IBD update: Tekes one more time

Hi everyone!!!

Last time we wrote on this blog, it was all about Canada and our energy experiments with biomass… (if you recall that picture in Montreal)… we were so young and full of energy.. Little did we know how much that energy would later be needed.

For our project, Isabel, Mary Mazdak and I were appointed to conduct specific research for 4 clients about the Canadian biomass and wind energy sectors, and to present a comprehensive analysis with recommendations to each of them. We delivered another report and presentation to Tekes, the Finnish government agency for technology and innovation.

Finland was quite an experience.. let us start with saying that the country is beautiful!! .. full of trees.. really.. FULL-OF-TREES.. now we know why the Finnish are so good at using biomass to generate heat and electricity.. wood is for them what corn is for Iowa… they harvest it amazingly.

Speaking of food, typical Finnish cuisine is very good and interesting.. The Finnish pride themselves for having the finest caviar in the world. Apparently, they have more variety than the Russians. It was a delicacy.. and except for everything else, not an expensive one (a small tar of good caviar would cost us about 5 Euros). Their fish and, especially the salmon, is also fantastic!!.. and.. they eat reindeer!  I made the unfortunate joke of asking our waiter one day if the reindeer we were eating was one of Santa’s.. (apparently, Santa lives in Lapland, which is at the very north of Finland). Below is a piece of Rudolph’s rib-eye.. some salmon, kipper, some berries and veggies.. very balanced, although heavy!


One thing you must know is that out team was under much stress.. the lack of sleep had us hallucinate at moments. One night at our hotel bunker, we thought we were in the woods (remember, biomass) and a couple of bears were attacking us.. Fortunately, Mary got brave and scared them away.. fiuuf!!


Go Bears!!!

But let’s get serious… It was extremely challenging to meet our project scopes having so many stakeholders within such a broad sector in such a huge country (Canada). Our last week in Finland was quite defying… reality shows are for rookies compared to this. Here are a few reasons why…

  1. No matter how much coffee or how many red-bulls, after 40 hours without sleep, one can enter a tunnel of complete reality distortion. The thing is that we really had so much information to process in 5 very different reports and 5 presentations, within little more than a week!!! I mean, the Finnish are truly high-performers, and they expect nothing less from Berkeley MBAs.
  2. During the end of May, June, and July, the sun barely sets in Finland. Take a look at this picture at 3 in the morning..

Combined with all the hours we had to put on our reports and presentations, we totally lost sense of time.. bottom line.. in the last 6 days of our project we probably slept, on average 15 hours. This is no exaggeration.


But, the truth is also that we delivered and all of our clients were very happy with our work. Finnish companies in renewable energy certainly have a shot in Canada, but they also have many challenges and competition. Our report allowed them to see a broad panorama with some in-depth analysis of their industry, competition, facts and trends, as well as some preliminary recommendations on how to enter the Canadian market.


Thank you Ariterm, Metso, BMH, Labkotec and Tekes!!



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