Entrepreneurship Evening: An Entrepreneur’s Story – SYKE Gym
Another successful Entrepreneurship Evening took place on Monday, September 16th. The evening’s event was themed as “An Entrepreneur’s Story” where LUTES was hosting Santeri Mikkola, the founder of SYKE Gym, a growing local fitness center company, which has currently three locations in Lappeenranta: Skinnarila, harbor and the city center. The story of Santeri was indeed fascinating and inspirational, and was followed by numerous interested questions from the event participants.
Santeri shared with us that seeing and taking opportunities along hard work are the most important ingredients of any startup. Santeri pointed out that the idea for SYKE Gym came suddenly and was gradually developed to what it is today. The risk taking ability is something entrepreneurs should be ready for, according to Santeri. He mentioned that he sees partnership to be safer and more productive than individual entrepreneurship, whereas practicalities are also very important for a successful business development. When you know details in your business it is easier to change the course when you have troubles or opportunities ahead, it is the secret of lean startup. Santeri also said that the most challenging part at the start was the formulation of the customer base, whilst the marketing strategy was mainly built on the guerilla marketing, which played the most important role; flyers, free trial visits and word of mouth. Santeri mentioned that the costs were certainly one of the challenging issues at the start too, because he started out with very little capital. The business has however grown a lot today and the strategic goals have changed a lot since then. He told us that today he doesn’t only want to be competitive, but he wants to be the best.
SYKE Gym is not the only business Santeri takes care of with his business partner. Other profitable ventures include a car wash company Pesuparkki and real estate service firm, which have shown profitable growth as well. It is worth mentioning that the car wash enterprise has the highest volume single location in Finland and has been the only local company which is a partner of S-group, excluding Lappeenrannan Energia. This certainly makes the owners of the company proud.
Before the networking part of the evening started, the participants had also a chance to listen a presentation by Konstantin Frumkin, an exchange student of LUT from Russia. Konstantin was eager to share his business idea to students from LUT and Saimia about starting an anti-café in Lappeenranta, a business concept popular in Russia. He was also using the opportunity to find partners to further develop the idea to a real project.
Next Monday, September 30th, LUTES continues its Entrepreneur’s Story themed evenings and brings you yet again some great speakers, this time from Miradore and Ekogen. Mika Liukko and Ilkka Pihlainen will tell their own entrepreneurship stories followed by listeners’ questions. There’s also going to be couple of pitches by students and the winner of a Lenovo tablet will be drawn.
Link to the Facebook-event: https://www.facebook.com/events/238630472980005/