Marks & Clerk course: Avoiding Pitfalls in Patent/KnowHow Licences and R&D Collaborations

FBCC Corporate member Marks & Clerk has a long history of providing outstanding training, and we are looking forward to continuing this tradition later this month through their collaboration with The Management Forum.

The course – Avoiding Pitfalls in Patent/KnowHow Licences and R&D Collaborations – will take place on 20th October and has been specially designed for patent attorneys, in-house lawyers, contracts managers, technology transfer managers, and any other professions involved in patent/know-how licences and R&D collaborations.

To find out more, or secure your place, please check Marks & Clerk website by clicking here! Marks & Clerk has promised a 30% discount for FBCC members, to get your discount, please contact nbutson(a)marks-clerk.com

FBCC Member Series: Tuuli Bell Ltd

This interview is part of the FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the network. This time we interviewed Tuuli Bell, the Founder and Management Consultant at FBCC Corporate Member Tuuli Bell Ltd.

For those who don’t know you, how would you describe your company?  

Tuuli Bell Ltd assists various software and service companies in their processes and helps them to understand what is working and what is not, and what kind of changes can be made. Especially now during the pandemic, firms have had to significantly change altering their long-term strategies and the best ways to tailor their services to the needs of their changing customers. Dr Bell consults firms mainly through workshops and coaches sales and firm managers. Based on her extensive knowledge, Dr Bell wrote a book for people who want to improve their technical sales skills, which was published on Amazon last week.  

How did you end up establishing your own consulting firm?  

Dr Bell worked previously at different software companies mainly in sales and managerial positions and had always been keen on starting her own company. In July 2019, Dr Bell took the jump to establish Tuuli Bell Ltd after figuring that it is better to do it now rather than later as there is never the exact right time to set up your own business. Dr Bell had already witnessed the stress in different firms, especially in software sales, and thought that the issues could be solved with better process thinking and increased communication. These insights encouraged her to establish Tuuli Bell Ltd.

Do you have anything big happening right now/planned for the near future?  

Besides publishing her book, The Art of Presales: Workbook recently, Dr Bell has thought about the future as we are currently in transition and there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. She sees gender equality and environmental issues as very important to herself. In the future, she is keen to explore the role software and technical sales will play in the circular economy.  

How are you coping with the pandemic? How has your day-to-day life changed?  

Dr Bell had only established her company a few months before the first lockdown. Working from home was initially a big change, and she noticed that it was also an issue for her clients as they had to think about how they could build good relationships with new customers when there is no opportunity to meet face-to-face. 

Dr Bell is hoping that she will get to work a hybrid model in the future, spending a couple of days working remotely and the rest at the office. After a year of remote work, she recently found a face-to-face meeting peculiar but is happy that things are getting back to normal. 

What is the biggest benefit of being part of the FBCC network for your company?  

Dr Bell mentions that the cultural aspect and feeling of belonging have been important to her through the FBCC network, especially during these times.  She has found it comforting to have been able to connect with others who are in the same situation coming from Finland and living in the UK.  Dr Bell is anticipating the return to live events as they allow for better one-on-one discussions with people, which is difficult to manage online during virtual events.  


The Art of Presales: Workbook by Dr Tuuli Bell

Presales, also known as sales engineering, has attracted thousands of ambitious (read ‘high-salaried’) people who brave both technical and sales mastery. If you’re one of them, this truly interactive guide is a must-have for your personal and professional development.  

Explore the wonderful world of presales in this easy-to-use, fun, yet deeply reflective, challenging, ‘for-your-eyes-only’ journal-style workbook. Plenty of space for your own writing, drawings and diagrams, the workbook offers a well constructed guide to navigate your current presales role.  

Read more bout Dr Tuuli Bell’s book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B092P6WTX1 

Connect with Dr Bell: 

FBCC Member Series: Rochester PR Group

This interview is part of our FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the network. This time we interviewed Joanna Dodd, the Managing Director of FBCC Corporate Member Rochester PR Group.

For those who don’t know you, how would you describe your company? 

Rochester PR Group is a boutique agency, staffed by senior, experienced PR and marketing people who help international brands launch into the UK market.

Do you have a story behind your company’s name? 

Rochester is where I live in the UK, it’s a beautiful city with a cathedral, Norman castle, and is well known for its Charles Dickens connection. The reason for choosing it as our company name is that we wanted something that sounded “British” to a lot of different cultures and countries. Whilst there are lots of great puns and play on words that would definitely sound more fun and more unusual as a name, we are all about trying to help companies and brands make themselves easily understood and we just felt something challenging is really not where we should start. For us clear, easy-to-understand language is what we want to project on our website for example.

How would you describe your company culture? 

The advantage of a senior “been there, done that” team is 1) that there is not much that we haven’t come across in our working lives in terms of brands, types of campaigns, journalists we deal with, 2) we are hugely collaborative and always share our ideas and reactions with each other in the spirit of “can you improve upon this” or “does your experience tell you something different or suggest a better idea”. Plus we work at a really fast pace which we all enjoy. We’re organised and driven by action lists and deadlines. We all really enjoy our clients’ entrepreneurial spirit and this rubs off on us too – we’re full of ideas and a “why not try this” attitude. In our job you have to be constantly learning new techniques and the media and social media keeps us on our toes in terms of staying up to date. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, so there’s always time for a laugh. 

Do you have anything big happening right now/planned for the near future? 

The nature of our clients means that we are always working on launching new products or services for them.  It could be something they have been planning for months or years and is the culmination of lots of hard work and it’s our job to deliver activity in the most effective way for them and to match their enthusiasm and excitement.

How are you coping with the pandemic? How has your day-to-day life changed? 

We were lucky last year in that we had very recently bought new laptops and pretty much all our systems were app/cloud based already so, to be honest, we shifted our laptops home and carried on pretty much as normal.

Aside from that we invested, like others, in thinking how we keep in touch with each other efficiently, so our internal systems changed.  For clients we run “work in progress” trackers and that helps to keep us and them up to speed – we also like to run a weekly call with each of our clients.  Like others we are missing the face-to-face meetings, but the more virtual way of working has helped some of our clients who have been able to reach out into the UK in terms of raising their profile without having to travel.  Although I think the longer this goes on, you can sense and sometimes see the stress that it has brought to many businesses not just commercially but also their internal communications.

On a personal note, less commuting has brought me more time with my family and home.  So, more DIY jobs completed around the house!  But there’s no doubt that it has taken its toll on my daughters, one who started university last year and the other who is due to take her GCSEs this year.   And on my parents who live locally and for whom I am doing more shopping, preparing meals and trying to keep them feeling positive.

Your number one tip for working from home? 

My one tip for working from home is to take a lunch break and during that watch, the news/read an online media channel or watch/listen to a programme that you wouldn’t normally see or think you have time for. It can be a source of inspiration or just fun. 

What is the biggest benefit of being part of the FBCC network for your company? 

Networks are great and, when not during Covid, it’s good to meet people at FBCC events (the Christmas lunch for example) as business to me is all about hearing a new perspective or point of view.  During Covid, it’s still about sharing and “meeting” people but obviously via Zoom, Teams, attending webinars etc.  You never know who’s going to give you a great piece of advice or spark an idea.

If you’re hiring new employees, what are the traits you would be looking for in them

We’re not hiring at the moment but, whenever we do, we look for people with masses of experience (we only employ senior consultants as we have found that works best for our clients) but also huge enthusiasm.  You have to be able to treat each new client or new project with the same excitement as you did the one before.

FBCC MEMBER SERIES: LIGHT COGNITIVE

This interview is part of the FBCC Member Series where we introduce our member companies to the network. This year’s first interview is with Anne Salomaa, the Head of Marketing at FBCC’s Corporate Member Light Cognitive.

Light Cognitive’s award-winning lighting design bring the benefits of natural light to a windowless retail space in Barcelona.

Light Cognitive is a Finnish company focusing on lighting design that celebrates natural light. The company’s mission is to bring beautiful light and clear skies within everyone’s reach by using a lighting technology that recreates natural light in indoor spaces. The aim is to receive the benefits from natural light around the year, which can otherwise be difficult during the darker months. The name, Light Cognitive, was born during a stroll in Cambridge with a practical meaning behind it: lighting has a significant impact on our cognitive abilities.  

Light Cognitive was established in 2014 when the founder moved to Finland after having spent several years in the U.S. and noticed how the darkness had a vast impact on both his mood and alertness. From here, the idea of creating light indoors, which would enable us to experience the benefits of natural light during the darkest times of the year, was born.  

Although the current situation has created its challenges, Light Cognitive has been able to grow and gain global interest and recognition during the past year. The company has participated in international design competitions and recently won the prestigious Dezeen Award for 2020 in the category of Lighting Design. The competition attracted participants from over 80 countries with thousands of projects. Moreover, the company has been able to shift product demonstrations online and has participated in different virtual events to remarkable success. Right now, the team is looking forward to the future with an open mind.

Salomaa describes the company’s culture as innovative and encouraging, with opportunities to learn new skills and take on different roles. Most importantly, as the environment is very dynamic and fast-paced, Salomaa mentions how important it is to trust in oneself. She finds it inspiring to see the effort and work put into the company along the journey.  

“Light is important for our wellbeing,” says Light Cognitive marketing director Anne Salomaa

Salomaa is currently the only team member living in the U.K., which is also why she sees being part of the FBCC community as a great means to network and make new connections, and she appreciates the support of FBCC and both the local and Finnish companies that are a part of the network.

We asked Salomaa for her best tips for working at home, to which she mentions how important it is to try and get some natural light during the day by going on a walk, even if just for fifteen minutes. If that is not possible, she recommends getting at least some light by opening the door while you enjoy your daily dose of caffeine.

FBCC Member Series: The Finnish Institute

This interview is part of the FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the network. This time we interviewed Emilie Gardberg, the Director at our Corporate Member, the Finnish Institute in London.

The Finnish Institute is an expert in Finnish culture and society and there are 17 institutes in the institute network around the world. Their mission is to facilitate exchange between Finnish, British and Irish artists and researchers.

The organisational structure of the Finnish Institute is flat and the goal is to operate the Institute the same way it would be operated in Finland. Compared to Finland, the UK work culture is slightly more hierarchical with a greater emphasis on titles and formality. “We have a very flat hierarchy and a very open working culture starting from how we structure ourselves in the office. Our office is an open office, and we have easy access to everyone. We also highlight things such as diversity and inclusiveness. We try to make our work and our mission accessible to everyone.”

Despite the current pandemic, the Institute is quite busy at the moment. “The Institute is turning 30 next year and we have lots of different programmes and tours planned. Right now, we are trying to figure out if future events can be actual physical events or not.”During the autumn the Finnish Institute has organised a biweekly discussion series called “Present” where they bring professionals together from different fields. “One week we might target festivals, and the next week the emphasis might be on theatres or orchestra work. This is a way of keeping our relationships warm during a time where we really cannot see each other.”

Daily life at the Institute has changed since everyone is working from home. “It is a lot of remote working and sometimes it is difficult to have access to everyday things when we are not physically at the office. The good thing is that everyone, all around the world, is in the same situation so it feels like everyone’s closer to some people in a way because of the technology. It is easy to get access to people and have online conversations. Besides, you do not lose time traveling, which is sometimes positive.” Ms Gardberg says it is also nice to see people walking and cycling around. She hopes this is something that will also continue after the pandemic. “I am still longing for the time when it’s possible to be in the office, work together, have shows and exhibitions, and be around other people.”

Gardberg’s number one tip for working from home is to have casual connections with other colleagues, as you would in the office. “I feel like an informal connection is important. In addition to normal meetings, we try to set informal meetings on our agenda. This means having coffee breaks together and talking about other things than work. Because our interns rotate a lot, it is important to maintain a casual atmosphere. Otherwise, it would be very hard to adapt to the working environment.”

For the Finnish Institute, it is very important to engage with companies that are either Finnish or have an interest in Finland. “We work quite a lot with companies that want to support culture or research and have some things that fit together with our work. Being part of the FBCC is all about the network and connections. In addition, I find it nice to have Finnish colleagues here in London.”

FBCC Member Series: Kalliolaw

This interview is part of the FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the network. This time we interviewed Olli Oksman, the Managing Director at our Corporate Member Kalliolaw.

Kalliolaw, a firm named after its founding partner Jukka Kallio, is a modern business law firm that helps its clients in changing the business environment. With offices in London, Helsinki, and Turku, the company is well placed to help international businesses with their Finnish business operations and investments in Finland.

For a law firm, we are pretty down-to-earth and have a flat hierarchy. Lawyers may seem a bit dry but our get-togethers can actually be quite good fun”, says Mr Oksman. “We do weekend getaways together every year. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go abroad this year, so we had to arrange our get-together in Finland. It was a fun trip.

Kalliolaw just had its 20th anniversary. “We hope to celebrate this with our clients and friends once the situation allows.

Because of the pandemic, all of the lawyers at Kalliolaw were home-based during the spring and summer. “At the moment it is more hybrid: most our lawyers continue to work from home significant part of their time but as many prefer to work from the office part of the time, we have accommodated this.” Practically all of the meetings and negotiations now take place online as do all of the conferences and industry events.  The pandemic has obviously had an impact on clients’ businesses and the kind of things the firm has been doing. “Over the spring and summer, there was not much activity on the M&A front. Since the summer, things have picked up a bit, starting with bridge financing. This has been compensated by increased activity in other fronts, especially HR lawyers have been busy. While obviously some business sectors have been suffering, there are those sectors that have been rather benefiting from the situation, such as gaming companies.

Mr Oksman’s number one tip for working from home is to stretch regularly.

For Kalliolaw, the biggest benefit of being part of the FBCC network is the great connections made.

FBCC Member Series: Saari Ltd.

This interview is a part of the FBCC member series. This time we interviewed Nikke Österback, the founder of our Corporate Member Saari Ltd. 

Saari Ltd is a London-based strategic digital marketing and communications agency. Their services include marketing, advertising, partnerships, social media, digital transformation consultation, and strategic consulting. Other Saari projects relate to brand building, design, and development. Additionally, related legal consulting for digital law and contract services. Saari clients are from all over the world and different sectors. Their amazing client projects are visible on their website, click here to read more.

The name Saari (Finnish for ‘island’) is derived from being “stuck on an island”, the UK being an island culture and for Nikke’s first job in the UK at Island records. Bob Marley’s Survival, which was released by Island Records is the first record he remembers picking up and listening to!

When asked about their company’s culture, Österback describes it as very entrepreneurial and focused on problem-solving. One of our biggest strengths is that we are multicultural and multilingual. ‘This enables Saari to help our customers with a genuine approach that competitors in our class can’t match’.

For Saari Ltd, Covid 19 had little impact with exciting projects being delivered for Finnish and other international clients. Current good examples include strategic work for the largest Nordic hockey brand Tackla and strategic content marketing work for Genelec an awarded Finnish speaker manufacturer. “They are a fantastic team and nice people. They (Genelec) are a good example of a company that just make it work” says Österback.

Like most agencies in South England, everyone at Saari Ltd is currently working from home. For Mr. Österback this has helped combine work and family better than before Covid 19 restrictions started. All in all: ‘the negative impact is minimal since our clients expect us to deliver work online’ … ‘but sales work did suffer because we can’t meet people face-to-face or travel’. Luckily this has not been a big problem since past sales work was already helping grow Saari before the pandemic.

Österback mentions that his number one tip for working from home is to get up early to get ahead of the game to ‘clear the decks’. He also mentions that they can benefit from the time differences between countries, by for example starting an online meeting with their Finnish clients already at 7 in the morning UK time and to be able to wrap up later in the evening with clients from the US west coast. You can work more!

The biggest benefit of being part of the FBCC for Saari Ltd has been the networking and visibility that it provides.

 

FBCC Member Series: Page White and Farrer

This interview is part of our new FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the network. This time we interviewed JP Ruuskanen, a Patent Attorney & Partner at our Corporate Member company Page White and Farrer.

Page White and Farrer is an international firm of patent and trademark attorneys. They help their clients in almost all matters related to intellectual property (IP). The company has offices in England and Germany, but they also handle IP matters through associates in over 100 countries all over the world. The company is over 100 years old and it got its final name in 1937 from previous partners John Oswald Farrer, Charles Melbourne White, and Sidney Elliot Page.

Ruuskanen describes the company’s culture as relaxed and the hierarchy very flat. Everyone in known by their first name. People really enjoy working for the company and many of the employees have been working for the company for over 30 years. This creates a sense of continuity.

At the moment one of the main focuses is Brexit. In 2017 they set up another office in Germany, and one of their current goals is to grow their office there. After the Brexit transition period, some of their functions will move completely to Germany because of regulatory reasons.

For Page White and Farrer, the transition to working from the office to home has been smooth. Even before the pandemic, some employees were working from home some days a week. Additionally, a couple of years ago they went completely paper-free. Ruuskanen says that the hardest part of the pandemic has been not having face-to-face meetings with their clients and some projects would really benefit from that. The business travel has of course all stopped. Before the pandemic, Ruuskanen frequently traveled abroad and within the UK.

When talking about remote working Ruuskanen mentions that his number one tip for working from home is to make sure that you spend time outside. Go for a bike ride or a walk before work. You could also go out during your lunch break. Additionally, technology can sometimes let us down, hence you should always have something you can do if your IT does not work.

The biggest benefit of being part of the FBCC for Page White and Farrer is the networking that it can provide. Being part of the FBCC is an important networking channel among others, and this was especially important when moving to the UK. They enjoy meeting people at the events and have even found long-term acquaintances from there. They feel like networking has brought them a business advantage.

FBCC Member Series: Finnmark

Jake Newport & Max Newport

This interview is part of the FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the Network. This time we interviewed Jake Newport, the Managing Director at our Corporate Member Company Finnmark Ltd.

Finnmark specialises in authentic Finnish sauna installations and sticks rigidly to Finnish building regulations when it comes to their construction. Unfortunately, there are no UK building regulations regarding their construction and it means many British people have only experienced poor appropriations of the real deal. “Authenticity is perhaps the most important thing for us, and we see it as our mission to help educate people about all of the ways proper Finnish saunas can help improve their lives. We hope to enable as many people as possible to enjoy an experience that has given us so much pleasure”, says Jake Newport.

The name “Finnmark” is a bit of a play on words and a double entendre. “We only deal with Finnish key flag products, so the ‘mark’ is intended to signify a quality mark, authenticity, and a brand standard. The actual geographical area of Finnmark in the region is a cold place to live which helps to accentuate the warmth of their saunas.”

At Finnmark, everyone is open-minded and pulling in the same direction. “We have a flat company structure so everyone feels valued, respected, and can openly contribute to the development of the business.”

“Right now, we are building our marketing and communications team with some key appointments including a videographer who will help us build our brand further. We have more installs coming up for well-known TV personalities and celebrities which always gives us a lift here in the office! We recently moved into a larger warehouse HQ to meet demand and are already close to outgrowing it and have plans to expand next year so it’s exciting times for the business.”

When it comes to the current pandemic, Finnmark has managed to weather the storm and in fact, they have been able to pivot a little and service more of the DIY market. “It seems a number of people are taking on rather large projects at the moment and we have been on hand with materials, advice, and guidance to make sure they carry out the work properly. Also, our luxury bespoke installation pipeline is very full. With health spas closing and not offering sauna options until very recently we have found that many of our clients are keen to create their own wellness areas at home. We have had to adjust to some of our staff working remotely but it has not been a major headache.”

Mr Newport’s number one tip for working from home is trying to maintain regular hours, setting the working schedule, and sticking to it. “It is important”, he says.

Being part of the FBCC community has delivered value for Finnmark. “It is a great way for people to find out about our company ethos and there are regular business events. It also gives us access to the Nordic community here in the UK and we have made some very valued connections since joining.”

FBCC Member Series: Europartnerships

This interview is a part of FBCC member series and was conducted with Mark Dodsworth, who is the Founding Partner, Owner, and the Managing Director of Europartnerships Ltd.

Europartnerships primarily specializes in supporting the internationalization of SMEs. Most of their clients are SMEs looking to enter new markets, frequently the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. Their key service is to find partners for businesses, for example, sales representatives suchi as agents, distributors, resellers, and end clients or potential strategic alliancesEuropartnerships also works for larger companies to organize events, for example, product presentations and awareness-raising events. The company is highly experienced and in fact, they have just had their 20th anniversaryin September 2020.  

There is a story behind the company name. Originally, when Europartnerships was founded in 2000, they were working exclusively within Europe so attaching “euro” to the company name was quite easy and obvious. The partnerships” part comes from the nature of the business, which is about researching and arranging business partnerships across international frontiers. There were companies with similar names but none with the exact name “Europartnerships”, so the founders of the company quickly registered the name and have had it ever since.  

There are three key things in the company culture from Mark Dodsworth’s point of view. Firstly, the company is quite female-oriented as out of 9 workers, 7 are females. The co-founder of the company was also a woman. Secondly, the company culture is very flat. Even though Mark is the sole shareholder and owner of the company, he thinks that it is all about team effort and it is very important to listen very carefully to the thoughts and opinions of his colleagues. Thirdly, Europartnerships is a multi-cultural company. They have team members from Colombia, Spain, The Netherlands and Germany. In addition, Mark himself is half British and half American so the company is not a typical UK company in this respect.  

Mark says it would be lovely to have something big happening in the near future but, as a result of the current situation, all the big things are unfortunately on stand-by at the moment.  

Europartnerships has some events coming up for whenever it is possible and safe to organize them again. They are planning for instance to organise events for a Finnish company called Solibri at the Finnish Embassies in London and Berlin. Europartnerships also hopes to deliver another event in London, for a Finnish company, VTT. Additionally, Europartnerships has developed a partnership with a consultant in South America. With this partner, Europartneships has obtained a series of sales meetings with tech companies in Costa Rica, Argentina, and Colombia. This is one of the new opportunities that arose during the lockdown and normally they would have not expected to be working there.  

The pandemic has not affected the day to day life at Europartnerships that much. To some degree, their employees were already working remotely before the pandemic, because all their clients are non-British and are based in other countries. Previously, the clients used to travel to the UK for events and meetings, but now all the communication is of course happening online. The company is not using their office at the moment as it is partly closed, and everyone is working from home.  

The biggest difference for Mark is that he is not traveling at all. Normally he would go to Norway, Finland, or Germany at least once a year, but now it is not possible to even plan future travels. Now the only travel, and therefore the big excitement for him, is to be able to travel to London. He comes from his home in Bristol to meetings and has managed to get to London three times since March.  

Mark’s number one tip for working from home is to avoid spending too long a time in front of the screen. If you are lucky enough to live near nature, go for a run or a cycle. Keeping healthy is very important – this includes eating well and keeping your mind active. Do not let the lockdown get you down. Another key is to communicate with people. Most of the time it has to be online via Zoom or similar technology but if you can meet people physically in a safe way and if it is at all possible, you should do that.  

The biggest benefits of being part of the FBCC for Europartnerships are of course networking and making those business connections, as well as other opportunities they get from the FBCC, such as business referrals. Mark points out they have been very pleased to have been able to work with other prominent FBCC members, such as Outokumpu and Digitalist Group. 

Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce

The FBCC is an independent, non-profit organisation, recognized throughout the Finnish, British and international business communities. The Chamber offers four different membership categories: Patron, Corporate, Professional and Young Professional.