The students and the company benefit

Text: Kreetta Haaslahti Photos: Julia Hannula

For a long time, the young man had thought about starting a company and employing himself. When an opportunity presented itself, he did not waste time getting started. 

Toward the end of 2011, the 18-year-old Joni Jokela was working toward his bachelor's degree in Information and Communications Technology at Sataedu in Ulvila, when he was provided with an opportunity to complete a project for a company. 
– I thought, why should I postpone starting my own company any longer? Serbus started operations in December 2011.

The success of the first project is evident in the fact that the company is still Jokela's client.

Studies continue, the company's operations accelerate

After the young man completed his bachelor's degree, he continued his studies at the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in the autumn of 2013. He had already heard about the enterprise accelerator activities at the beginning of his business studies, became interested and decided to find out more.

– At the very first accelerator meeting, I obtained new aspects to think about in terms of my own company.

At the time of the interview, Jokela is working on the study module called Developing Business Activities.

– Pia Marjanen is my personal mentor. We meet every 1–2 weeks and discuss ways to develop my company. She has given me a lot of things to think about and development ideas for my business.

Aiming to employ other people

Jokela is happy with the way that the accelerator enables the combination of entrepreneurship and studying. 
- This is a win-win situation for me. By developing myself and my company, I get to complete optional study modules that are a part of my degree.

The enterprise accelerator also provides the opportunity to network with the people who currently are or who have previously been involved in enterprise accelerator activities. 
- For example, a group of us went to a hockey game. It was easy to get to know each other and share experiences while keeping an eye on the game.

Jokela's future plans include growing his business. 
- In addition to employing myself full-time, my goal is to employ others in various business operations.

Jokela warmly recommends the accelerator model. 
- Based on my own experiences, I recommend the enterprise accelerator to all students who have even a budding thought about starting their own business.