MOW Launchpad: enabling good causes and inspiring projects

by Nina Ruotsalainen –

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Meet Minna Rantama and her company Kumous, one of MOW's first Launchpad programme participants.

Launch Pad is one of MOW's innovation projects, the aim of which is to assist projects and enterprises that are run with great passion but a limited budget. We provide temporary memberships, event space, meeting rooms, mentoring, networking - whatever it is that we might have in house, which might be useful to others. A good cause can often use some enablers, right? Here at MOW we're not just about making work more enjoyable, we'd like to do the right thing in other areas of life as well.

One of the first companys to launch through the programme is Minna Rantama's Kumous – Uusi Työnhaku ('Kumous – New Job-hunting' or 'Kumous' for short) which sets out to break some of the established norms of job-hunting and encourage multitalents and graduates with general degrees to find a motivating job that best puts their skills to use. 

MOW's Big Giant Head Nina Ruotsalainen explains the motivation behind supporting companies and projects such as Kumous: “For us at MOW, co-working is not the only objective; we're interested in seeing how we can best be a part of an active civil society.” Co-operation with Kumous came about naturally as they also draw from the same, ground-breaking way of thinking, where the aim is not only to give advice to job seekers but to reshape the entire process of seeking employment. Much like MOW provides facilities as well as an opportunity for collegial sparring, Kumous, in turn, offers online courses and a platform for the creation of a community. 

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Extensive network in six months

“A community of like-minded individuals can perform miracles. The online courses and communities of Kumous already engage over 500 people and many more subscribe to our newsletter. There have been many empowering stories,” Rantama says happily.

Kumous itself has arisen from similar brainstorming of like-minded talents. For a long time, Rantama and a number of her acquaintances had mulled over the issue that university graduates are not receiving the support they need for job-seeking and are unable to properly sell their degrees to employers. Something ought to be done. 

In 2016, Rantama and Anna-Maria Leogrande were spending a spring evening in Lauttasaari and, over a cup of tea, decided to launch Kumous as a part-time business. As Rantama's fixed-term contract with her then employer was nearing its end in late 2016, entrepreneurship became a serious consideration. 

“I ran the math and saw that the start-up assistance, along with my savings, would last me until April, even if I would not get a single sale. I informed my employer that I would not be available in the future. I realised that I can't keep putting off my start as an entrepreneur,” Rantama recollects in autumn 2017 after some nine months of full-time work with Kumous. 

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Focus on the essential, outsource everything else

In running her own company, Kumous, Minna Rantama has learned that self-knowledge is an asset to an entrepreneur. By knowing yourself, you are able to focus on your strengths.

”My strength, for example, is not in finances but in inspiring people. By realising this, I can then outsource the skills I lack by hiring an accountant,” explains Rantama. 

She points out that new entrepreneurs may not always realise all the tasks that people used to do for them around the previous employers' offices, from furnishing to buying printer paper and replacing lamps. At MOW, such basic necessities have been taken care of; the membership includes a host of perks from coffee to IT support.

Having learned entrepreneurship at MOW Mothership on Pieni Roobertinkatu, Rantama says that the smell of popcorn in the hallways still remind her of the early days of running her company.

Now, she has moved to MOW Stargate in Ruoholahti due to its convenient location and spacious facilities. ”Stargate has more space to work in,” Rantama explains. 

More space, that is, to prepare the revolution of job-hunting. If you're working on something Launchpad-worthy, get in touch with us.