Prönö CEO and Founder, Helene Auramo has put something new and great into motion, and not for the first time. She has been an entrepreneur for more than 10 years, and now it’s time for Prönö, the biggest, hardest and most meaningful thing she has ever done. This superwoman is on the move again and full of energy to help sustainable companies to match with the right professionals.
Let’s find out what she has on her mind!
Could you tell us about your background first?
“I’m a business creative – I have a background in both areas. First, I graduated from Helsinki School of Economics (Master of Economics). Then, I applied to and was accepted by Media Lab (MA, Aalto University). While I did not ultimately graduate from Media Lab, I developed my new level of creativity there and also found the people that joined me in starting my first company, Zipipop, the first social media agency in Finland. I’m also Co-Founder of Slush, one of the biggest startup events in the world, and Indiedays, the first blogger platform in Finland.”
And just to mention a few more interesting bits of her experience, 2 years ago she ran for the Parliament of Finland, campaigning on the main themes of sustainability and helping entrepreneurs, and she was only 500 votes short of winning a seat. She has also completed the “Making corporate boards more effective” course at Harvard and is a board member at the listed company Fodelia Oyj. And the list continues…
At home, her speed is not any slower. She has two kids (7-year-old Mila and 5-year-old Uuno), and a husband.
Federico Cabrera @As You Are Agency photographing Helene’s Prönö portraits.
How did you become an entrepreneur again after working in the corporate world for a few years?
“At the age of 37, I finally found my own purpose and the challenges I want to solve. That revelation became Prönö.
“I think it is the biggest, hardest and most meaningful thing I have ever done in my working life. And every now and then I feel like a crazy person to be doing this, but I have a deep feeling that I was born to do this. So, I had better keep on going.”
What has been the best part of creating Prönö?
“The best part has been working with the most creative, smart and amazing people. I have learned a lot from them, and I’ve been amazed by their talent. And it has also been a lot of fun.
“I can also see the shift in our world towards companies being more caring, sustainable and fair. It’s not about competition – it’s about collaboration. And now I can build this company to help all those companies and people who are getting this.”
What has surprised you?
“I think I have been too optimistic in many things. But I’ve also been surprised by how difficult it was to do this in the beginning.”
“I was also surprised by all the support I got from people all around me saying ’this is the best thing you have ever done’ and ’you should keep on doing this’. I would never have thought I’d be getting so much support. “
Is there anything you would do differently?
“I believe there is always a reason things went how they did. I’m happy that I’m now in the place where we are. Everything is learning. 🙂 So, to answer the question, no. I also like to look forward.”
What has been your most satisfying moment in building Prönö?“Feedback from people, the investors I got in, the results I have been getting. Many things, so difficult to say.”
What are your future plans?
“I aim to make sure that all sustainable companies hear about Prönö, in the Nordics first and later throughout the EU. And we will also reach all the professionals who are looking for meaningful work and want to help these companies to succeed.”
How do you define success?
“I think it is when you feel and know that you have found your purpose. You can wake up in the morning and feel good about yourself and do what you think is needed. For me, it is living according to my values, being free to do what I want and serving others.”
CEO & Founder