The Upgraded Strategy Towards the Best Health Innovation Ecosystem in the World


The Upgraded Strategy Towards the Best Health Innovation Ecosystem in the World

You know how after a big project is done you feel a bit empty and struggle to start doing something goal-oriented again? Well, we experienced that with Upgraded after this year’s immensely successful Upgraded Life Festival was done. In addition, we had a new director in the team and right when we were ready to start rocking again, it was time for summer vacations.

To make the most out of the fall 2018, we organized a two-day kickoff session in mid-August – the first day just among the team and the second day together with our founders and board members. The rules were simple: no laptops, no phones (unless absolutely necessary) and everyone participates with an open mind. And here are some of the results – and we’ll be presenting the rest to our members in Upgraded General Assembly on September 19th.

What are we actually aiming for?

During the kickoff we dived deep into the strategic level and long-term plans for the organisation. For example we defined our core values, agreed on a vision and drafted the steps to get to that vision. In our vision, Finland is the best place in the world for health innovations, thanks to the dynamic and well-functioning ecosystem.

Our first goals will be building a strong and dynamic network – even a platform – for the Health Innovation Ecosystem. At the same time, we will bolster the role of our events (e.g. Upgraded Life Festival) within the ecosystem, which may require rethinking the event concept to provide more added value to the ecosystem. Also we will be making the innovations more visible also outside of the ecosystem, through the aforementioned channels. And yes, that is pretty much what we have been doing so far, but with clearer aims and KPI’s. So we’re not pivoting or changing direction – we’re just shifting up our level of ambition 🙂

Once the mentioned goals are reached, we have a solid foundation to build other operations on. At that point we will be shifting our focus towards building more ambitious elements to the ecosystem, such as gathering the bright minds of health industry to “Upgraded Health Think Tank”, intensifying the communication and media relations, i.e. building an “Upgraded Media Hub”, and involving ourselves more with education, perhaps even establishing an “Upgraded Health University”. These are of course just working titles at the moment to give you (and us) and idea where we are heading and to keep the team focused. 

With this plan we want to announce that we aim high and we are very ambitious – which is the very least our startups and other members of the ecosystem deserve and should expect. We will be reviewing our strategy and aims regularly to make sure that we remain relevant and on the right track towards our vision. We are constantly looking for the best ways to empower health and wellbeing innovations! 

Outstanding people make outstanding results

In our team culture workshop each team member listed three things we want to take with us to the future, three things we don’t mind leaving to past and three completely new things we want to try out.  This exercise was quite revealing, although we were rather anonymous in the end: we will definitely keep aiming high and being agile and flexible. However in order to succeed we should have more clearly division of responsibilities as well as pay attention to distributing the workload more evenly. This means that in the future, we have to pay extra attention not to involve ourselves in any opportunity that comes our way, but to be smart and even picky in choosing the most productive ways of contributing to the development of the ecosystem and innovations.

For us it is obvious, that the best and most valuable resource we have are the people – their ability to be innovative and resourceful and to know the industry and how to navigate in the network. Therefore it is a priority to keep the team happy and motivates. For instance, we will be introducing Personal Growth Days once a month, when everybody is expected to spend the day e.g. reading a book or an article, familiarizing themselves with a new phenomenon or learning a new skill – and then sharing the learnings (or a word of warning) with the others. That way we remain on top of our game and are able to constantly bring new aspects to our work, or simply deepen our knowledge on relevant topics.

As another concrete step towards proactivity instead of reactivity, we created a visual timeline for the next six months, in order to have all our plans in one canvas and to point out the busy periods, the low-seasons, and also to show what each team member is working on. This type of common guideline enables us to work independently and managing our own work, and thus be more efficient and make the most out of the scarce resources we have.


What it all comes down to

So in a nutshell, strategy-wise our plan is to go big or go home. While doing that, we will work accordingly to our freshly stated core values, declaring that whatever we do, we are

  • Proactive and Dynamic
  • Resourceful
  • Collaborative
  • Connected
  • Insightful

After the two days of intense thinking, planning and defining ourselves, we are ready to face the dark, cold and wet season and make it the best one in the history of our organisation. And we are inviting everyone to join us on this quest – alone we can do a lot, but together we can do just so much more!


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