Barents Business Festival and Barents Reunion in Tornio


It has been a couple days after the Barents Business Festival took place in Tornio on June 03-04, 2014. It was a memorable trip that gave us so many experiences of attending the seminar, promoting IBL and networking as well. It was such a nice surprise when it had rained at the previous weekend yet on the day we arrived, there was no rain but glamorous sunshine.


We had arrived at Tornio 1 day earlier than the day the convention happened. Then we entered the workshop tent. It was amazing since it was adorned with natural designs: vases of flowers, wooden tables, wooden walls and a nearby-river location.


Having finished unpacking our things, we started setting up and decorating our stand in the workshop tent.

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After accomplishing the tasks for the first day, we enjoyed the night with a delicious meal and a friendly chat with other participants.

A long night passed and there comes the seminar. We woke up early the next day to finish our stand.

One of the organizers, Merja Ruth, came up with an idea of doing flashmob to surprise the guests attending the seminar that day. We were supposed to pretend to be a choir and to shout out loud the phrase “Young Innovative Entrepreneur” in different languages.

After that, we listened to the keynote speaker: Micael Dahlén, a “rock star professor”. He had good sense of humor and inspired speech.


Then, when he finished his speech, the lunch time came. We had a wonderful meal and then came back to the seminar room.

The seminar continued with the personal stories of 2 speakers: Ida Backlund and Anders Sebring. Anders Sebring is a street magictian who shared his own succesful stories when he dared to chase his own dreams. He had an interesting way of telling stories when combining the magic tricks into the stories at the end.

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After the break in the afternoon, Young Innovation Entrepreneur had a presentation about the projects for each Barents country. Heli Huhanantti and Annika Konttaniemi was on the stage to present about the InnoBarentsLab.


In the evening, we were served a pleasing buffet. We enjoyed the evening with networking and dancing. We also met some interesting and funny people and had such a great time there.

One more night passed and there came the 2nd day of the convention. The seminar went on with the keynote speaker Mato Valtonen and the personal stories of Tanja Sanila, Erica Huuva, Yngve W. Bergheim and Niina Tuikkala.

In the afternoon, we had chances to listen to the other entrepreneurs in the workshop tent and learn from them. They are ehusiastic and talented young entrpreneur who were promoting their own company and seeking for partners.

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At here, we also had opportunities to present ourselves, of what we are doing at InnoBarentsLab and of InnoBarentsLab itself.

We had a last meal in the evening with YIE members and networking with other participants. That was all for a day.

The morning next day was the time that we prepare to come back to Rovaniemi and say farewell to the others. To say goodbye is not an easy thing to do. It was a precious opportunity to meet many creative and energetic entrepreneurs and to gain a lot of interesting lessons from them. We can’t wait to participate in such similar convention in the future.

Na Le, Tien Tran

Photos: Duong Nguyen, Tien Tran, Na Le

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