The first SHIFT Business Festival In Turku, Finland, Was a Great Success


The SHIFT business festival was an immediate success. One thousand people per day attended the event organized for the first time in Turku, Finland, on May 31st and June 1st. In 2017, the festival will double its size and attract more international audience.

Partners, speakers and participants enjoyed the sunshine and diverse program at the Turku Castle and park area. The medieval setting offered an interesting contrast to the newest innovations of virtual reality and health technology brought by partners. New partnerships were formed while taking a ride in an electric car or playing by a sandbox.

“The new and the old shook hands. In the historical setting, we heard of such technologies and business models that aren’t yet known to the public. The atmosphere was relaxed and people were having a good time; just what we were looking for”, tells Alexander Törnroth, CEO of the SHIFT.

The first festival day offered concrete steps towards a more sustainable future and many inspiring keynotes. The multinational corporation, GE, launched their newest startup accelerator program, the Energy Village. Turku Energia and St1 announced a letter of intent on a new geothermal energy power plant located in Turku.

The first day ended with an after party at Kakola, an old prison no longer in use, located at the center of Turku.

The second day started with the keynote of Ravi Belani, the co-founder of the Alchemist Accelerator and lecturer at Stanford University. He shared his knowledge on how big corporations spot the unicorn potential and what is needed for exponential growth rates. Stephen Lake, the CEO and co-founder of Thalmic Labs, inspired the audience with his views on the future of wearable technology. He emphasized the need for interfaces that advance the seamless integration of technology into our lives.

The audience, partners, startups and investors gave very positive feedback of the whole event. The festival is organized by Finland based not-for-profit organization The SHIFT, which has already started preparations for 2017.

“We will double the number of sold tickets and exhibitors as well, and reach a more international audience. The event will be held again at the Turku Castle. We welcome everybody to join the only business festival in Nordic Countries!”, says the chairman of the board Joonas Suominen and vice president Urho Blom.



Alexander Törnroth, CEO
+358 40 187 7353


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The SHIFT is an international business festival. It was organized for the first time in the Turku Castle, Finland, on 31.5.-1.6.2016  The event creates a platform for sharing knowledge between the public sector, corporations and startups.

The SHIFT in figures

Over 1000 tickets sold

60+ exhibitors and 150+ volunteers

150+ startups and 17 investors

18 keynotes and 24 panelists

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