I started my journey in the tech industry as a part-time web developer twenty years ago, back when many companies were taking their first steps online and into the e-commerce sphere. In the early 2000s, most of the online trade was local, meaning that the international e-commerce leap was still ahead. As the business grew, it started also to expand cross-borders — in 2016, 15 percent of global e-commerce was international, and it is projected to grow to 22 percent in 2022.

Right now, Amazon is the leader of global e-commerce, accounting for close to 40 percent of US e-sales…


Product management is one of the most critical parts of scaling an early-stage startup. Why else would it usually be the responsibility of the CEO until the first product manager joins the team? PMs work in the intersection between understanding customers, technology, and user desires, which makes the role so versatile that one-size-fits-all answers are nearly impossible to come by. But how to be visionary, analytical, and practical while simultaneously being in continuous interaction with a large pool of stakeholders? I asked three professionals from our portfolio to share their insights on how to excel as PM.

In 2016, before…


The ‘Crossing the Death Valley’ -series has covered industrial startups growing from pilots to commercial deployments and beyond. For some hardworking, talented and lucky founders, this growth path might have been surprisingly smooth: great technology, brand, operations and market demand. If things end up going south for a startup like this, it’s often because they’ve made bad choices regarding intellectual property protection and contracting.

I sat down with two seasoned lawyers who have experience from both the corporate and startup sides to discuss why IP protection is important, and what the best practices and biggest pitfalls are. …


Maki.vc joined forces with Combient Foundry to put together a survey on collaboration between industrial deep tech startups and corporations. Our first crucial steps across the Death Valley took us from tech development to successful pilots. Now we turn our focus to commercial deployments, the next critical phase of the journey. Our study showed that less than half of respondents had been able to get to commercial deployments, and only 10–20% had reached multiple commercial deployments. What keeps so many startups from reaching bigger deals and repeat sales?

All functions must reinvent their way of working in order to get to commercial deployments

When an industrial deep tech startup reaches commercial deployment, it means that…


Maki.vc joined forces with Combient Foundry to put together a survey on collaboration between industrial deep tech startups and corporations. One of the main findings we learned from approximately 100 Nordic founders and corporate executives was that far too few collaborations have led to commercial deployments. Luckily though, many startup-corporate collaborations included a pilot that acts as the crucial push for industrial deep tech startups to cross the death valley.

As pilots can be tricky, yet potential change-makers for startups in a path to commercial deployment, I decided to dive a bit deeper into the topic. I’ll share insights gained…

Paavo Räisänen

Early-stage VC investor @ Maki.vc. Focusing on B2B SaaS and Industrial Solutions (IoT, new materials).

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