Brave step

When the horizon is blurred and cloudy the skipper and his team must adapt to stay in pace and race. Reefing sails would be the traditional maneuver, but what if the wind does not fade. What then? Think out-of-the-box!

All established corporations face the same blurred and cloudy horizon as Stora Enso now. Corporate managements must think out-of-the-box to adapt to the rapid changes in business environment. They must change the leadership culture to enable fast adaption.

It is a ultimately a journey of seeking a leadership culture of entrepreneurship:  -focus on people, flexibility, fast adaption to change and immediate execution of sudden opportunities – and tolerance of failure.

The greatest tool for change might be entrepreneurs themselves. Corporate people hands on working together with startup entrepreneurs in real life business cases.

We are about to see new innovations in corporate leadership culture. Congratulations Stora Enso for taking the brave step. It will pay off.



Stora Enso has chosen six startups to join its Accelerator Programme, a joint startup initiative organised by Stora Enso, Aalto University Developing Entrepreneurship (Aalto ENT) and Vertical Accelerator.

The Accelerator Programme combines an executive education programme with a startup accelerator, in collaboration with dedicated partners from Vertical and Aalto ENT. The programme invited startups from all over the world to pitch their business idea, especially within the areas of smart factories, supply chain track and trace, and customer experience – or any other compelling idea with a clear connection to the renewable materials industry.

The winning teams were selected from a pool of over 120 applicants following an intensive application round, including final pitching to the Stora Enso Group Leadership Team. The proposals ranged from big data and analytics to IoT, supply chain optimization, safety and many other ideas that could potentially support the transformation of Stora Enso’s business. The startups invited to join the Accelerator Programme are:

– Sulapac (
– Top Data Science (
– Collective Crunch (
– Trä Kronor (
– LOOP by Circology (
– Drvr (

The final decisions were based on the startups’ capacity to bring diverse out-of-the-box thinking and the fit of their business idea.

The Accelerator Programme combines management development with cooperation and partnership with startups. From Stora Enso, 18 participants will join the programme which consists of executive education as well as working side-by-side with the startups supporting them to develop their business. The chosen startups will have dedicated resources from Stora Enso, participate in a globally renowned 4-month Vertical accelerator programme and get a 4-month free co-working space in one of Europe’s biggest startup hubs, Maria 0-1 located in Helsinki.

“The Accelerator Programme is a great way to build and strengthen the competencies and capabilities needed to continue Stora Enso’s transformation journey. Not only we will gain new knowledge, but it is also an opportunity to learn about the entrepreneurial mindset and way of working. We are looking for cross-fertilisation between Stora Enso and the startups, and we hope that the companies joining the programme will become potentially long-term partners,” says Karl-Henrik Sundström, CEO of Stora Enso.

About The Accelerator Programme
The Accelerator Programme is designed to identify startups bringing disruptive innovations in digitalisation, IoT, big data, analytics, supply chain, AI, VR, robotics, or in any other part of the chain that can help to speed up our transformation as the world-leading renewable materials company. In order to get there faster we have invited six innovative, fast-moving startups to advance our understanding about new technologies and market trends. All the selected startups act in an area of strategic importance to Stora Enso. The startups, in turn, will have the opportunity to develop their business by working side-by-side with Stora Enso employees and participate in an external accelerator programme. The startups we have selected to collaborate with could be our partners or suppliers of tomorrow.

For more information:
Carl Norell, SVP, Communications, tel. +46 1046 71709

Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper on global markets. Our aim is to replace fossil-based materials by innovating and developing new products and services based on wood and other renewable materials. We employ some 25 000 people in more than 35 countries, and our sales in 2016 were EUR 9.8 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY). 



For more information:
Carl Norell
SVP, Communications
tel. +46 1046 71709

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