For this year we have gathered four amazing companies from different fields of business:


Viking Malt challenge for Lahti Venture Program

Challenge: Viking Malt is looking for a more sustainable solution to deliver malt to our customers in a package that is easy to use and has an appealing design.

Viking Malt is a leading malting company in Northern Europe and a world-leading producer of speciality malts. We have malthouses in the Baltic Sea area in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Poland that produce 600,000 tonnes of malt annually. Over 60 different types of malt are shipped to as many as 65 countries around the globe. We service many of the world’s largest breweries but are also strong in supplying craft brewing.

Most of the malt is shipped in bulk containers but almost all malt for craft breweries is sold in 25 kg sacks, typically made of polypropylene or polypropylene-polyethylene plastics. The sacks are filled either with intact or crushed malted grains that should be protected against moisture, but the sacks should also tolerate moderate impact and light cuts resulting from logistics and handling at the brewery. Typically, the malt bags are palletised on 1,200×1,000 mm pallets with 4 bags in a layer, totaling 500-1,000 kg depending on the number of layers. Malt pallets should be compact and maintain their form to allow efficient logistics. Currently, the pallets may lose form in the logistics chain, requiring more space than what would be optimal. Eventually, the empty sacks are typically disposed by the breweries as energy waste.

The challenge for the students in Lahti Venture Program is to reduce the environmental impact of our small-volume packaging. This goal could potentially be reached in many ways: though the form and material of the packaging is not restricted, it should be easy to handle manually by brewers, durable enough, cost-effective, compatible with high throughput automatic packing and stackable on pallets. The total life-cycle of the packaging should be considered, and even new waste management strategy for the current packaging could make an impact. Finally, the packaging should not only be practical but also attractive, as we want our customers to be proud to have Viking Malt at their brewery.


Osuuskauppa Hämeenmaa’s challenge for the Lahti Venture Program

Challenge: Creating a customer acquisition concept around making young people customer-owners of a cooperative

Customer acquisition is a strategic focus area of every successful business, and as a business that seeks to advance we are constantly looking for more potential customers and customer-owners. The purpose of this project is to create a customer acquisition concept for Osuuskauppa Hämeenmaa, with the target group consisting of young people aged 18 to 25 in particular.

Young people are already consumers of the services offered by the cooperative, but customer-ownership does not yet speak to them to a significant degree. This customer group is important to our business, and we also consider them to be viable customers in the long term. They still have the most significant purchases of their lives ahead of them.

The starting point for this project is to determine how customer acquisition can be carried out in a way that pleases and interests this target group. Which media and situations would help us reach our target group the best, and how? What are the things that speak to them? We hope to gain answers to these questions from the perspective of young people themselves through this project.


Muovijaloste Oy’s challenge for the Lahti Venture Program

Challenge: How to develop the service experience of customer companies in a customer-oriented manner while taking into account changes in the industry’s operating environment.

Founded in 1949, Muovijaloste Oy is a forerunner in multicolour-printed plastic packaging. Muovijaloste is still steered by the traditional values of a family business: a focus on the customer, high quality, a forerunner’s expertise and reliability. Muovijaloste is committed to the principles of sustainable development. All of our packaging materials are food-grade and suitable for either incineration or recycling. We are part of the chemical industry’s Responsible Care programme, a global voluntary initiative aimed at sustainable development. This is the most long-standing and well-established programme of its kind in the industry.

Now the company is seeking new inspiration for its operations and a boost to its sales. Muovijaloste wants to develop a service package to be offered to customers that will support the company’s acquisition of new customers and drive long-term customer commitment. The aim is to stand out from the competition primarily through the offered customer experience and quality of service.

Muovijaloste’s customers consist of food industry companies that use Muovijaloste’s products as part of their own products. The customers’ needs differ considerably depending on the size of the company, and expectations regarding access to information and the digitality of the purchase process, for example, vary significantly.

Ilme Oy’s challenge for the Lahti Venture Program

Challenge: How can we help bring together trainees and organisations and improve the job-seeker experience?

Ilme is a marketing and communications office operating in Lahti and Tampere providing everything a company might need to stand out from the competition. Ilme offers services for a wide range of needs, from ideas to implementation. The objective of the services Ilme provides and everything it does is growth, of the business and the working community.

Ilme attributes its success to its personnel, and day to day operations at Ilme are guided by how the employees feel at work. The company offers employees opportunities for growth and development both as individuals and as communities, and the company tries to make each day at work significant. The company welcomes new trainees on a regular basis, but the ways in which it looks for new talent are varied.

“Sometimes trainees contact us, sometimes we advertise positions and sometimes potential trainees are recommended to us. Unfortunately, our busy working schedule does not leave very much time for finding trainees.”

Now, the advertising agency is looking for input from students to solve its recruitment challenges.

“We hope that the student team will be able to come up with a solution that brings organisations in the creative industry together with trainees without geographical restrictions, restrictions related to personal relationships or other limitations. We hope to utilise recommendations and word-of-mouth within various channels more efficiently and we want to improve the company-specific job-seeker experience. We hope to be able to launch an operational model or process that could be productised for utilisation by other operators in similar fields.”