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Perttu Karjalainen

Welcome to the new From Alumni to Alumni series. In this first "From Alumni to Alumni" we have interviewed Perttu Karjalainen, CEO and Co-Founder of EntoCube. EntoCube is the leading edible insects farming solutions provider in the Nordics
Perttu Karjalainen

Why should we buy insect muesli from you?

It tastes fantastic! Furthermore, edible insects are an interesting and welcomed addition to a versatile and balanced diet. We, at EntoCube, produce high quality, domestic insect products. Our products are easy to purchase online at www.entocube.com/store. Use a code: SIRKKA to get an extra 10 % off.

So tell us, who are you, what do you do and what have you been studying?

My name is Perttu Karjalainen and I started business studies at Aalto in 2010. I’ve been very active in the Student Union and I was a Board Member at AYY administration in 2013. In that role, my responsibilities were academic affairs including co-operation with the university in order to develop teaching and research. I was also in charge of finances of the Students’ Union.

In 2014 a group of us founded the EntoCube. Our aim is to solve sustainability challenges related to food production by bringing protein rich and insects as part of people’s diet. This is quite a challenge as practically the whole value chain needs to be built! Despite this, our emphasis lies on the technologies related to efficient insect production.
 

How did you end up studying business studies?

The University and the academic community in Aalto has been an excellent platform for me to grow. During this journey, my own values have softened and deepened as the pursuit of money has receded on the background. With my own contribution, I aim to create social value to the world surrounding us. I wish to leave behind something that genuinely improves this earth and the lives of human beings.

In 2013 I read the report of FAO (World’s Food Organization) on the potential of insects and I got carried away. All my passions -- food, entrepreneurship and changing world into a better place – are combined in insects. I have been very fortunate having ended up at the same table with people who share these same desires. By working together we have had a chance to implement a dream of a more lasting and more diverse food system.

What’s your best memory of your study years?

The course Leadership in Organisation by Susanna Kantelinen was a mind-blowing experience. During the course we examined critical leadership theory and nearly everything related to organizations and their operations was questioned. This course launched a great change in my own thinking. 

What’s the most important thing in your studies you have benefited also at work?

There must be many single things, which are useful but I believe that new ways of thinking and learning to learn are the most relevant. At its best, studying broadens your view of the world and helps you to see more. Along the way, I have also learned that it is important to understand one’s own values and to act according to them. If you have made it clear to yourself what really is important in life and what your values are, even the most difficult decisions in life are quite simple in the end.

Tell us something surprising about yourself

I am a fan of hard rock music and have played guitar in two metal bands.

What should everyone experience once in a lifetime?

Everyone should get to know a foreign culture and environment by backpacking. Preferably longer than just two weeks!