Taneli Tikka

Taneli Tikka (Born 8 March 1978, Savitaipale, Finland) is a CEO in a Finnish state-owned company called Valtion kehitysyhtiö Vake Oy.[1] He has worked for more than 30 companies as CEO, member of the board or otherwise in an advisory role.[2] Tikka is active in public debate [3] and has been recognized by his industry and technology expertise.[4][2]

Taneli Tikka
Taneli Tikka in 2009
Born (1978-03-08) March 8, 1978
Savitaipale, Finland
ResidenceHelsinki, Finland
Other namesNiko Taneli Tikka
Alma materHelsinki School of Economics
OccupationCEO, Angel investor
Known forEntrepreneurship, Blogging

Early years

Tikka was born in Savitaipale in 1978 as the first child of his Finnish mother and Georgian father. He created his first computer program at the age of six. After completing the general upper secondary school, Tikka went on to study software engineering at a school which is now known as the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. While studying, he started to work for Nokia as a design engineer. In 1999 he stopped his studies as he started his first company with his friends. Taika Technologies Ltd. specialised in digital- and multimedia-based social networking solutions. The company went bankrupt in 2002 and Tikka continued his studies at the Helsinki School of Economics, where he graduated First in Academic Standing of this class from the Executive MBA programme in 2004.[2][3][5][5][6]


After Taika Technology's bankruptcy Tikka worked at WM-data (now CGI) and at Ruukki Group (now Afarak Group) from 2003 to 2006. For Tikka the bankruptcy was not only a good business lesson, but also a good reference as he was offered a task at unprofitable Magenta company: "As You have made a bankruptcy already you don't mind if it happens again". Magenta Sites was the hosting and IT services company behind the global distribution of the Star Wreck movie, and also the long time hosting partner for Habbo Hotel).[7] Tikka worked in Magenta over the period from 2003 to 2007.[2][5][6][8][9]

In 2005, Tikka started at Dynamoid where he was responsible for IRC-Galleria's marketing and strategy, the following year he was appointed as Dynamoid's CEO.[10][11] In 2007 IRC-Galleria was sold for EUR 12.5 million to Sulake Corporation, the company behind Habbo Hotel.[12][13] After that Tikka was hired as COO at Dopplr (2007 - 2009) with e.g. Lisa Sounio and Marko Ahtisaari who were among Dopplr founders.[14][15] The service's idea was to save the business travellers' network so that they know who of their friends are living in the area they are visiting or who of their contacts are travelling to the same destination at the same time as they are. It also showed the local restaurants or shops recommended by other users. Nokia acquired Dopplr in September 2009.[5][6][8][16][17][18][19] From 2008 to 2009 Tikka was CEO at RunToShop, a social shopping startup.[20]

From 2010 to 2011 Tikka was Health Puzzle's CEO. In 2009, Tikka started as a member of the Soprano Plc (NASDAQ OMX listed public company) Board of Directors and in 2011 he was appointed as company's Executive Vice President and was in charge of their web solutions division. In early 2012 Tikka was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Soprano Plc.[21] Tikka was working in Soprano until 2012.[6][8][22][23]

Tikka was one of the co-founders of the Startup Sauna Foundation. Its purpose is to help young promising companies. Startup Sauna had a 1,500 square meter co-working space on Aalto University's campus in Otaniemi and it was the main-organizer of Slush,[24] the largest startup conference in Northern Europe. Tikka was acting as Startup Sauna and Summer of Startups programs' coach.[8][25]

In 2012, Tikka assumed the position of CEO of Wunderkraut Finland, a company specialised in web and application development. At the same time, he was appointed to the executive management team and Board of the Wunderkraut Group and became one of the private shareholders in the company. Tikka worked at Wunderkraut until 2013.[8][26][27]

Tikka is one of the TLD Registry founders and was its Chairman of the Board from 2011 to 2014. On September 2013 Tikka announced that ICANN granted the company a global monopoly for two Chinese top-level domains.[28][29] The company sold exclusively two domains meaning ".online" and ".Chinese website", written in Chinese characters. The domain names are used in the same way as, for example, extensions .com and .net. The rights for selling were given by ICANN organization, which has the right to manage the Internet addresses worldwide.[8][30][31]

Tikka was appointed Head of Industrial Internet at Tieto Corporation in May 2014,[32] a position in which he was able to influence the establishment of the new unit. It operated within the company very much like a startup. The unit was organised according to the Lean Innovation model. The unit had its own administrative system and enjoyed a high degree of autonomy.[17] Tieto’s CEO hopes that the culture of the Industrial Internet unit will exercise a positive influence on Tieto’s corporate culture in general.[6][33][34]

Tikka started as a CEO of a Finnish stated-owned enterprise called Valtion kehitysyhtiö Vake Oy in June 2018.[1] Vake's purpose is to create Finnish Clusters of Innovation using new technology like Artificial intelligence.[35]


Taneli Tikka has been involved in more than 30 companies as a board member or an advisor. These include Applifier (now part of Unity Technologies), Balancion, BrandMNGR, Kemppi,[36] MTV[37] , Netcycler, PackageMedia, Relevant Point, Solu, Stardoll, Sulava, Transfluent, Umbra Software and Web of Trust.[8][16][25][38]

Tikka has also been involved in various state's programs. In 2008, Tikka was appointed to the management team of Tekes' (Finnish governmental Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) Verso technology program. The program lasted until 2010 and was a pioneer program of its time showing the way for Small and medium-sized enterprises of what is required to grow the business and to expand abroad. Many of the Verso program companies grew fast, including gaming companies Supercell and Rovio.[5][8][39][40][41] Tikka was a member of the steering group of Vigo program which supported promising companies. He took also part in Government Report of the Future which handled the future of the business life.[3][42][43]


Tikka was in Muxlim the Board of Directors from 2007 to 2009. It was the world's largest social network for Muslims.[44] The company received the Internationalization Award of the President of the Republic of Finland in 2009.[45]

A Finnish adult's magazine called AKU (short for Donald Duck) nominated him as the Scrooge McDuck of Finland and told that he got all the best toys from others already when he was playing in the sand-pit. Tikka commented the selection by saying that he and Uncle Scrooge both enjoy learning new things despite of their age.[5][46]

In March 2011 the Finnish Information Processing Association appointed Tikka as the ICT Opinion Leader of the Year 2010.[47] This nomination has in the past been received by professors, members of parliament (Jyrki Kasvi) and large organization CEOs (Risto Siilasmaa) in Finland. It has a tradition extending from 1987 onwards to this date.[48]

Tikka was included in Finnish Technology magazine "Tivi"'s Top 100 IT influences ranking list in 2013 and among them he had the sixth highest number of Twitter followers. In 2014 Future Board (association for young board professionals in Finland) awarded Tikka as Young Board Member of the Year.[49][50]


  1. "Vaken toimitusjohtajaksi on nimitetty Taneli Tikka". Valtioneuvosto (in Finnish). Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  2. "Sarjayrittäjä Taneli Tikan digiosaaminen vie hänet firmojen hallituksiin (article in finnish)". Helsingin Sanomat. August 25, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  3. "Nuoret radikaalit". Image. December 21, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  4. "Vuoden tietotekniikkavaikuttaja ja -tuote (article in Finnish)". TIVIA. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  5. "Roope Ankka". Vihreä lanka. October 1, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  6. "Startup jättiläisen sisällä". Tietoviikko. January 2015. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  7. Tuomas Karvonen. "Digitoday (in finnish): Magenta Sites started the global distribution of Star Wreck -movie". Digitoday.fi. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  8. "Taneli Tikka' LinkedIn profile". Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  9. "Teknobeduiini (in finnish): Starwreck: 500 000 full downloads and counting". Blogit.digitoday.fi. October 5, 2005. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  10. "Helsingin Sanomat International edition: Sulake buys out virtual community IRC-Galleria". Hs.fi. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  11. "Video: IRC-Galleria's CEO Tikka talks about the tradesale (in Finnish)". Hs.fi. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  12. Finland (April 23, 2007). "Sulake press release: Sulake acquires IRC-Galleria". Sulake.com. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  13. "Iltalehti tabloid (in finnish): Tikka leaves IRC-Gallerian after the acquisition". Iltalehti.fi. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  14. Lisasounio.com: Lisa co-founded Dopplr.
  15. "Marko's blog: "I am a founding investor in Dopplr"". Ahtisaari.typepad.com. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  16. "Roope Ankka" (07/2007). Yrittäjä. June 2007. pp. 21–23.
  17. Tietoviikko, 1/2015: ”Startup jättiläisen sisällä”
  18. Sounio, Lisa (September 18, 2007). "Dopplr blog: Taneli Tikka joins Dopplr as COO". Blog.dopplr.com. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  19. Ahtisaari, Marko (September 28, 2009). "Dopplr Blog: Nokia Acquires Dopplr". Blog.dopplr.com. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  20. Vilpponen, Antti (April 17, 2008). "Tikka joins as CEO of RunToShop". ArcticStartup. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  21. "Soprano, Plc Press Release: Taneli Tikka promoted to COO" (in Finnish). kauppalehti.fi. January 17, 2012.
  22. "Markkinionti & Mainonta magazine: Tikka to head Soprano (in Finnish)" (in Finnish). Marmai.fi. January 18, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  23. "Soprano, Plc Press Release: Taneli Tikka moves to new career challenges" (in Finnish). kauppalehti.fi. February 22, 2012.
  24. "Slush 11.-12. marraskuuta | Slush 2015". Slush. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  25. "Taneli Tikka". Startup Sauna. August 4, 2011. Archived from the original on September 24, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  26. "Taneli Tikka nimitetty toimitusjohtajaksi Wunderkraut-konserniin". Tekniikka & Talous. November 21, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  27. http://www.tekniikkatalous.fi/ict/taneli+tikka+nimitetty+toimitusjohtajaksi+wunderkrautkonserniin/a857928
  28. https://internetregistry.info/about-us/who-is-tld-registry/
  29. "Tech In Asia: ICANN approves two new Chinese-language web domain endings, set to come online soon". techinasia.com. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  30. "Suomalaiset saivat oikeuden myydä verkko-osoitteiden tunnuksia kiinalaisille". Helsingin Sanomat. September 11, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  31. "Internetregistry.info: Our Founders". internetregistry.info. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  32. "Taneli Tikka siirtyy Tietoon johtamaan seuraavaa teollista vallankumousta (article in finnish)". Tieto. May 12, 2014.
  33. http://www.tivi.fi/keskustelu/?action=comment&posting=1042357
  34. "Taneli Tikka siirtyy Tietoon johtamaan seuraavaa teollista vallankumousta". Tieto. May 12, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  35. Isotalus, Päivi. "Valtion kehitysyhtiö Vake alkaa hakea sijoituskohteita – tavoitteena tehdä ensimmäiset sijoitukset tänä vuonna, haussa kansainväliset huippuosaajat". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  36. "Taneli Tikka Kempin hallitukseen". Tivi. January 5, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  37. "MTV:n hallitus saa kolme uutta jäsentä". Markkinointi & Mainonta. July 16, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  38. "Vuoden it-vaikuttaja pitää finanssialaa muutoksen jarruna" (5 Jul 2011). Kauppalehti. July 5, 2011. p. 4.
  39. "Verso-ohjelma loi kokonaan uudet eväät ohjelmistoalan kasvulle". Tekes. April 15, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  40. Verso contact information, Management group: Taneli Tikka.
  41. http://www.tekes.fi/nyt/uutiset-2014/verso-ohjelma-loi-kokonaan-uudet-evaat-ohjelmistoalan-kasvulle/
  42. "180 minuuttia takapenkillä Taneli Tikan kanssa". Taloussanomat. August 25, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  43. "Ohjausryhmä". Vigo. Archived from the original on October 12, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  44. Cord, David J. (2012). Mohamed 2.0. Helsingfors: Schildts & Söderströms. pp. 81–82. ISBN 978-951-52-2898-7.
  45. fi:Tasavallan Presidentin kansainvälistymispalkinto
  46. "Roope Ankka" (summer 2010). AKU. p. 47.
  47. http://www.ttlry.fi/vuoden-2010-vaikuttaja-ja-tuote/
  48. "blog: chosen as the opinion leader in ICT of 2010". Tane.li. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  49. "Sata it-vaikuttajaa". Tivi. December 13, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  50. "Vuoden nuori hallitustekijä Taneli Tikka on vuoden 2014 nuori hallitustekijä". Futureboard. 2014. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
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