Business Forum


A Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Minnesota event
in collaboration with FinnFest USA 2014.

The North Star State: A Gateway to the USA

The Land of the Midnight Sun: A Gateway to the Global Market and Innovation

Thursday, August 7, 2014, 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Connecting Gateways is a business conference to discuss connecting Finland and Minnesota with presentations from Finnish companies, Minnesota and Finland state representatives, and panel discussions.

This half day program will feature:

  • A keynote speech by Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Ambassador of Finland to the United States
  • A presentation by The Mighty Eagle Peter Vesterbacka of Rovio (Angry Birds)
  • Industry specific panels on medical technology and high tech/clean tech
  • A Minnesota welcome by Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State

The high tech / clean tech panel explores the potential of this sector with moderator Ambassador Jukka Pietikäinen, Consul General of Finland in New York. Panel members include Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President, MN High Tech Association, Bill Gray, CEO Uponor North America, and Mark Sutton, Director at 3M.

The Intersection of Health and Medical Devices – What is a medical device: today and in the future – Lessons from Finland panel is moderated by Val Kratzman, Finpro, and features panelists Joe Shaw of Shaw Consulting, Shaye Mandle, CEO LifeScience Alley, and a Finnish industry representative.


Finland’s location offers an ideal entry point to both EU and the Eastern Europe. The conference provides you an opportunity to connect with the representatives of Finland in the United States and the local Chamber of Commerce, and to learn about Finland, her economy and innovation climate. In this conference we will discuss how Minnesota can help Finnish companies enter the US market, and how Finland can help Minnesota companies enter the global marketplace through partnerships. We’ll also explain what potential there is for technology transfer between the two regions.


Minnesota and Finland both rely on high technologies in their economies, share similar lifestyles, cultural values and climate, and both have a diverse and stable economy with a sophisticated, hard-working and well-educated work force.


  • International business executives
  • Business consultants
  • Private investment executives
  • Service providers
  • Importers
  • Exporters
  • Freight carriers

Thursday, August 7, 2014, 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403

Registration is through Eventbrite, and is now open: Click Here!

For questions, please call:

  • Jouko Sipilä, p. 203-918-9920
  • Risto Sivula, p. 651-278-1398

In conjunction with the Business Forum, main FinnFest events include Education Forum August 6-7, as well as music, performances, lectures and a marketplace of Finnish products, Tori, August 8-10.