Below is a link for the article in Helsingin Sanomat (the major Finnish newspaper with about 621000 daily readers) - I am not sure if it works for everyone and abroad, but give it a try.
You should be able to read three or so articles free per week without being a subscriber.
The article is in Finnish, but I’ve tried my best to translate it - quickly, so mistakes are probable and the English may not be fluent, but you’ll get the gist. The information on the article is slightly out of date and isn’t aware of the latest developments with the display panels.
A young immigrant founded a firm, acquired Microsoft and Intel as a partner and made a tablet 2-in-1 computer - Konstantinos Karatsevidis thinks bigger and can take advantage of his Ukrainian family record
23-year-old Konstantinos Karatsevidis leads the Eve-Tech technology company, which is a straightforward firm: It asks customers what they want and then does it - and invades Hong Kong’s private company to get partners.
Konstantinos Karatsevidis, who has moved from Ukraine to Finland, is an energetic person. (PHOTO: RIO GANDARA / HS)
By Jose Riikonen
Published: 9th of July 2017 at 2:00 am
Konstantinos Karatsevidis, 23 years, talks about running.
"First you are told that it is only a half marathon. You get to the end of it and you are told that in fact it’s a full marathon. Run to the end it and you are told that you still have to run and, yes it will end at some point. "
Marathon is a parable of how Eve V’s development work has gone. Now there is still a moment to bear, probably until the end of July.
Then this product from Eve-Tech, led by Karatsevidis, is on sale. It’s a combination of a tablet and a laptop: The display acts as a tablet, but the gadget also has a keyboard.
Generally, young startups make applications and software, but Eve-Tech has developed from the beginning to the end of your computer: Hardware, hardware, components.
Much has happened and happened after Karatsevidis moved from Ukraine at the age of 17 to Finland and soon started Eve-Tech. If Karatsevidis was the fan of Antti Tuisku (Finnish pop singer), his favorite song would probably be “Mä hiihdän” (translates: “I am skiing” [cross country]):
Lyrics translated: “Keep, keep going!”
THE MARATHON RUN has been demanding, but Karatsevidis, sitting in the armchair of the Helsinki hotel, does not seem to need a hug to keep going.
The act is straight, English is perfect. Reliability shines far. He speaks and laughs a lot when presenting the latest Eve V prototype.
"This is a bit broken. I dropped it down on the ground. "
He has just come from China to make sure that the production line of keyboards rolls properly.
"Leadership is good in China. The problem is in workers who sometimes do not care about what kind of quality they are doing. "
He looks at a small gap between the shell and the kickstand on the prototype.
"Such can not be. Every screw and part must be in perfect position. "
This is how the 23-year-old Karatsevidis speaks.
KONSTANTINOS “Konsta” Kartatsevidis has attended schools from primary to upper secondary school in Ukraine. He was a little nerdy guy as a child who was interested in all kinds of devices.
The family had a family business that produced supplies for firefighters. Karatsevidis helped with the company from childhood. He was in China for the first time at 12 years of age in business matters.
The family lived in Mariupol, familiar with the bad news. The city is near the war. Karatsevidis moved at the time of Kiev’s crisis to Kiev.
“There was no danger in Mariupol, but when the city is near war, it’s a bit of buzz kill.”
Before the family moved away from Mariupol Karatsevidis had already left for Finland. He started his studies at the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences at the age of 17. His parents had recommended Finland for it’s good education.
"I thought others would be roughly the same age at school. It would be celebrating and so on. But I was the youngest, and the second youngest was something like 24. Many were in their 40’s. "
According to Karatsevidis, in Ukraine, teachers at the university level are also active in guiding the student. In Finland a student has take care of their own studies. The 17-year-old boy was not used to it.
"I started in the winter of 2012. It was dark. It was a bit dark time, but only the first six months. "
Karatsevidis started to take a positive view of studying and studied what he was interested in.
One night during his second year of study Karatsevidis played poker with his friends and that night changed his life.
THE POKER GAME was joined by a law student called Mikko Malhonen from the University of Helsinki. They soon became aware of each other and wondered if they should set up a business.
Konsta and Mikko would be a good team. Konsta has business skills in family business and school, and Mikko specializes in the law on international trade and tax law.
They would set up Eve-Tech.
Karatsevidis was leaving China for a fair at the family business, and Malhonen suggested that he would join. The two could map out what kind of products they would like to start selling from China for sale to Finland.
"Mikko said, what would be the robot vacuum cleaners. Ha ha haa! Then we wonder if we could bring smartphones, but it’s too competitive. "
At that time there was a miniature boom: Everyone wanted their own tablet. Why not concentrate on that?
The idea was to take a cheap tablet, make small changes, brand it again and sell it.
They made an agreement with the Chinese manufacturer - who did not deliver any products. The pair found a new manufacturer who delivered the product.
The tablet name was Eve T1. It was released in 2015. The pair sold the small device mainly abroad.
They got at least their own back - a loan of EUR 30,000 - with sales.
Eve Tech received tremendous feedback from customers about what could have been done better. Thus, Eve-Tech’s most specific business idea, namely business idea, was born: Crowd development, i.e. freely translated mass development.
A multi-faceted community was born around Eve-Tech, with whom the firm began to develop a new product.
So they are constantly discussing with their customers through the web forum and listen to these preferences and ideas.
The question is, in a way, of the same type of mobile game development. The first release is often testing, and based on customer feedback, the game is being developed forward.
"Experts said our new product, Eve V, should be as thin as everything is thin. But our community said that much more important would be that the battery would last long, so we made the product with thicker, better battery life. Our battery lasts for12 hours. "
All this would have been much more difficult if Karatsevidis and Malhonen had not gained a few significant partners.
MICROSOFT’s former Finnish CEO Jari Rahkonen was speaking at Haaga-Helia University when Karatsevidis still studied at school.
Karatsevidis talked with Rahkonen and shared his idea of developing a product through the community.
Rahkonen was inspired. A meeting was agreed at Microsoft headquarters in Keilaniemi, where Karatsevidis and Malhonen presented their initial product and told their story.
"They were impressed and told us that we should go to technology exhibitions with Microsoft customers. There, the gang was excited and said to talk to Intel people. "
The pair heard about Intel Dinner. It’s a Hong Kong fine dining dinner, where big manufacturers and customers meet each other.
The guys put on the suits and navigated to the spot.
“We were not invited, but we found a guy who let us in.”
They found out that a bunch of people was courting a guy. Karadevidis went to talk to that guy.
"He asked who are you? We said that we are Eve-Tech and that we have a business model where we develop our products together with the community. The guy snorted and said that’s a shit idea. "
The guy started to drift away, but suddenly turned around.
"He came to say that hey, that’s a great idea! Tell me more. He was a pretty energetic guy. We found out that he is the boss of the entire Intel in China. He knew everything. When we got to him, the whole thing went to a new level. "
EVE-TECH now had support from Microsoft and Intel. The big companies provided Eve Tech with proven contacts. Both also gave money to the firm but did not take any holdings. Karatsevidis says that the question is about six-figure sums.
"Hard to say. It was such a small amount of money that there was no risk to them. And on the other hand, if we were to succeed, it would be a good story for them. "
In addition, the company has received a total of 320,000 euros from Tekes (Finnish Agency for Innovation), and Karatsevidis and Malhonen have put in place 30,000 loans and their own funds for about 10,000 euros per person.
There are no investors.
“They start out with what is to be done, and we do not want it.”
Microsoft and Intel support was enough to get in touch. The rest would stick to the types of Eve-Tech.
They assembled a core team, which currently includes ten people (I believe it’s 11 now…). Six of them are in Finland and four around the world.
Now it’s up to Karatsevidis to make sure that everything goes as it should be: To run around the world to track manufacturers’ production lines and make contracts.
The school has lagged far behind in recent years, even though Karatsevidis gained access to Aalto University after completing the Business Information Technology training program.
“I hope they read this article and admit me a master’s degree,” Karatsevidis says and laughs.
SINCE that July is about to become a finished product, it’s been four years since.
It’s a long time to run.
"Really many times we have been almost cheated. We ordered something from a manufacturer for $30,000, but just before we paid, a woman from that firm said that we should not give the money, because the boss is a cheat. "
With signatures, be careful.
“Everything has to be done with a contract that is signed. Suddenly, those components are not the ones that have been agreed upon. Then I say that you look at the agreement, and the signature is “accidentally” erased unrecognizable.”
Now the goal is near. Eve V is likely to go on sale at the end of July. The basic model without additional features costs 799 euros. The sales target is 50,000.
“I think we can get that sale.”
Then you start getting richer?
“Not at all. Then we will leave for a new marathon run.”
"Then we can start making a new product. We still do not know what it is. It could even be an electric car. "