HAMK’s master students learning from business experts at Urban Mill

On a sunny Friday 27.4.2018, Urban Mill got visitors from Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), when its students from the Master’s degree programme in Business Management and Entrepreneurship spent the last contact day of their spring semester in Otaniemi.

During the day, the students had the pleasure of listening to lectures from experts from very varied fields of business. Lars Miikki from Urban Mill was kind enough to tell the story and mission of the Urban Mill Innovation Platform (Public-Private-People-Partnership), and Mikael Virkki came to give a lecture about the global operations of Business Finland. Teijo Räsänen and Tommi Gustafsson from Innotiimi International Ltd Oy talked about their company, change leadership and the many different styles of leadership with real life examples, and Perttu Karjalainen from Entocube gave a lecture about the global environmental problems the food industry causes, and gave an introduction into a possible solution: edible insect farming.

All of the subjects were very interesting and got a lot of discussion going on among the students. None of the lecturers was spared from sharp questions. The students got real treats, since Perttu from Entocube brought some tastings from their own production: crickets! How yummy! For lunch, the students visited the beautiful Fat Lizard restaurant and bar, which was conveniently in a walking distance. There they enjoyed a company introduction and a buffet – and also some more crickets.

At the end of the day, the students had a workshop, where they discussed the day’s topics and presented their own ideas and thoughts about change management and modern trends in food industry.

All of the students enjoyed the day at Urban Mill greatly, and the facilities got many praises for their innovative and refreshing atmosphere. The students were impressed also on the fact that the surrounding Otaniemi is full of companies with the same start-up mindset as Urban Mill. Lars Miikki mentioned at least Urban Mill’s neighbours at Otaniemi Innovation Alley: Startup Sauna and Aalto Design Factory with all its innovative students. Such a creative place!

Thank you for the awesome day, Urban Mill!

Text and photos: Terhi Tammivirta, Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK).

Mahtava Espoo-päivä 29.8.2015 Urban Millillä! Parisataa innovaatiopuutarhuria paikalla!

Kaikki Urban Millin tapahtumapisteet: http://tag.urbanmill.org/tag/16445?a

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Innovation Garden grown EntoCube wants to end world hunger

From: http://www.espooinnovationgarden.fi

EntoCube farms insects in Espoo Innovation Garden for human consumption. Their container can hold up to hundreds of thousands of house crickets.

In the heart of Espoo Innovation Garden in Otaniemi, in the backyard of Startup Sauna and Urban Mill stands the budding innovation by the Espoo-based company EntoCube. The shipping container, which is hot and humid inside, is buzzing with insects. EntoCube’s goal is to end world hunger.

”Protein, iron, vitamins”, lists of Perttu Karjalainen, one of the young founding members of EntoCube. Insects are nourishing food.

”They are a local, economical and ecologically sustainable source of nutrition”, assures Karjalainen.

”We farm insects in a transferable container without water, soil or long supply chains. The food is produced close to the consumer. In the cube the crickets are safe from nature’s extremes, such as droughts and floods.”

Feeding the crickets is economical because they live off a student restaurant’s left-over salad and vegetable peels.

”The cube also has communal and social importance because it creates jobs for the locals”, adds Robert Nemlander, Karjalainen’s colleague, to the list of the positives of the insect cube. Feeding, cleaning, and sorting insects in different developmental stages has to be done daily.

Farming the original population shipped through Europe from Holland to Espoo had its obstacles, but through experimenting and learning the production has started to flow.

”At the moment we have about 100,000 specimens in the cube. At its full capacity the cube can produce five kilogrammes of food per day”.

The orders have already started to come in. The first containers EntoCube will deliver to its customers in the Nordic countries and in the Baltics, but the main target countries are in Southeast Asia, where, according to the EntoCube crew, the house cricket is already a traditional delicacy and source of nutrition.

The business is anticipating a boost from Startup Sauna’s spring programme, which the founders of EntoCube have been part of for a few weeks now. Their company was one of the fourteen lucky applicants that were chosen to the programme out of 500 hopefuls. The start-up programme participants are coached by dozens of experienced serial entrepreneurs and experts in different fields.

The young entrepreneurs believe that there will be a market for their product.

”Even in the Western world there could be an insect cube in the backyard of every restaurant”, Karjalainen envisions as he heads off to plan the upcoming cricket barbecue – a grill party with insect delicacies.