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Jouni Lounasmaa


Jouni is an experienced startup and foundation leader. He’s worked for over 15 years with startups as a co-founder, board member, CFO, and coach. Jouni has also held several leadership positions at science foundations driving strategic change and renewal. As the CEO of Startup Foundation Jouni wants to foster the emergence of diverse startup communities with new talent, science-based startups, and Helsinki’s growth into an international startup hub.

Ditty Damström


Before joining the Startup Foundation in 2019 as CFO, Ditty held various finance positions in international groups, living and working in half a dozen countries. For the last 15 years, she has been a keen observer of the emergence and growth of the Finnish startup ecosystem, while working for companies such as Sulake and ZenRobotics.

Verneri Välimaa

Ecosystem Catalyst

Verneri is a founder and venture catalyst helping Nordic and US-based companies and investors. He has cultivated a diverse global network and actively supports founders. Formerly enjoyed a six-year professional soccer career. Verneri has joined the Startup Foundation to complete his civil service duties. While serving in this role Verneri will aim to use his unique perspective to benefit the ecosystem.


Janne Snellman

Chairperson of the Board

Emma Lehikoinen

Anssi Rusi

Anssi Rusi
COO at Smartly

Anssi Rusi has 20 years of experience working in fast-growing and fast-pacing global product/technology companies. With the history of roles from software engineering to product management, from sales to business management, he is focusing on running global operations in startup and scaleup companies. Latest at

Marianne Vikkula

Eero Eloranta

Laura Juvonen

Laura Juvonen
Executive Director, Growth and Skills
Technology Industries of Finland

Laura is driven by technologies solving global challenges and the future of learning. At Technology Industries of Finland, she leads activities in growth, entrepreneurship, skills and education policy. The purpose is to enable sustainable growth and renewal of the technology industry based on digitalisation and principles of circular economy. Laura has worked in the public-private interface in fields ranging from advanced materials and computational engineering to sustainable growth. She holds a Doctor of Science degree in Computational Physics.

Riku Seppälä

Startup-säätiö sr

c/o Maria 01
Lapinlahdenkatu 16
00180 Helsinki

Email: info at
Phone: +358 50 475 3875
Business ID: 2499850-6 (y-tunnus)

Group of Delegates

Ilkka Kivimäki (Chairperson of the Board)
Sari Baldauf
Linda Liukas
Ilkka Paananen
Risto Siilasmaa