Business-driven and circular ideas in focus in the Greenhouse Hackathon last week

Lantmännen employees have worked together with external startups in a Hackathon in this year's Greenhouse program. 

In the current Greenhouse open innovation program, themed Circular Futures, employees from Lantmännen were recently teamed up with external startups in a hackathon. The purpose with working together was to explore and validate the business collaboration opportunities around side streams across Lantmännen grain value chain and develop joint business cases.  

The four startups selected are mature and the hackathon gave very good results, according to program manager Nina Tuomikangas:

We have had three very intense days and the participants have had time to go deep into the business context. And the startups have gained great insights into Lantmännen's operations and the grain value chain. The strength lies in the collaboration.

A total of 170 ideas from twelve different countries were gathered in the ongoing Greenhouse. Among these, four external ones have been selected with the possibility to create business cases where they use side streams from Lantmännen and convert these into products of higher value for Lantmännen. The need for circular solutions is immense and the challenge holds a lot of potential, says Nina who sees a need for Lantmännen to attract startups with solutions to specific challenges.  She believes that working in the customized way which the teams in the Greenhouse Hackathon have done, is optimal.

What has made me happy is to see how the joint teams really have worked together. They have all been curious and wanting to understand and find solutions. They have managed to build a great deal of knowledge about each others’ businesses.” An important factor in making the hackathon a success is the fact that the teams had access to Lantmännen's many experts, says Nina: “They have been able to discuss with our experts in finance, innovation, production, research, market... And our four selected startups have contributed with their specialized knowledge and technologies.”


Maria Nelving, Global Sustainability Manager, Unibake, working in SEaB team

Collage 2

Why is hackathon like this important for Lantmännen?

“Lantmännen has ambitious goals regarding sustainability, both in terms of reducing waste and increasing the value of side streams. Now, for three days, we have focused on creating joint solutions. And at the same time, we have found a great way of working, both in terms of identifying business opportunities and in collaborating with external startups. We really want to work on this model going forward in the Greenhouse!” 

Lantmännen employees who participated confirm that the teams have worked both focused and successfully. “Working as a team has been so exciting. Our goal was to come up with a solution that both parties would be satisfied with. Usually you have a single purpose, but now we were looking for a win-win”, says Anni Talts, who is Operations director Baltics at Unibake Fresh Bread and was part of team Äio.

Solja Pietiäinen, industrial doctoral student at Lantmännen Group R&D, was part of the same team. She is one of several participants who will use the method going forward:

“In many cases you give up when you hit a roadblock, but now we didn’t. Instead we found another solution. This will revolutionize my teamwork. I want to 'hack' all my work from now on!”

Sofia Siljama, Project Manager at Cerealia, teamed up with Volare. She agrees with Solja: “This hackathon has been a fun way to get a lot of things done in a very short amount of time. It can be used across multiple areas at Cerealia.”

Not only the process has been valuable, but also the content, says Carlo Rampini, Global Innovation Manager at Unibake. Especially the possibility to discuss with external parties. “Yes, I appreciate the outside-in perspective, and the opportunity to be exposed to how other organizations work, how agile they can be and how they have developed their solutions.”

Kerstin Sigfridson, Project manager at Lantmännen Group R&D, applauds the fact that there is an opportunity to participate in this type of project at Lantmännen and believes that it is worth taking advantage of:“Take the chance to join a hackathon if you can!”


Joint Äio team: Anni Talts (Unibake), Evelyn Lumi (Äio), Solja Pietiäinen (Lantmännen Group R&D), Luisa Nora (Äio) and Maija Kauppi (Unibake). Aino Kiiskinen (Unibake) missing from the picture.


Joint SEaB team Maria Nelving (Unibake), Sandra Sassow (SEaB), Carlo Rampini (Unibake) and Aino Kiiskinen (Unibake). Richard Stowey from Unibake missing from the picture.


Joint Volare team Sofia Siljama (Cerealia), Tuure Parviainen (Volare), Jarna Hyvönen (Volare), Tapio Lahti (Lantmännen Agro) and Kirsi Vesterinen (Cerealia). Kerstin Sigfridson (Lantmännen Group R&D) missing from the picture.


Joint Tebrito team Göran Larsson (Agriculture), Anders Lindgren (Lantmännen Group R&D), Kerstin Sigfridsson (Lantmännen Group R&D) and Nils Österström (Tebrito). Jakob Söderström (Lantmännen Group R&D) was mentoring the team.