Interview with Niko Järvinen
Serial entrepreneur and innovator, Järvinen is the founder and CTO of Naava a platform that reconnects humanity with nature, by harnessing millions of years of innovation with future technology and natural design: a way to make the smartest green walls on the planet.
Naava is bringing the most effective, most innovative biological air purification systems to the market place. Using a unique marriage of nature and technology, we have developed beautiful green wall installations for indoor spaces. Naava green walls produce air of the highest quality, free from harmful chemical compounds, and allow people to exist in an environment which encourages great health and performance.
Check out our exclusive Q&A session with Niko:
What is your favourite place to go to if you need to catch some fresh air?
When I need to catch some fresh air I definitely go to Finnish Lapland, that's the best place I know. In the US, Vermont is very nice and it's almost like being at home.
Scandinavian design and the latest technologies are at the heart of Naava. At the same time, you aspire to bring fresh air to people all around the world, in every city, including developing ones. How are you going to make this possible? Is Naava really affordable for everyone?
This is just the first step. The next step for us is to start working with partners to include the technology behind Naava into other products to bring them available for everybody everywhere.
What makes the Finnish start-up scene special in your opinion?
We have highly educated people with a good understanding of what's happening outside Finland. At the same time, the Finnish market is so small that every new company has to globally grow, which forces us to await a bit more and keep the challenges of growth in the mindset from the start.
Apparently, you have been an entrepreneur ever since you turned 14. Could you tell us a little bit more about that?
I actually started my first company when I was 12 years old and since then I have started quite some more. At the beginning it was the traditional sales of things, but after some time I moved into IT, back in the beginning of 00'. After that I started working with algae in cleaning water in a natural way and nowadays I am using the same idea with Naava where we clean air in a natural way with the help of plants, combined with the modern technology.
Earlier this year, you produced a commercial with the words “Dear Mr. Trump. If you are really going to build a wall, please breathe and build an open, clean and green one” to make a statement, but also to advertise your product. Do you think start-ups need to be more political?
At Naava we think that also companies should be socially responsible to provide solutions to problems. People spend on average 22 hours a day indoors and according the World Health Organization, "indoor air is even more harmful to humans than outdoor air" which many actually don't know. We hope to change that and make a positive global impact and serve millions of people with cleaner air by 2025.
How many Naava-walls are to be found in your personal work and living spaces?
Right now I have been living the startup life in hotels in the US, so I am still looking for a place on my own. Luckily my working space is very different, it is surrounded by the fresh air and nature all the time while working here.
In a nutshell, Naava wants to revolutionize indoor air quality with walls of plants in offices, apartments and so on. As a client, how do I take care of these walls? Especially if I’m not blessed with a green thumb?
We want to make it easy for the client, this is why we provide maintenance services for all of our products. In addition, we monitor the functions for well being of the plants so there is no green thumb required and you can just sit back and breathe.