Deafmetal became the first Finnish company to finish in Top 3 in the prestigious creative industries innovation competition
Creative Business Cup is an international innovation competition for start-ups in the creative industries. The Global Finals were held in Copenhagen, Denmark, where winners of national competitions from over 60 countries pitched their ideas from 1 to 2 July, 2019. Jenni Ahtiainen represented Finland with her hearing aid jewellery collection Deafmetal.
- Winning the Finnish national competition in April was a great achievement that opened many possibilities for my invention. There were dozens of great business ideas in the Global Finals in Copenhagen and, of course, it feels really good that my own was esteemed so highly among them, Ahtiainen says.
Deafmetal is a collection of jewellery designed for hearing aid users. It allows the hearing aid to be adapted to the individual's personality in the same way as eyeglass users can choose the appropriate frames for themselves.
Deafmetal's innovation is a silicone holster, designed by Ahtiainen who has been working as a clothing designer for 12 years. Ahtiainen’s jewelery collections can be attached to the holster. This innovation also has a functional dimension: the holster allows the hearing aid to be attached to the ear, so that the instruments do not break or go missing.
Deafmetal is the first Finnish innovation that has progressed to the top five over the years. According to Anu-Katriina Perttunen, Chief Networking Officer of Creative Finland that organizes the tournament in Finland, Ahtiainen's achievement is an excellent example of how creative practices invent new solutions and do business.
- Creative Business Cup gathers the most creative business ideas around the world, and is a very tough competition. Jenni has the ability to see the world from her own point of view. Her approach to creativity is highly solution-oriented, Perttunen praises.
Lapee takes the first prize
This year's Creative Business Cup winner was the Danish innovation Lapee, a female urinal designed to provide women with quick relief at festivals and outdoor events.
- The Danish idea was brilliant, and it also has a social dimension just like most other finalists. The purpose of my own invention is to reduce the shame associated with the use of hearing aids, while the Danes encourage women to pee equally. Both inventions should actually have been made years ago, so the outcome of the competition feels good and fair, Ahtiainen comments.
The third place went to the recyclable menstrual underwear Snuggs from Czech Republic. Among the five finalists were also the South Korean seaweed innovation that replaces plastic, and the Australian app Audioplay that gives kids a way to experience stories without screens.
- My success in the pitching competition was special, but more importantly Deafmetal became internationalized with one move. I got in touch with investors and received great sparring on how to export my product to the global market, Ahtiainen rejoices.
For more information:
Designer Jenni Ahtiainen, tel. +358 400 427 876, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Networking Officer Anu-Katriina Perttunen, tel. +358 44 534 5285, email@example.com
Creative Business Cup
Jenni Ahtiainen has been working as a fashion designer for her gTIE brand since 2007. Her accessories have been sold in Japan, Europe and the USA. Ahtiainen is best known for her designs for musicans, ranging from the Finnish Independence Day festivities to the Oscar gala. Her products have been used by rockers Ville Valo and Michael Monroe, and the Duudsons, as well as by international artists including Marilyn Manson and Snoop Dogg. Ahtiainen won Stylefellow's 2018 Jewelry Award with gTIE's Cinderella jewelry. Just two months after DEAFMETAL was born, it was awarded at Europe's largest craft fair as the best new product of 2018. Ahtiainen is hearing impaired herself.