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Anssi Vanjoki: Founders’ passion, will to create and talent make investing rewarding

Slush is organized for the 5th time and for most of those past events, the iconic Nokia-executive-turned-angel-investor Anssi Vanjoki has attended to conference. In the recent years, Anssi has made investments in e.g. Valkee, Gamebook and AQSens, but this time around, Anssi returns to Slush as the recently appointed chairman of Vertu, luxury mobile phones manufacturer.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from working with startups?

It is always so rewarding to see the passion of those, who came up with the basic idea of the base case for a new start up company. However it is as important to ensure, that besides founder passion, competent people are involved in trust networks, which bring all pieces of succes in place. This includes particularly people with business acumen and experience. There is no business without customers!

What does the future of startups look like? 

Best business is new and different and start up companies are all about something new. I am particulalrly impressed by startups, who make technical products with high software component in them and possibility to grow the business through services.

You spoke out quite strongly at Slush 2011 to encourage people with private money to invest in startups. Has the investment landscape in Finland changed since then?

Unfortunately it has not changed that much. I am quite dissapointed, that the government of Finland has not stimulated this are more with tax policies favoring investments to new growth and  business creation.

The biggest problem in Finland continues to be the lack of capital.

The emphasis of funding growth should be more in favoring investments to growth businesses, than capital injections and subsidies. In my opinion, this should be one of the highes priorities for political decision makers, who try to construct a strategy of survival after Finnish technology business melt down.

What can we expect from you at Slush 2012?

I will be talking about the market of techluxury and opportunities in serving the global market of wealthy individuals.

To hear more on Anssi’s thoughts on techluxury as well as our 60+ other speakers’, get your Slush tickets here.

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