Are you the next leader for a Smart & Clean business concept?

News 12.03.2019

The new solutions generated in Hack the City workshop and refined in the Smart & Clean City Ventures process are looking for partners and successors. Smart & Clean welcomes you to join us in developing them into functional business.


In November 2017, the Smart & Clean Foundation organised a Hack the City workshop to create new solutions for developing the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The workshop brought together about 100 decision makers from the business world, cities and research institutes, as well as thought leaders from the younger generation. The attendees first destroyed the current city, then designed a new city and finally developed concrete solutions for building a sustainable future. Eight solutions were chosen for further development from the ideas generated in the workshop, which were refined in the Smart & Clean City Ventures process. The Smart & Clean Foundation developed business concepts from the ideas in cooperation with Avanto Ventures. Some are still being developed, and successors for all of them are also very much wanted.

The Kalasatama Challenge helps in testing solutions

Kalasatama, an ever-growing neighbourhood near Helsinki’s inner city, is known for its readiness to test smart solutions. Hack the City capitalised on the neighbourhood’s brand and the Kalasatama Innovation Challenge was born as a result. Business accelerator Avanto Ventures has since promoted the Kalasatama Innovation Challenge by finding business partners and owners for it. The latest workshop related to the programme was held in January 2019.

The Innovation Challenge focuses on making the transport of people and goods more efficient and smooth, for example by combining them. The programme has massive social potential, as the transformation of transport and the constant acceleration of urbanisation mean that new solutions are needed for cities. However, trialing innovative solutions in a genuine urban environment with a user-driven approach is challenging. A programme like the Kalasatama Innovation Challenge can provide a unique platform for large companies to test and pilot new solutions. The execution of the challenge will be discussed with business partners this spring.

Trust as a Service will accelerate the sharing economy

There has long been talk about the emergence of the sharing economy, but its applications have not yet made headway in all sectors. AirBnB, which provides lodging services, has become a popular service in the travel industry but there are hardly any other similar success stories.

The TaaS project born in Hack the City focused on tying the sharing economy to blockchain technology. Trust as a Service would allow people to share a wide variety of daily commodities, with blockchains making it secure. It would be hard to commit identity fraud and peer review would help people find reliable services. At the same time, sharing economy services could be provided anonymously, meaning the service provider would not need to obtain all the renter’s personal information. When the services are secured, financially valuable commodities such as cars could also be shared and rented.

After Hack the City, TaaS was further developed in two separate workshops. However, the concept is still waiting for a corporate partner. Similar ideas have begun to develop in the Smart & Clean community precisely in relation to car hire, for example.

A personal carbon budget helps people take climate action

It is hard for individuals to make their own actions more environmentally friendly, as comparing different options is often difficult. Unambiguous truths about climate effects are not always available. However, choices made by the individual are of great importance in spreading a sustainable lifestyle. At Hack the City, this gave rise to the idea of measuring a personal carbon budget.

One of the companies excited by the idea in the workshop was Kesko, which could use the concept to develop their customer experience and service for regular customers. In Lahti, the carbon budget is being used in the CitiCap project, where the personal carbon budget is applied to the promotion of sustainable transport and reducing emissions.

However, no actor has yet latched on to the overall concept of a personal carbon budget. The concept could be accelerated to the next level by concrete projects similar to CitiCap. For example, during 2015–2017 the Ilmastokatu (Climate Street) project tested practical solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions on Iso Roobertinkatu in Helsinki and Tikkurila in Vantaa. The work was carried out together with the area’s residents, real estate and businesses. A similar initiative could help take the concept of a personal carbon budget forward. A committed partner is also needed.

The Embrace Travel Time project turns travel time into useful time

The daily commute can be much more than just traveling from home to work. The Embrace Travel Time project aims to improve the quality of travel time. The concept created in the Hack the City workshop encourages people to switch from using private cars to public transport. Travel time in public transport can be used to, for example, cross things off your to-do list, study or relax.

The purpose of the project is to develop services related to commuting so that traveling would be smooth and comfortable, and would also provide an opportunity for physical activity. The project thus contributes to the well-being of citizens, but also promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions as private car use goes down. If citizens start using public transport more, air quality may also improve.

Inspired by the Hack the City workshop, many companies have been interested in making travel time into useful time. Among those developing the concept have been Storytel, which provides audiobooks, route application Kyyti and design studio Adventure Club. For now, however, the project is looking for a financier.


The concepts are looking for partners to contribute in making them into functional businesses. Please contact us if you want to participate in developing and succeeding the business solutions generated in Hack the City.