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Pentti Mansukoski

Nestholma Mentors’ Voice, part 3: Pentti Mansukoski. In the coming weeks we’ll showcase mentors that will be active in the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program. We’ve already featured Will Cardwell and Antti Kosunen Check back soon to see others.

Who are you?

Just two or three years back I was an investment banker with Nordea. I have a banking career of 28 years, including titles such as executive director and head of corporate finance, Nordic head of acquisition finance, head of large corporate customers in Finland, head of commercial banking at the New York branch etc. The last eight years with Nordea I was working dominantly as a financial advisor in M&A and equity transactions.

I made the career change to align better working hours with my personal interests and, I believe, my skills and talents. Currently I’m self employed, working through our family company Elfhill Oy. I am a professional photographer – my passion since age of 15. In addition, I work with selected start-ups as advisor/mentor and also as an investor. We also have tiny book publishing activities, an area we plan to develop in near term future. I also keep my previous profession active by advising few companies in financing issues and in general financial management.

In the past I have analyzed hundreds of different businesses, many of which I have worked with extensively, debating the strategies with top management teams or owners. This has given me a solid basis to evaluate business concepts and strategies – indeed I think I’m pretty good in picking up business concepts regardless of industry in question. Extensive managerial and leadership experience is useful when thinking what motivates people and why the do what they do. Adding to this my keen interest in visual communication, pictures, videos and everything related I feel Nestholma’s activity is a unique opportunity for me to utilize pretty much all skills I’ve accumulated so far..

Why the Yle Media Startup Accelerator is important?

I believe Yle Media Startup Accelerator is a great initiative for a host of reasons: we all are broadly aware of ongoing media changes but it will be more dramatic, faster and more unexpected than most of us can imagine. The Accelerator may allow Yle not just quickly follow the media market but also create completely new services. I think Yle has a very, very important role in the Finnish media industry. However, it is important that Yle is constantly looking for new ideas, services and ways to play its role even better, to the joy and benefit of all citizens. The Accelerator is a good method to bring in fresh ideas and initiatives in a cost effective, well managed way.

What is one important thing for every startup to keep in mind?

There are several pitfalls which start-ups face at some point. I have too often seen that the start-up team has fallen in love with their idea, or with the path they selected to use in commercializing the idea. The trap then is to start denying customer feedback or other clear signals saying they should change the course. So, if one important thing is chosen, I would underline the importance of listening to the market and prospective customers – and if one chooses to proceed against these signals, he or she should make sure it is done based on a solid, well-thought decision.

More about Pentti in LinkedIn