Earlier this year, Team Kliffa participated in Circular Economy Pop-up Challenge organized jointly by *ship and Sitra, with its brilliant idea of using up idle and unused spaces. It was able to achieve one of the three runner-ups positions in the competition. Let’s have an insight into the team and its brilliant idea that got them here and their future goals.

How it started is composed of an interesting story as their diverse team members got to know each other at the entrepreneurship course in university and their joint comfort zone translated into a mutual business venture overtime. They came up with this idea following their observation about enormous space that went unused and the potential of of huge business and social incentive to make use of these spaces; specifically and idle rooms in houses, offices could be used for tourists and locals alike who are in short-term need. Technically, the idea really doesn’t form part of the circular economy as there is no production taking place. However, the idea contributes to the circular economy by maximizing the the potential of unused space.

The team consists young people who are living in cities. Therefore, they understood and analyze the problem better and can objectively understand customers in a very holistic manner. Moreover, they are not focusing on profits, but on the idea to reduce waste of space. They want cities to be more open for people and the experience of discovering different cities as a fun-going experience than a hectic and tedious journey. Kliffa aspires to enhance the economic choices available to their consumers in a qualitative manner so that they like visiting different cities. The success of this business can have huge impact on local and foreign tourism. The idea is especially applicable to cities where there is a high level of population density.

“We’re working as one closely knitted team with no hierarchies where we feel more like friends than colleagues. We don’t have a slogan as such. All we want is to make the future cities public and private spaces to be people’s space” said Armi Ahvenainen, CEO of Kliffa. Moreover, she also shared her team’s superpower: “Our team is a mixture of individuals from different backgrounds and this diversity is our strength to take our business forward”.

Kliffa’s team got to know about the Circular Economy Pop-up Challenge through an invitation email from *ship organizers. They therefore participated afterwards due to their active attitude to seek such opportunities. Regarding their expectations about the challenge, Armi said that they always had realistic expectations, as they knew that their idea is good, but they were realistic about the presence and intensity of competition with other great ideas.

The team’s strategy to participate in the Pitch Captain Competition is focused on using the power of storytelling because stories help the audience connect to the idea more realistically. Besides, sharing customer journeys with the prospective audience helps them better understand how and why they would like to use any good or service. About the *ship 2017, the team is well prepared and excited to meet different people and make new networks. Their aim is to discuss their idea and learn from comments and responses of people at the competition, as different questions and comments from various people help analyze the product in more critical & broad points of view. This is very vital in service industry business in terms of refining the way business works and can bear fruit in the foreseeable future.

Regarding the development plans of their business, Kliffa’s team is working on providing their service in as easy and customer-friendly manner for people, which are the main focus of their strategic team for now. The service is launched recently and they’re working on developing and focusing on getting feedback from customers simultaneously. Thus, the service could be more approachable for consumers. “Our plan is to make it more enjoyable and trustable service than to focus on the commercial aspect as such”, ended Armi.

Author: Husnain Ahmed Kandaan is a student of Media Studies at Middle East Technical University and a teacher of Economics at an International School in Ankara, Turkey. Aspiring to gain new experiences and open to learning opportunities, he’s looking forward to attend *ship Festival 2017.

With the support of ELY Growth Project: