Peter Vesterbacka & Kustaa Valtonen

Peter Vesterbacka & Kustaa Valtonen


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Helsinki-Tallinn Tunnel

Raising Billions with Peter Vesterbacka & Kustaa Valtonen

“Also look outside of your own country for investments”


Peter Vesterbacka
Peter Vesterbacka is an entrepreneur from the Finest Bay Area at the Heart of Eurasia, Helsinki, Finland. Branded communities co-created and initiated by Peter include the HP Bazaar, Mobile Monday, Slush and Startup Sauna to name a few. He was the Mighty Eagle at Angry Birds for many years taking that brand to unprecedented heights. Peter is also currently adjunct professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Tongji University, one of the leading universities in China. In 2011 Time Magazine named Peter one of the 100 most influential people on the planet.

Kustaa Valtonen
Working hard on building the FinEst BayArea! I am heading the Finest Bay Area Development Company program management office. The project is getting ready to construct the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel ( We are looking for innovation to make the tunnel safer, faster to build and cost efficient.
Tunnel innovation managed via FinestLove from CrazyTown program.

Finest Bay Area Development has expanded it’s scope by being active in developing ecosystems like the Triple E Campuses in Kirkenes Norway and several cities around Finland. Finest Bay Area also catalyzing Cluster development with Smart City Innovation Cluster and the creative space cluster Open Creative House.

Startup investments made through my privately held investment company Valtonen Capital and jointly owned Random Ventures. Both making early stage capital investments in startup companies. I hold board positions in many companies.



Peter Vesterbacka & Kustaa Valtonen

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Okay welcome to the supporters fund ask an angel i’m your host jeffrey potvin and today i’d like to welcome two investors uh to our panel today kusta and peter and very excited about this opportunity because kusta you and i talked probably about two months ago and we went through uh i feel a fantastic segment of me getting to learn about all these great things that you guys are doing so maybe to kick things off acousto you can give us a little quick brief uh background again on yourself and then we’ll jump into uh learning more about peter at the same time.

Kustaa: All right and and uh thanks jeffrey great to be back uh talking with you so my name is gustav altonen from finland been working in it industry for a long time at companies like hp microsoft as we talked about last time and then about 10 years a little bit more than 10 years i’ve been a full-time business angel working with the startup companies and helping them to to grow and develop their businesses and about five years ago we started with peter this um huge mega project and uh kind of a movement around that uh that uh we’ll be talking about today so we’re building the uh helsinki italian tunnel and what we call the fine nest bay area so connecting finland and estonia with a new piece of infrastructure.

Jeffery: Awesome that excites me so much because it’s such a massive massive project i think this should be all over the netflix and tv as a documentary so hopefully you guys are capturing all of this and everything you’re doing uh peter welcome to the show thank you very much for joining us uh why don’t we start off by again learning a little bit more about your background where you’ve come from and then we’re where you are today.

Peter: Yeah yeah so um uh yes i mentioned uh i met that at hp so i always say that i started my working life at the original tech star absolute one that bill and dave started in their garage in palo alto california 1939 before my time always have to mention when we have younger audience as well uh but yeah anyway uh i had the opportunity also to meet with both bill and day when they were still around so they were fantastic entrepreneurs not only did they start uh hp you know so it was bill hewlett they packard so they started hewlett-packard but uh they actually started the whole silicon valley so that’s uh where uh where the silicon valley got started in that uh you know tiny little garage there in palo alto uh california and i think that’s like a great and inspirational story uh because uh again there wasn’t much there uh before like the silicon valley that started there in in the san francisco bay area so you had uh you know a bunch of work shirts and stuff uh and okay it’s a long time ago if you look at it to now but yes i was working at hp uh both in the valley then in finland uh so i’d like uh um was in charge of like some stuff in finland uh that was when like the communications industry and business was opened up uh so uh we got the first like gsm operator got started uh competition was introduced very early here in in finland into our market like ecosystem uh which meant that then kalakanokia took off and a lot of companies a lot of startups around that and i was actually then ended up running something called the hp bazaar which was this kind of program that we created to make it very easy for the startups back then you know all these dot coms to work with hp uh supplying you know like these cool new services to mobile operators uh and hp was in the collecting the role of supplying the boring infrastructure to power all of these cool new services and hp also cannot manage to miss the internet and dot com wave so uh this bazaar thing was something that we put in place to connect then capture the next wave and and we did so we worked with about 600 startups uh around the world we also expanded this thing from helsinki to singapore tokyo cupertino london amsterdam milan beijing shanghai bangalore like all over the place so it’s like co-working before co-working and like a uh corporate like incubation exploration program but always just ask that okay so what is this bazaar and then i said that you know like uh and they are it’s like a partner program developer program incubator accelerator like what is it and i said it’s all of that and more that’s why we decided to call it the hp bazaar so it’s also the way i always enjoy doing branding and while i was there at uh hp and doing the bazaar thing then organized the game making competition in 2003 and then nicholas kim magnarno who were students at all top university uh some other great universities over here uh they took part in this game making competition uh so the objective was to make the best uh possible mobile multiplayer game so that was the time when nokia on our great finish company they were still in the business making phones they had come out with their first smartphones famous seven six fifty three six fifty some people might remember those and we wanted to create games for these uh smartphones and the hp interest was to provide the infrastructure so again the boring infrastructure to power these amazing games and nicholas uh steve mayardo they won the competition uh they came to me and said okay peter we won this competition what should we do i said okay you should do and you should always do what you love to do so you guys love making games so why don’t you start a company to do what you love they started rovio and then uh over the following six years they made 51 games and uh 11th of december 2009 52nd game angry birds uh came out so then i spent many years uh as the mighty eagle of rovio uh so uh taking that brand uh everywhere and uh also actually before uh uh becoming the mighty eagle latrobia in 2008 uh started slush which is now the biggest and best startup event on the planet uh so that’s something that uh also kinda like uh uh did together with a few friends back in 2008 so uh before joining rovio like full time but yeah anyways i’ve always been an entrepreneur always worked with uh the startup ecosystem and right now uh what we’re doing together with gusta and the people over here we’re building the finest uh bay area and uh that is actually um now the leading location if you look at you know the number of unicorns per capita number of startups the venture funds invested uh so uh finland actually was the uh biggest recipient of venture capital in in europe per capita like if you look at last year okay europe low bar so nothing to write home about but uh we’re doing okay and we actually have a higher number of uh unicorns per capita than you know silicon valley china you name it uh so this is the leading leading region uh when it comes to uh creating success uh if you take unicorns per capita as uh symmetric and uh with the finest bay area uh we intend to accelerate that so you know have uh all these uh interesting areas around this little body of water that you can see here in the background so you know helsinki tower in stockholm uh saint petersburg of course also like interesting uh place if you look at the universities and the talent so uh yeah right now we’re basically creating a bit of gravity here in in the finest bay area so that’s what we’re up to.

Jeffery: I love it and and it’s a very complete background i think the both of you have done some amazing things in the startup world in the investment world i just have to ask on the angry birds side is it the most successful business that has run through finland is it huge.
Peter: Nah not even not even by a long shot so i mean rovio uh yeah we had the ipo and uh hit uh billion in valuation so it’s one of the unicorns but uh i mean we have in the games industry alone i mean they’re super sale uh they uh uh basically were the first dickacorn so that was like a 10 billion valuation so you kind of guys that i also met during my hp