A community of 20 entrepreneurs
We help customers that are building or growing their business by offering them access to experienced entrepreneurs. Our entrepreneurs-in-residence (EiR) work with clients in different phases of business building – from idea, to commercialization, to scale up and expansion. We typically help with growth strategy, defining the organization and capabilities for growth, and supporting in implementation phases.
Our community of 20 entrepreneurs have tens of years of experience building new digital businesses. Together, we help our clients turn their ideas into impactful new ventures. In short, we are entrepreneurs for hire.
Entrepreneurship is a set of learnt skills and behaviors
The Coventures story began in 2012, when our CEO Marko Oksanen was finishing his studies. As a part of his master’s thesis, he studied entrepreneurship and ended up deep diving into the topic of entrepreneurship. Based on his work, he found that entrepreneurship is a set of learnt skills and behaviors, more than a set of personality traits. Marko spent the next couple of years working in startup and scaleup environments, observing what skills successful entrepreneurs use to build and scale businesses.
Most importantly, he found that many large companies and corporations have resources, but lack the nuanced set of skills to capitalize on them. From this observation was born the idea to sell entrepreneurial skills as a service.
In 2019, Marko and Juho Vehviläinen came together and co-founded Coventures. Their idea was to help bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and big companies, and enable a more reliable way to build successful new ventures.
We bring companies and entrepreneurs closer together
We have noticed that there is a clear need in incumbent companies, startups, and scaleups alike to find business building talent, to help them build and grow their business. So far, there hasn’t been a good way for companies to find experienced entrepreneurs to help them with these challenges. Entrepreneurs do not typically work in management consulting firms, and the freelancer network for this rare skill set is quite scattered.
We bring companies and entrepreneurs closer together, by providing our clients access to entrepreneurial talent when and where it is needed. We also help EiRs to productize their skill set and experience, find clients who can benefit from it, and enable collaboration in projects among EiRs. Our focus is on building the best platform and community for entrepreneurs where they want to stay throughout different stages of their careers, whether it is helping other companies to succeed, building their own startups, or learning from a like minded peer group.
Our operating model has been a hybrid of a consulting company, a venture builder and an entrepreneurial freelancer platform. We are now taking the next steps to become a true co-venturing platform that connects clients’ business building needs with the right entrepreneurial talent, and provides EiRs all the services that they need to deliver exceptional results whether it’s client projects or building their own startups.
Innovation models, growth strategies and new businesses
We work with corporations, midcap companies, scale-ups and start-ups. The size of the client company, their business context, and the growth stage they are at is a factor that often determines the help that the client needs.
When we are talking about corporations and midcap companies, we often help our clients in three different areas. Helping to define a best-fit innovation model and growth strategy for the company, incubating and building new businesses, and accelerating the growth of new businesses.
In the start-up or scale-up contexts, we quite often start by identifying growth bottlenecks of the business, and then help with growth strategy, product leadership, sales development and recruiting, to name a few. In practice, we help the company to see where they should be going next and build the capabilities to get there.
Working At Coventures
As a platform, Coventures aims to enable entrepreneurs in using and sharing their skills in different settings. For our EiR, we’ve found a way to marry the freedom of being ‘’your own boss’ with being part of a community and having peers. We want entrepreneurs to have the opportunity to share and bounce their ideas, build new things, work in teams, and celebrate successful projects. At the same time, they get to choose their own projects and areas of interest, whether it be helping startups build their business from the ground up or working with larger corporations to redefine their strategy or build new businesses. We also offer EiR support in various areas, including administration, legal or marketing affairs. However they need assistance, we find a way to help them.
About the Authors
Mirka is a corporate communications professional working to create positive, measurable change for the communities and businesses she works with. Her work at Coventures is people-oriented and aims to make daily life more engaging and rewarding for members. As Community Manager, Mirka's role is to facilitate communications, bring contributors together, connect like-minded individuals, and grow the Coventures community.
Juho is an experienced business developer with a passion for entrepreneurship, venture building, and sales development. As a Coventures co-founder, Juho is building Coventures' sales capabilities, recruiting experienced entrepreneurs to join the community, and creating entrepreneurial teams to tackle interesting venture building challenges. He is also helping clients with growth challenges, especially from a commercialisation and sales perspective.
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