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Futurice &startups - a new approach to work, business and everything

The above is indicative of the reaction of our employees this morning. It’s honest feedback for what we’re doing as an organisation.

Today we launched our digital venture builder Futurice &startups, where we create startups together with our corporate friends. The launch coincides with the launch of our first case: improved access to solar energy in developing countries with Fortum. It’s a great opportunity to make an impact while building new digital business.

But wait – why this move from Futurice? Do we see energy as a potentially more lucrative opportunity than consulting where we have years of experience behind us?

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is that we see business changing faster than ever before. To stay on top of the game, you must continuously discover new ways of working and leading your business. We frequently tell our customers it’s important to work on your 2nd and 3rd horizons, too - not just your immediate business needs. With Futurice &startups we’re eating our own dog food and reimagining how the business model of a software agency might change over the next decade.

When reimagining your business, it’s vital that you define your own business drivers. For Futurice &startups we see three critical changes that necessitate a rethinking of the traditional vendor - buyer mode:

First – working life is changing. Our employees look at startups with their lean and agile way of working and want to be able to make a difference in a fast-paced environment. The same applies to our corporate friends, too! We’ve learned that attracting the right type of talent to lead digital ventures is not as easy as it used to be.

Second – we see digital moving into the core of almost every industry. It’s a key competitive factor via the customer-experience and innovation opportunities it offers. Futurice aspires to be part of a new global and scalable business, while staying true to our heritage as masters of digital. Many of our corporate friends have mind-blowing industry power and experience – by bringing us two together as equal partners we’ll not only build new ways of working, but create new evolving ecosystems.

Third – since we’re consultants, it’s our goal to serve our customers to the best of our abilities and fulfil their needs. Right now the digital issues they’re facing are more acute than ever before, but growing new business inside your own company is often difficult. It requires a different type of governance and support, one designed for exploration and an uncertain future.

To respond to this need for exploration and learning together, we initiated our work on solar energy together with Fortum.

The aim of the cooperation is to create a solution that provides easier access to electricity for people in developing countries. The Software-as-a-Service concept would offer a solution for solar companies to secure the payment from end-customers and to provide better customer support, as well as a more reliable system. One solution is the pay-as-you-go model which allows people who can’t afford their own panels to purchase electricity. By replacing the current services with a digital solution that can be used without a smartphone, via text messaging or other solutions, the potential user pool grows considerably.

For more information about the solar energy project, please refer to the press release with Fortum or the article in Kauppalehti (in Finnish).

For more information about Futurice &startups and to subscribe to our newsletter, visit our website.


  • Portrait of Anni Harju
    Anni Harju
    Head of Strategy