• Thursday - 18/04/2019

    On the morning of April 8, 2019, VNU University of Science (VNU-HUS) hosted a talk show on "Impossible is Nothing - Finnish Ecosystem & Innovation". We were proud to host Mr. Peter Vesterbacka - the creator of Rovio’s Angry Birds and the founder of Slush – on his first visit to Vietnam, where he talked to students. Mr. Peter Vesterbacka is well known as a prominent entrepreneur and visionary from Finland, and is the founder of the technology event Slush.

    The Talk Show attracted nearly 280 interested students

    Attending the event were Mr. Kari Kahiluoto – the Finnish Ambassador in Vietnam, representatives of Finland's famous science and technology universities and the founders of The Kanvas Company. VNU-HUS was represented by of Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Noi - Rector, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Tien Giang - Vice Rector along with the Heads of Offices and Units of the university. A great number of students attended the talk show, which demonstrates the attraction of the program and the interest of young people in science, technology, creativity and start-ups.

    Delegates and guests from Finland

    Rector Nguyen Van Noi emphasized that “Through this event, we have shown that we are interested in start-ups and innovation for our students. By having a start-up office located within this university, we show our students that basic sciences can move towards applications by applying talent and commitment". On behalf of VNU-HUS, Rector Nguyen Van Noi would like to thank the Embassy of Finland in Vietnam, Mr. Vesterbacka, and his colleagues, for bringing valuable experiences to Vietnamese students.

    Representative of the Embassy of Finland in Vietnam, Mr. Kari Kahiluoto said “Cooperation in education and innovation are very strong elements of our relationship. We have had the privilege to be engaged with the Vietnamese start-up community and authorities at government, city, and university level”.

    The Finnish Ambassador in Vietnam delivers his speech

    Mr. Vesterbacka spent an hour sharing his experience of starting a business, his creativity and the Finnish ecosystem with the students.

    "Impossible is Nothing"

    As a specialist in technology startups on mobile platforms, Mr. Vesterbacka shared his journey from 1999 to the present. He discussed that the majority of successes stemmed from small ideas developed over a long period of time, with many failures experienced on the road to success. He used the example of Rovio's game Angry Birds, their 52nd game, which started as an idea that he shared with a group of 12 partners. These colleagues said that the goal of hundreds of millions of downloads that he proposed was impossible. But they did it! Two years later, Angry Birds became the most downloaded game on the iPhone and created a global fever in 2011-2013.

    The ‘father’ of Angry Birds inspires students who are passionate about science and technology

    He also shared a similar story with Slush, when he set out to turn Slush into the planet's biggest startup and technology event, beyond Silicon Valley and unprecedented in the world. The first event was held in 2008 with a just 300 participants. In the following years, the events attracted more than 15,000 participants and expanded to leading technology powers such as Japan, China, and Singapore where the events are also very successful.

    From his own story, Peter concluded that "Impossible is nothing! Start with small ideas, share them with your partners to implement them, set goals and then persistently pursue them”.

    "Empower young people"

    Slush is now one of the largest technology events on the planet. It is organized and operated entirely by young volunteers from more than 60 countries around the world, including Vietnam. Peter stressed that "it is extremely important to empower students to implement projects". He said that not only in Finland but also in Vietnam, help from the government is crucial, and young people are needed when it comes to implementation. Young people may not get everything right, but each failure is a valuable lesson, as long as you don't repeat it.

    Peter used three young students in Helsinki as an example. In 2003 they won the game design competition that he organized. "They are young like you, they can do it, you can do it too, the only problem is how hard you work" Peter said. He stressed that it is important that "you create something with your own unique value; you cannot exist if you keep copying others". This message from Rovio's founder received a positive response from numerous students.

    Mr. Peter Vesterbacka offers useful advice

    Talk show and more

    Accompanying Mr. Vesterbacka on this visit to Vietnam were two Finnish student founders of the Kanvas Company. These two young men provided even more motivation to students to start businesses. Emil Oksanen shared with the students that "The skills you gain in the process of creating a business are something that no school or book can teach you." They also offered opportunities to Vietnamese students to attend summer camps to improve their skills, as well as the opportunity to work at Kanvas Company.

    Two students Tapio Rajahalme and Emil Oksanen (Vaasa University) currently run the Kanvas start-up project in India

    Peter and his colleagues received many questions from the audience. Answering a question from a student about "how to start a successful business", Peter emphasized the role of practical education. He discouraged students from having too many homework assignments, long class times and regular examinations. Peter advises universities to apply "learning by doing" and educational model of "3E’s: Education, Entrepreneurship, Entertainment", meaning that students should spend a lot of time exploring, experiencing outside activities, projects, passions and even playing games. Starting a business is also a way for young people to do more, be more responsible and succeed sooner.

    The audience listens intently to the speaker's speech

    After the talk show, Dao Le Dung, a third-year student in the Faculty of Mathematics, Mechanics & Informatics, spent a lot of time talking with the two founders of Kanvas Company. Le Dung said “Peter's presentation was very interesting. We always look forward to the opportunity to interact with a founder from Finland because it is a leading country for education. I also learned a lot from the two founders of Kanvas Company about job division skills, team work and the ability of people who know things to share their experiences with those who don’t.”

    The guests answered questions from the students and introduced recruitment opportunities at Kanvas Company

    The event not only drew the attention of VNU-HUS students but also attracted students from other universities. Pham Xuan Thanh - a student at VNU University of Technology came to seek inspiration from the famous founders about startups. Thanh described how Peter inspired him to be determined to embark on his dream: "The biggest lesson I have learned today is perseverance, patience and hands-on learning." Sharing the details of his start-up project, Thanh said: “My team and I are building a food review system for students who learn by doing. Based on Mr. Vesterbacka's lessons, I now have a clear direction for connecting with customers and setting up infrastructure in Vietnam.”

    Peter Vesterbacka communicates with the attendees

    The program concluded in a happy and open atmosphere. Students have had the opportunity to directly exchange ideas, chat and take photos with the speakers and guests. Whilst students were interested in Mr. Vesterbacka's speech, University leaders also support his views on educational connection and entrepreneurship. For more than 2 years, VNU-HUS has developed an office to support students to start businesses and is working to create conditions that encourage students to be creative.

    Rector of VNU-HUS takes photos and presents souvenirs to guests