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You and your company are served by the Business Center’s team of top experts.

Come visit us or contact us!

Business Center Pohjois-Savo
Microkatu 1,
70210 KUOPIO,
puh. +358 44 785 6922

Kaija Sääski

Business Center, director

Management, HR, networks, partnerships

In addition to Business Center leadership, I'm the manager of Savonia UAS’ technology, business, and tourism & hospitality industry. I am also a non-fiction author. My expertise includes management, leadership, competence development, utilization of multidisciplinary competence and vocational education. I have a Licentiate in Social Sciences. My favorite color is turquoise blue and hobby is versatile exercise.


Harri Holopainen

Business Center, innovation advisor

Development of the initial business idea, cooperation with educational institutions

I have worked in sales, customer service and ICT projects. In particular, I believe that the quality of sales and customer service is an important whole for an SME. I am interested in creativity and the innovations it enables, as well as business that is created through innovations. Favorite color blue, favorite hobby cycling.

Jarkko Pellikka

Business Center, expert on Entrepreneurship & Innovations

Commercialization of innovations, ecosystem and R&D cooperation

I coach the clients of the Business Center in innovation commercialization and student entrepreneurship development. Developing key competencies and business growth opportunities is essential in my work. My mission is to accelerate student entrepreneurship, raise the level of entrepreneurship teaching and research, and support the growth and development of the region.

Johan Halvarsson

Business Center, innovation expert

Company business development, business sparring and mentoring, change management, service portfolio strategy, networking, ecosystem development

I am an eager professional in innovation commercialization and entrepreneurship sparring. I have expertise in both SME and internationalization. I help existing companies grow their businesses and start-ups find the path for success. I help them avoid the biggest pitfalls and drops into bigger grooves - with a happy mind and ‘anything is possible’ approach!

Entrepreneurship education strategy

Matti Laitinen

Business Center, innovation advisor

Development of startup and growth companies, commercialization of innovations, stakeholder and event cooperation (Fin & Eng), entrepreneurship and innovation education practices and strategy

My strengths are business concept design, creative experimentation, service design, service sales, marketing and networks. I can help people find networks and create new phenomena related to, e.g., entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. I compile the practices of entrepreneurship and innovation education in Pohjois-Savo and develop the services of the area’s RDI environments. My favorite color is blue and I enjoy hiking.


Anu Häiväläinen

Business Center, Business Promotion Officer

Innovation consulting, development of startup and growth companies, stakeholder cooperation, workshops/facilitation

I am an innovative corporate business developer and mother of the Havuja programs. I can help our customers find their own strengths and earn new opportunities. I am particularly interested in innovations, customer perspective, productization and financing. I like to hold workshops and have fun at Espacenet. My favorite color is yellow and hobby is garden.

Heli Laine

University of Eastern Finland, Business Cooperation Coordinator

Stakeholder and event cooperation, networks, partnerships

I am involved in the Business Center as a representative of the University of Eastern Finland. My job description includes strengthening the cooperation between the business world and universities, as well as the culture of innovation. In practice, it means e.g. development of various support services and supporting multidisciplinary cooperation through various events and meetings. I have previous work experience in the field of trade and in the administration of a university hospital in the management of health scientific research.

Maarit Manninen

Business Center, Business Promotion Officer

Development of startup and growth companies, financing, stakeholder cooperation

My expertise is business development and various sources of funding. I get excited about innovations and multidisciplinary cooperation. I work as a Business Promotion Officer in BusinessKuopio. I have a M.Sc. in Economics and Social Sciences. My favorite color is red and I enjoy making crafts.

Marja-Leena Laitinen

BusinessKuopio, business advisor

Development of startup and growth companies, financing, stakeholder cooperation

I am a keen business developer. I help clients clarify their business-related development needs by building development entities together with them. I also help them apply for funding to ensure the success. I'm involved in our region’s startup actions, ecosystem development, and on FiBAN cooperation. My favorite color is blue and hobby is wandering in nature.

Marja Kauppinen

Business Center, business advisor

Commercialization of the business idea, business development, strategy expertise in all phases of the company’s life cycle

I work at BC as an entrepreneurship expert, developer of entrepreneurship studies and as a teacher. I have strong strategic skills at all stages of a company life cycle - I have gained my experience as an entrepreneur and by working in business development services. I also have a Master’s degree in innovation management. My favorite color is dark blue.

Risto Räsänen

Business Center, business advisor

Students’ practice business activities, teaching of entrepreneurship studies

I'm in Business Center part of the entrepreneurship learning environment development team. I consider it important that students have the opportunity to acquire the widest possible entrepreneurial skills already during their studies. At Savo Vocational College, I instruct students in various entrepreneurship courses and in training company activities.

Sirpa Muiniekka

Business Center, expert on entrepreneurship

Business development, company profitability, financial management

I am a M.Sc. Economics and business administration lecturer in Savo Vocational College. I have previously worked as a financial manager, change manager and CEO. My expertise is e.g. building a business idea, company profitability, business development, financial affairs and personnel management. My favorite color is dark blue and hobby is walking in a woods.

Tomi Tuovinen

Business Center, innovation advisor

Promotion of early business ideas, pitching, international activities

I work at Business Center as a representative of the University of Eastern Finland. Tasks include e.g., running the 1st stage of the Havuja -accelerator programme, 1-on-1 sparring of early-stage business ideas, promoting commercialization services among students, and misc cooperation with companies and stakeholders. My hobby is music: I sing and play guitar in two bands. I also play piano and drums.


Jarmo Viljaharju

Business expert

Jarmo has extensive experience in multicultural service management. With Nokia, Jarmo lived for 20 years in 5 different countries, working in business management positions. Jarmo's areas of expertise are organizational development and change management and facilitation as well as team work development. Jarmo is also an ISO 9001 certified auditor, as well as Six Sigma Black Belt certified.

Lauri Kerman

Project manager

Lauri has strong experience in company development, corporate restructuring and financing from the perspective of operational management, board member and owner. Lauri has previously worked for 13 years as CEO of Osuuskunta KPY and before that for 15 years in the investment and finance industry, most recently at Icecapital investment bank.

Tarja Tapaninen

Communication specialist

Tarja has more than twenty years of experience in various communication tasks in the public and private sector. His special skills are project development and service design, as well as impact communication related to development. In the Leap growth program, Tarja focuses on marketing the program, concretizing the results of the work through communication, and modeling the entire program.