Alibaba, Business Finland, New Team – An exciting week in China

A very good and intense week behind!

Visits in Beijing, 2 new advisors, a ton of new leads and a promising development with our existing friends.

I have sometimes thought that if I could do anything anywhere in the world right now, I wouldn’t do anything except what I’m doing now. That’s a blessed feeling.

This week was very important as there were 3 big things that I was focusing on:

– ALIBABA AND EDUCATION. Education visits and co-operation, especially with Jack Ma’s school at Hangzhou (Normal) University, and the world famous Alibaba Business School, probably one of the best e-commerce research and business institutions in the world.

– BUSINESS FINLAND AND BEIJING. Beijing visit, with highly meaningful meetings and encounters with colleagues, but also with the new Business Finland team and space (former Finpro and Tekes), visit to Embassy and interesting updates and news from there, including voting as the first Finn in China at the presidential elections; and very importantly a double-meeting with Mr. Mika Tirronen, a mastermind overviewing Finland-China education co-operation.

– AWESOME NEW MINGLE TEAM. New team, team building, and new procedures, habits, inner models etc. for ourselves. This is probably in the end the most important. I’m super lucky to have two fantastic Finns in our Mingle team, who have kept me amazed each and every day of the past 2 weeks. They are responsible, pro-active, clever, constructive and understand both China and Finland. Besides we introed our new to-be China operation manager too to the cases and team.

    To found a company in China can be an amazing journey, I can tell. But it is also not an easy journey. But imagine, that you DO succeed officially putting up your own company registered in China, getting your first customers, managing the process of building and developing it in China – but also start getting OTHER people joining that? It’s an amazing feeling. I am enabling other people with opportunities. I am (hopefully) supporting them to get new exciting experiences and providing a platform where they can grow. I am taking an own idea to serve not only my self, but also other people. These people are better off, because of you. That gives you a super blessed feeling.

    So many Finns – and Chinese – are unemployed. So many seek opportunities. So many wish to work between Finland and China. But where do you get these positions, jobs? What if we could create those? What if we’d be able to create 30 positions here in the next 3 years? What if through our partners we’d be able to employ 100 Finns in China in the next 1,5 years?

    What if we can give that unique opportunity to work for and with Finns and foreigners locally here in China? It is not everybody, who will have the chance to go abroad to seek for their dreams.

    These are the kind of things that inspire me and make me think even more eagerly, how could we create this company better and how could we learn.

    I’m constantly learning new ideas and try to get influences from some of the top people that I believe are genuinely great in supporting new entrepreneurs to succeed. I hope I – and we -can do that same to others, with Chinese characteristics. Ben Horowitz, Risto Siilasmaa, Peter V., Dave Lavinsky, Jeffrey Gidomer, Steve Jobs… Just to mention a few. Some super inspiring and truthful guides that support you forward.

    I have been offered investment – a few times already. Sometimes it has been very good. A few advisors said – avoid it if you only can, and keep yourself intact. I hesitated, but decided to push forward without it. We’ve chosen bootstrapping. That’s not easy – but it seems to work more and more. We are fully determining our directions, 100% choosing our customers and taking those strategic decisions that seem to be the best ones. It teaches more, it takes you to a better direction, faster – and you can always stay faithful for your principles.

    Why I say we? Because our road is not only about myself anymore. I feel promising after the last days, that we’re here to stay. It’s not anymore just a project that could fail and no need to care about it, I feel we have become an established advisor company, and we are giving meaningful, professional and unique advise to people and organisations in all corners to the society, top to down.

    I also feel that our Business model, processes get polished all the time into more professional and better. It seems clear that we are focusing now on government, education and businesses (corporate and startups). The goal for this spring and year is to strengthen us as a pioneering advisor company, but also strengthen our partnerships, range and effectivity. To transform from consulting company to a consulting business. I would not have guessed that doing business is so exciting. It’s about trust, about relationships, about creativity – about finding best ways to help people and give them a feeling of security and trust. It comes only through being genuine. That’s what we aim also.

    This week was a good miniature of where we are going at this moment. Dream and Road, 梦 and 路, supporting people to reach their China dream and showing a path to move forward. We’re looking for the enriching interaction of new people from two different cultures. That feeling of trust, a magic mingle, is something we aim at with our customers. Usually good results follow from that.

    This week we visited Beijing. Was super happy to see the excitement of the new year in the offices. These people at the Embassy and Business Finland (formerly Finpro and Tekes) do very important and dedicated work for Finland China cooperation, business and friendship.

    I got to admire these folks. Such as Mika Tirronen. Education Chancellor. Just simply a brilliant diplomat, educator and a magic mingler of Chinese society. Positioning himself as a “foreigner” being able to get really close to the Chinese. A real-life example, that you don’t always need to speak Chinese in order to get close with them and make great cooperation. Finland and everybody should eagerly think, how to keep Mika in China – as his valuable networks and knowledge is in danger to get gone, as his 6-year term finishes next summer.

    Also meeting with Harry Feng, Kevin’s father, who became our company’s own advisor and mentor – and gave some of the best advise in a long time how to build a business. Warm hearted, clever and very successful Sino-Finnish business leader.

    It’s good to visit Beijing once in a while, the people are amazing. And Finland is there strongly present. Business Finland head in Beijing, Grace Wang hosted us for lunch – and at BFin office we became part of the Finland’s national China network as an acknowledged consulting company for Finnish companies willing to enter Chinese markets. A humble thanks and hope we can support more Finland and Finns.

    Mika-Matti Taskinen also had got as a new intern to the embassy – congrats! Great guy, and also present with our Kiina-alumnit network in Finland. He also pictured and interviewed me to the embassy after presidential elections.

    With Alibaba Business School we created a top-notch contact with their senior international leaders. And helped to bridge and pave a way to China for Oulu’s education institutions, which we hold very dear. The magic mingle needs more than just the talk at the top level – it needs a lot of work at the grassroots. We are gaining more and more ground and getting closer to some of the true global education and business leaders in Hangzhou. The international officer and former education ministry international ace, Mr. Tony Lyu became a mentor and advisor for our team. It feels great to be trusted by more and more Chinese education leaders and influencers. We try to work hard to enable more opportunities for Finnish students, teachers and businesses.

    We also are doing something very unique and historical: 2,5 years ago I had the honor to host and run Finland’s biggest startup event, Slush, and bring it to China. I have disagreed with many of the localisation ideas of the project afterwords, but am really happy of what we did ni 2015 with a super team. A lot of positive has come out of it that reflects to the broader Finland-China co-operation. Now we’re bringing another top-class startup event to China – and that’s probably the COOLEST in the whole world, the appreciated Polar Bear Pitching from Oulu. As part of building a long-lasting business and education bridge between China and Oulu, it’s a very positive spark to kick-start a small scale China event in Hangzhou. Co-operating with very potential Nexus game space, and BusinessOulu, I feel proud to be part of launching yet another startup event in China. Which could be the next one, Boost Turku…?

    Even though Helsinki is the most vibrant and international city in Finland, it’s always good to keep in mind that Finland doesn’t end there. After living and studying in Turku, having relatives in Tampere and Eastern Finland, and especially after co-operating very closely with Oulu, I have realised how awesome we are in so many places. Finland is a treasure, and it should be kept as. Chinese realise the meaning of holistically developing all areas simultaneously and Finland could follow-through.

    Probably most happy I am about the new people and our team. They have super potential and they are very eager to learn and pro-active. I feel good to give them a lot of responsibility. Olivia came as an intern, but due to her wisdom, pro-activity, commitment and great ideas, she became a project assistant, project manager – and even leads another person already… Kevin will manage our business side – he’s super good, clever and relatively experienced already, and has awesome feedback. Our operation manager and local young talent, Demi Ding, has been running all the possible university and school associations, is super committed, amazingly pro-active, speaks English and Chinese fluently, and was part in hosting a G20 media conference with world leaders. A great talent and important addition to our team after the Chinese New Year.

    I hope we can create good energy, have good team, good communication, stable environment and all the practicalities in place.

    Our core focus is as follows: people (team, partners); products (our services); revenues (enabling us to operate and others to gain more.)


    That’s about it for one week.

    Really excited to look forward for the next one.

    p.s. After super hectic week I will also return back to the daily markings – however I may prefer to write only weekly on a broader scale. Sometimes less is more – and enables you to do more.

    Keep doing what you love – or keep finding for it, you’ll find it. Never give up. Sisu, polte, järki – perseverance, passion, sense. These help you a lot.

    Stay hungry, stay foolish. Yes. But also stay humble and thankful for all the moments, all the people and all the exceptional beauty of life that you get in front of you.

    Thank you friends (and almighty) for your support,

    Let us keep pushing forward in our lives and small and big miracles will happen,



    2 Comments Add yours

    1. david shore says:

      very very very good Lauri… your friend David in San Francisco —

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you David! We miss you so much here in China… Hope to get you here as soon as possible. “The only way to learn how to run a company (in China), is by running a company (in China).” Best greetings to Silicon Valley!


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