separately collected plastic types.
Based on the collected data Verona Growth created concrete ideas to reduce, refuse, recycle and replace plastics in housing development. We also made suggestions for all parties – client, main contractor and financier – on how to promote low-plastic thinking in the future. These learnings are concluded in the final report, which is available for download here.
Accelerating AI-based software company to scale their business
Aiforia Technologies Plc, aiming to be the global leader in AI-assisted tissue sample analytics, has developed a deep learning AI platform for healthcare – assisting medical professionals in translating images into data, discoveries, and diagnoses. They were looking for support to enhance the experience of their users; medical professionals across a variety of areas from oncology to neuroscience. Verona Growth supported Aiforia in their vision to enhance their user experience. By combining the expertise of the key people at Aiforia to external benchmarks, Verona Growth helped Aiforia conceptualize their vision, designed the concept and recommended the next steps.
Internal venture evaluation to explore its potential
“Verona helped us to evaluate the readiness of our new business concept as well as it’s positioning to the market. Their team identified the relevant and interesting benchmarks for us. As a results our go-to-market strategy was crystallized and concrete recommendations on how to move to the next phase were made. The project was conducted with a well-functioning framework, within an agreed time frame and with a coaching spirit.” – Katarina Segerståhl, Chief Strategy Officer, Aava Medical
Nordic ScaleUp Academy
Only 0,4% of companies manage to scale their business. We at Verona Growth want to increase this number and have thus partnered up with Di ScaleUp, ,ScaleUp XQ, Maria01 and Startup Säätiö to create Nordic ScaleUp Academy, a new Nordic growth program for scale-ups. Read more!
Business opportunities in esports
Veikkaus was looking for new business opportunities within esports. They organised an Innovation Challenge, and invited 7 startups to their headquarters to co-create new services and solutions related to esports. The challenge week was a huge success and Veikkaus gained a lot of market insights and got many potential partners and concepts ready for market validation. The week also had a great impact on their internal culture, and Veikkaus’ people learned a lot about startups’ agile way of working and ideating.
Industrial digitalization in Maritime Industry
Meyer Turku had been looking for new solutions for tracking their pipe factory’s lead times to understand and plan their workloads better. Previously, all potential partners had requested building a new solution from scratch. By partnering up with Tulip, Meyer Turku was able to digitise the pipe factory’s welding process within weeks and with a minimal investment. Read more.
Insights for emerging business models and technologies for building materials
Uponor’s infrastructure and buildings business segments built a better understanding which new technologies and business models are emerging in their strategic business domains through analyzing the growth company landscape. In addition, new potential partners were identified.
Piloting a new business model
Changing seasons are a hassle for the parents. As a leading children outerwear company, Reima saw the opportunity in making their customer’s lives easier by testing a product as-a-service business model. Verona Growth helped Reima in getting the pilot on the market in just 8 weeks. Agile way of working continued on a weekly basis for a year as the service was being scaled up. High interest in the service exceeded expectations. Lean startup methodology brought lot of learnings and a year after the pilot, the new service model called ReimaKit was launched and is now part of Reima’s business.
Better customers service by partnering up with a growth company
Kesko was looking for solutions to serve their loyalty customers better and to offer them new services. How to utilize customer data for the benefit of the customers was a big topic at Kesko and 8-bit-sheep developed a concept that was a perfect fit for the need. By partnering up with 8-bit-sheep Kesko was able to provide a new MyData service for their customers within few months after the innovation challenge.
LOOP: Taking circular economy from strategy to action
IIn the LOOP ecosystem, circular business models are built through partnership between corporations, growth companies and CE leaders. In most cases, there is a dire need to include many different players from various parts of the value chain. As an example, a loop venture called “Arkipakkaus“ was formed together with Kesko, Unilever Finland, Metsä Tissue, Encore Ympäristöpalvelut, Enexus and Orthex. Arkipakkaus was a pilot for monthly subscription model to buy everyday necessities such as toilet paper and detergents. The model included delivery of the products and take-out for the plastic waste.
Scouting innovation partners from the Nordics
Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s open innovation team was looking for breakthrough innovation partners in the Nordics. Most viable opportunities were found after diving deep into the scene. Multiple startups that were involved in improving consumer wellness across the Nordics were introduced to Kimberly-Clark. The purpose and impact of all of the solutions was obvious, resulting in a significant bonus factor for the collaboration.
Circular economy business opportunities
Circular economy and sustainability are important values for Valio and scouting global growth company market has brought great insights of future opportunities within the domains. By gathering insights into Verona Growth startup database Valio was able to present gathered insights and innovative new business opportunities also for a bigger group of colleagues.
Accelerating Maritime Ecosystem
Maritime Accelerator was built together with Turku Business Region to speed up Finland’s maritime industry’s development. The program brought together leading maritime corporations along the value to jointly develop the solutions of tomorrow. The program focused on accelerating collaboration between a partner corporate and their chosen growth company partners. By running development projects parallel with other partner corporations, the corporate partners learned together on startup collaboration and benefited from each others expertise and collaboration projects.
Some of our partners in innovation
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Executive Consultant, member of management team