November 2, 2020

DAILY BRIEF: Sámi film, education, funding, vodka, Christmas calendar and sustainable food systems

Woman walking outside with a shovel
Merja Helander's Suodji (Shelter) is a modern-day adaptation of an old Sámi legend from Utsjoki.
AV-arkki

All the daily Finnish business news that works: Film, FinlandWay Schools, AppFollow, Koskenkorva Vodka, Kouvolan Lakritsi, VTT and Luke make headlines.

FinlandWay starts a preschool partnership in India, AppFollow raises funding, Koskenkorva Vodka finds a US distributor, Kouvolan Lakritsi‘s Christmas calendar wins a ScanStar award, Suodji wins at a Toronto-based film festival, and VTT and Luke tackle food challenges in Africa.

FinlandWay Schools enters India

A tall brick and glass building

FinlandWay Schools is entering India with a new multi-unit partnership with Garodia Education in Mumbai. FinlandWay provides early-childhood education from Finland to its international partners and the first Garodia FinlandWay preschool will open in Mumbai in early 2021, in connection with the Garodia International Centre for Learning Mumbai. More units are set to open in the country in the coming months as part of the partnership.

FinlandWay

AppFollow raises EUR 5 million

Many pictures of AppFollow employees

Helsinki, Finland-based app management startup AppFollow has raised five million euros in a series-A funding round led by Nauta Capital, with participation from existing investors Vendep Capital and RTP Global. AppFollow offers tools to monitor and optimise applications on app stores to boost their growth and customer loyalty. The startup will use the funding to strengthen its presence in the US and Europe, as well as hire sales and marketing executives and diversify its platform.

AppFollow

Koskenkorva Vodka partners with Niche Imports in US

A bottle of Koskenkorva Vodka next to a mug and limes

Finnish vodka brand Koskenkorva has started a sales and marketing partnership in the US with New Jersey-based Niche Imports. Koskenkorva Vodka is produced by Finland’s Altia Group. Niche Imports will promote and distribute the beverage throughout the US as an authentic Nordic vodka with serious green credentials. The vodka has been distilled in the Finnish village of Koskenkorva since 1953, at a distillery that is today powered by its own bioenergy power plant.

Altia Group

Kouvola liquorice Christmas calendar wins design award

Two women presenting a house-like Christmas calendar

Finnish designers Heidi Tikkala and Riitta Kauppila from British packaging business DS Smith have won a ScanStar award for a Christmas calendar they designed for Finnish liquorice producer Kouvolan Lakritsi. The judges of the contest organised by the Scandinavian Packaging Association were impressed by the calendar’s unusual box-like shape and recyclable qualities, it being made completely from cardboard, which can also offer children further use in play. The ScanStar award opens a route for the designers to this winter’s global WorldStar Awards.

Kouvolan Lakritsi

Sámi film Suodji is awarded for innovative storytelling

Woman lying on the ground

Finnish artist Merja Helander’s short film Suodji (Shelter) has won the Award for Innovation in Storytelling at the ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival held in Toronto, Canada. Filmed in the North Sámi language, the film is a modern-day adaptation of an old legend from Utsjoki, Sápmi (Finland), of how the director’s relative Ovllá-Ivvár Helander decided to fool death during the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a similar threat today. The protagonist in the film is walking in Ovllá-Ivvár’s footsteps. But in the end, who is really who?

AV-arkki

Finnish research centres to tackle food challenges in Africa

Grains on a plate

Three EU-funded projects have started developing and implementing solutions for tackling the challenges faced by food systems in Africa, under the leadership of Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The goal of the projects is to transform the food system to more sustainable and efficient production and to promote the use of nutritious yet underutilised crops on the continent. Read our article about the initiative by clicking the headline.

VTT

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