My Entrepreneurial Projects

January 14, 2021

I’ve had several entrepreneurial projects in the past. They have initiated from my ideas and in all of them I have been the main responsible person in most fields. Here’s in reverse chronological order the projects:

2018-2020 Tripit - Ride-hailing app

The idea originated when I was thinking about how to leverage the deregulation and liberalisation of the taxi market that took place in Finland back in July 2018. The original idea was that the user could suggest a price for a taxi trip and the drivers could then either ignore or accept the offers and so on. After some time we (a team of two) came to the conclusion that it was too much hassle for the average ride hailer to be thinking about what could be the right price. So then we pivoted to shared trips from and to the airport. The price was calculated beforehand from the length of the route on the map with certain multipliers and the user could see the price immediately. The original idea was launched once. For the pivoted one there was only a silent launch. We ended the project when the Covid lockdown basically stopped flights on the spring of 2020(We were tired as well.). For payments handling we used Stripe Connect.

Some screenshots from mobile and desktop(click to open):

Business model:
A percentage of the price of each trip.


  • >60 registered drivers
  • 25 registered users
  • 20 trip requests (Most of them with either not good prices or were just cancelled)
  • 1 actual trip through the app
  • >1200 unique visitors on the site during the first couple weeks after our first launch (A vain KPI but it’s a nice number ;) At least we got some attention!)

Some of my responsibilities:

  • UI/UX design - Ended up being a quite good to use and nice looking UI!
  • Coding - I was the software engineer.
  • Product management
  • Marketing - Planning and implementation(partly shared): Facebook, Instagram, posters, sharing fliers
  • Recruiting drivers (partly shared)

Some of tech stack used:

  • React, Node.js, Express, MongoDB(mLab), HERE maps, Stripe, Nexmo(for SMS), SendGrid(for email)…

Some of the lessons learned:

  • It’s difficult to get the users and drivers to match(timing, location, pricing).
  • Just launch the damn product already. Do it.

2017 Nikkes - Marketplace for clothing shops and brands

I wanted to somehow leverage the fact that at the time Russian citizens were able to buy stuff online from the EU worth 500€/month(now it’s ~200€ I think) without paying any VAT or customs to either EU or Russia. Already having experience from my previous project of running a website for Russians I thought the easiest way was to open a multi-vendor marketplace for Finnish clothing shops and brands. As our platform we decided to use Yo!Kart which is a ready-made customizable marketplace platform. The reasons for choosing a ready-made platform were: It was quick to set up(to get into business), it was easy to use, it looked good and it was quite cheap to get rolling and as I had already learned, it takes a lot of time, effort and money to build your own from scratch.

We (a team of two) took part in Turbiini Accelerator program with the project. In there I learned a lot about building a startup in general(though our project was more a traditional enterprise). The project ended mostly because we were too busy.

Some screenshots(click to open):

Business model:
A percentage of the price of each purchase on the platform.


  • We got 5-10 initial agreements from brands or shops to come aboard

Some of my responsibilities:

  • Sales
  • UI/UX design - Well whatever was left of it since we used a ready made platform. I created the banners on the site and wrote the UI content stuff in the site template as well as to the follow up emails(all these were then translated to Russian).
  • Product management

Some of the lessons learned:

  • Don’t start something unless you really have time for it.
  • Quite risky to get into a business that is heavily dependent on a law that probably will change (Russian cross-border e-commerce legislation for VAT and customs).

2013 All about Helsinki - Website about Helsinki for Russian tourists

The only one for which we actually founded a real company. I had just comeback from my exchange student and summer work period in Russia and wanted to leverage the knowledge I had gained. At the time of starting the project, the share of Russian tourists had grown into more than 50% of the yearly tourists in Finland, so there was a strong incentive to get into the business. The venture ended for several reasons but one of the key factors was the sharp decline in the amount of Russian tourists visiting Finland at the end of 2013 when Russia’s economy plummeted. The platform we used was coded from scratch for the purpose. We were a team of three people.

Screenshot of the frontpage(click to open):

Business model:
Monthly payments by the restaurants, shops, hotels and other tourist destinations for being included on the site + other ads.


  • ~50 shops, hotels, restaurants, tourist activities etc. came aboard
  • 5 advertisers on our banner places
  • ~250 users in our community in (=Russian Facebook)
  • ~25 other articles of general content on the site

Some of my responsibilities:

  • Sales
  • UI/UX design - I was responsible of the UI design and UX of the page. I took partly inspiration for the larger layout from other sites since at the time I didn’t know much about UI design, but I also designed a lot of parts totally myself.
  • Product management
  • Content production

Some of the lessons learned:

  • It is very risky to get into a business that is so dependent on so volatile geopolitical factors.
  • No need to start a company before actually validating your idea and business model, you are just losing time and money.

And finally, the business that has generated the most revenue:

2007(?) Tyre changing - A disruptive tyre changing business on the street

When the first snow comes there is a marathon of changing winter tyres in Finland. As couple of hardworking bright young men we wanted to get our piece of the tyre changing business pie.

We set up the business on a spacious enough spot on the street in downtown Helsinki. We loaned the money to buy and rent proper jacks, power generator etc. tools we needed. Marketing was a mix of putting fliers on the windshield wipers of cars during nights, having a paid ad on Google and of course two big signs near the spot we had conquered for our business. During the two weeks we did this the business generated ~7K€ worth of revenue. In this enterprise we shared all responsibilities and profits.

Lessons learned:

  • When people see you working hard on something of your own they might come and support you even if you are at the moment missing some skills or other things.

That’s it, those are my entrepreneurial projects this far. The list might grow someday, if so I will try then to break the current spectacular revenue record. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed and perhaps even learned something! :)

I'm a Business-oriented Software Architect and learning AI Engineer from Helsinki, Finland. I have a wide-ranging experience and interest in Solution Sales and Software Engineering. My interests also lie heavily in Brand, Marketing and Design.
Hook me up via LinkedIn or checkout my GitHub.

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