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Josefiina Kotilainen

Interview

From Coffee Runs to CFO: Josefiina’s Slush Ride

Josefiina Kotilainen’s journey from a volunteer at Slush to its CFO is a testament to the power of ambition and hard work. As a student in 2013, she entered the startup arena, taking on roles that ranged from construction to stage assistance. This hands-on experience laid the groundwork for her ascent to a pivotal role at Slush, illustrating how grassroots involvement can be a launchpad to leadership in the startup world.

Josefiina as a panelist at SLUSH – 📷 LinkedIn

Venture Capital Vibes with Josefiina

Post-Slush, Josefiina transitioned into the venture capital sector, embracing a new challenge with enthusiasm. She played a crucial role in founding Maki.vc in Finland, focusing on early stage founders with scientific advances and customer understanding that looks beyond convention. “I absolutely love it,” she says about her experience working with founders, highlighting her dedication to nurturing innovative startups and leveraging technology for global betterment.

At the Helm of Finland’s Startup Foundation

As the CEO of Startup Foundation,  Josefiina is more than an operational leader; she’s a visionary. Her ambitious goal for Finland’s startup ecosystem aims to see 100 startups each achieving €100 million in revenues by 2050. This objective reflects a comprehensive strategy to elevate Finland as a major player in the global startup landscape. She shares her conviction that startups are the most obvious solution to changing the word, given their flexibility and adaptable nature during formative years, and their ability to quickly transition to scaleups.

Josefiina: The Student Startup Champion

Josefiina places significant emphasis on the role of universities and entrepreneurship societies in fostering a vibrant startup culture. She advocates for the involvement of students in the startup ecosystem, recognizing their potential to drive significant societal and environmental change. “10 percent of all of the students in Finland have some kind of connection to the ES world,” she notes, underlining the impactful role these societies play in nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Josefiina on stage at SLUSH – 📷 LinkedIn

More Than Startups: Josefiina’s Immigration Reform Rally

Recognizing the importance of a diverse talent pool for achieving the ambitious goals of the Startup Foundation, Josefiina actively supports immigration reform. By advocating for policies that attract global talent to Finland, she highlights the critical need for an inclusive and supportive startup ecosystem. “We need more talent here in Finland…that’s essential,” she asserts, pointing to the intersection of entrepreneurship and policy as key to the future success of Finland’s startup ecosystem.

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Ben Costantini

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