Mr. Marko Seppä
Business Creation Advisor & Entrepreneur in Residence / Finland-Vietnam Innovation Partnership Program IPP
Starting in 1986, parallel to finalizing business studies in Finland and the US, Marko Seppä was apprenticed venture capitalist by the founders of Panostaja Plc, Finland’s oldest owner-managed private equity firm. In 1991, at age 26, he launched Panostaja’s pioneering Russia investment arm, Finnish Venture Capital FVC Oy, as Founding Managing Director. By 2000, he had led FVC through a management-buy-out, expansion to new markets, incorporation in Luxembourg, international fund raising, creation of AO Kareltrans in Russia, privatization of AS Mainor in Estonia, ranking by EBRD as a toptier VC firm in the region and, finally, exit mode and trade sale to Thominvest Group. In 2000, at age 35, Marko Seppä defended his PhD on the Strategy Logic of the Venture Capitalist in front of a Silicon Valley professor at University of Jyväskylä (JYU). In 2001- 2006, he co-founded and led e-Business Research Center eBRC as a joint venture of two universities for eTampere, a local pilot of eEurope, pooled 17M€ in R&D funding, launched major annual events and created V2C paradigm. In 2007-2011, he served JYU as Invited Professor of Growth Venture Creation.
He initiated and co-founded Global Venture Lab Network and Kasvu Open, Finland’s #1 growth venture competition; coined Art of Business Creation as a new domain to enable universities to produce masters of business creation; developed the rewarded Kasvun Kiitorata (e. Runway to Growth) method; and received, from industry, the Entrepreneurial Act of The Year in Higher Education Award. Besides Live Case based teaching merits, his academic portfolio comprises 104 publications and 38 documented international presentations. Since 2012, Marko Seppä has worked as independent business creator, advisor, investor and evaluator.
As Owner and CEO of Venture Capital Corporation VCC Oy he helps fellow entrepreneurs with business planning, fund raising and go-to-market activities, and institutional clients with business creation related advisory, evaluation and training missions. He advised the European Institute of Innovation and Technology EIT thru start-up stages and currently serves the Finland Vietnam Innovation Partnership Program as Business Creation Advisor & Entrepreneur in Residence. He has monitored over 30 EU funded open innovation, living lab and accelerator projects, and evaluated over 200 growth-funding proposals for EU’s SME Instrument Program. VCC currently has three portfolio firms: Composite Door Corporation CDC Oy, developers of waterproof doors for Northern conditions; MarkMan LP, tailored marketing services to SMEs; and Global Enabler, a slowly emerging enterprise construction company. Today, Marko Seppä is 51, lives in Hanoi, Vietnam, is married and has two grown-up children. He speaks English, Finnish, German and Swedish, loves alpine skiing, world history and travelling, has visited 50 countries and worked in Belgium, Estonia, Finland, India, Russia, Sweden, USA & Vietnam.
He holds a M.Sc. in Econ. from University of Tampere and a PhD in Corporate Strategy from JYU. In 1989, he completed International Business Executive Institute at Mississippi State University. In 1990- 1991, he completed MBA and PhD courses in Management and Finance at University of Oregon as Visiting Scholar, while designed FVC and built industry network in Silicon Valley. In 1991, he completed the 17th Venture Capital Institute of NASBIC and NVCA.