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Five from Finland

Nokia alumni

Companies founded by Nokia alumni are making a name for themselves on the international scene.

Julia Helminen

Nokia’s deep roots in Finland are the foundation of many success stories. We take a look at a handful of companies which emerged after their founders left the telecom giant.

At its peak, Nokia was the epitome of Finland’s economic success and innovative spirit. After a well-documented decline resulted in considerable downsizing of staff earlier this century, the culture that had fostered technological breakthroughs began to spawn numerous very promising startups.

Check out these five firms founded by ex-Nokians.


Casambi’s solutions allow for the creation of customised lighting scenes and schedules, enhancing both the functionality and ambiance of any space, whether it be commercial, residential or public.


Founded in 2011, the Espoo-headquartered company aims to brighten up the future with lights that can be adjusted to increase alertness and wellbeing. The solution offers users the possibility to adjust illumination according to their individual preferences and requirements.

“Lighting has traditionally been kind of accidental,” co-founder Timo Pakkala told us a few years ago. “It is always a bit too bright or dark with limited controls. But today, tunable lighting makes it possible to mimic natural light and even change colour temperature based on the weather outside or what someone is doing. We call it lighting that fits the purpose.”

The technology relies on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and a wireless mesh network that together with an easy-to-use app and an intuitive interface make for a user-friendly solution. The company's solutions are not only designed for energy efficiency and convenience but also aim to enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of lighting systems.


QuietOn earplugs boost one’s wellbeing by reducing stress brought upon by continuous background noise.


It is not a well-kept secret that our morning readiness depends heavily on how well we slept the night before. The founders of QuiteOn have come to the rescue, promising to deliver light sleepers some undisturbed shut-eye with the world’s smallest active noise-cancelling earbuds.

The earbuds effectively block out all noise but have been engineered to especially shut out low frequencies, such as snoring, city noise or pet sounds. The technology has been received with well-rested, open arms. The earbuds have already empowered over 150 000 customers in more than 120 countries to reach superior sleep quality.

“Our feedback has been magical,” founder and CPO Janne Kyllönen told us. “The product has the potential to change people’s lives. Its ability to minimise the irritation caused by snoring has already saved some marriages.”


Team Action Zone caters to a wide range of audiences, including corporate teams, educational groups and families looking for an entertaining way to spend time together.


As its name suggests, this Tampere-based company has set out to boost teamwork with the help of technology. With the ActionTrack solution, users can design, create and gamify indoor and outdoor experiences anywhere.

At its core, Team Action Zone is about boosting synergy between employees and getting people moving. The company’s innovative approach to team building and entertainment has been received well, with customers and licensees in about 60 countries.

“We want to offer something that can increase the sense of community and help people exercise,” said CEO Kari Laurila. “This is our contribution to better health, fun learning and encouraging creativity.”


Disior has developed software to analyse and model bone fractures and soft tissue.


Founded with the mission to transform the way clinicians diagnose and treat conditions related to bones and soft tissues, Disior utilises advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence to turn CT and MRI images into precise 3D models and quantitative data. This helps to streamline the workflow of medical professionals, reducing the time and resources spent on image analysis while enhancing the quality of care.

“Currently this type of analysis is largely manual, which means that decisions about treatment can be highly subjective,” explained CEO Anna-Maria Henell. “Our software provides data that is accurate, objective and comparable.”

Disior is also a great example of how Finnish companies have harnessed the power of supercomputing. According to director at CSC (Finnish IT Centre for Science) Minna Lappalainen, Disior was able to analyse jaw bone reconstruction approximately ten times faster than initially using supercomputing.


Varjo’s cutting-edge products are aimed at professional users and industries that require the highest visual fidelity.


This Helsinki-based provider of virtual and mixed-reality hardware and software caters primarily to professional markets, including design, architecture, engineering, research and simulation training. Since its foundation in 2016, Varjo has been on a mission to offer unparalleled visual fidelity and set a new standard in immersive technologies.

“We bring human-eye resolution to VR, which no one has done before,” co-founder Urho Konttori previously told us. “We believe this can revolutionise how companies use VR.”

Varjo is also a notable participant in the Metaverse Initiative by Finnish Ecosystem, launched last year with the goal of transforming Finland into a pioneer of digital experiences of the future. The Finnish metaverse industry is predicted to grow to 30 billion euros by 2035, supported by an ecosystem estimated to encompass over 250 companies.

By: Zhanna Koiviola