BongoHive Insaka with Pekka Sivonen: Entrepreneur


Last Thursday’s  Bongohive Insaka hosted Pekka Sivonen, 3 time award winner of Entrepreneur of the Year  in Finland as judged by Ernst and Young and also a part of an 80 people think-tank group responsible for future trends, appointed by the Finnish government. Pekka Sivonen has had over 20 years experience in mobile software industry and is a self termed “die hard entrepreneur”.

Pekka started a company by himself that raised the most private equity funding in Norway and now that company has grown to 1600 people. He is responsible for conceptualizing app ideas at a tech innovation university called App Campus (@appcampus), a program that started 24 months ago.

Pekka Sivonen opened with the the statement that “things always change. Shift happens. Don’t get comfy” in whatever you set out to do. Things will always shift to unexpected extremes so you have to be ready for anything when setting up any business.

He then shared 5 lessons that he has learnt over the years:

  1. Always try to find people that share your values: otherwise you’ll end up ruining your initial plans for the business
  2. Recruit competences & strengths you don’t have: if you hire people with the same abilities as you , you might not progress fast enough. Get people who are skilled in different areas that add value to your business.
  3. Create co-entrepreneurship with them: Set goals and achieve them.
  4. Build a joint Vision & Dream Team to reach for it: refer to second point
  5. World is full of Managers, be a Leader: People don’t need managers anymore, they need leaders, people they can actually follow and trust.Be that guy!

When starting anything don’t just think of your country, think of others too. You never know how far a simple idea can go. Right now older industries are laying off people because the economy is bad. Hence  we all need to innovate and create businesses that create jobs for ourselves and others.

Thank you Pekka.


Tech Blogger & Marketer.