News & Recognition

Entrepreneur of the Year Award goes to... a Procurement Enthusiast!

News Dec 14, 2021

Last week the Finnish Software and E-business Association (Ohjelmisto- ja e-business ry) recognized Sievo’s Co-founder and CEO Sammeli Sammalkorpi as the Finnish Software Entrepreneur of the Year. This annual award recognizes exceptional individuals and companies that advance the state of software industry in Finland. Previous awards for the entrepreneur of the year include founders of Supercell, M-Files and Smartly.io. 

"Through procurement analytics, Sammeli has built a wonderful entrepreneur-driven international growth story" observed Rasmus Roiha, the CEO of the Finnish Software and E-business Association as he shared the award. 

A procurement enthusiast turned entrepreneur 

When Sammeli Sammalkorpi was growing up in arctic Lapland his parents imagined he could become a reindeer farmer. Instead, Sammeli pursued his passion for coding and entrepreneurship. After graduating from the Helsinki University of Technology in 2003, Sammeli took an even more unexpected career path, establishing a procurement software startup with his student colleague Matti Sillanpää.  

Sievo was established just over 18 years ago in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble. At the time few investors or startups were focused on procurement software, but after a stint as management consultants Sammeli and Matti found a niche in developing spend analysis solutions for large enterprises.  

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“In the beginning energy substituted expertise. When we started, the pinnacle of our procurement capabilities was that we sourced our initial stock of office supplies by asking friends to bring stuff from their employers to our house warming party. The maturity of our IT-capabilities was proven by the fact that we placed our first servers in a janitor closet.”, states Sammeli. 

Today Sievo is the leading procurement analytics solution provider with over 200 employees and customers across the globe. Sievo’s software and services help large enterprises analyze and manage their cost base. Customers include many household names such as Carlsberg, Kellogg’s and Mars.

The rising tide of procurement software 

Sievo is one example of an increasingly diverse and successful procurement software ecosystem. In recent years, the number of procurement tech startups has expanded rapidly. Digital Procurement World now tracks over 200 vendors in 15 categories with more startups seeking to be recognized.  

Felix Plapperer from Paua Ventures recently called ProcureTech “one of the hottest areas in the startup land.” 

For Sammeli and Sievo the Software Entrepreneur of the Year award was a recognition of an 18 year long journey where the potential for growth is only now being realized.  

"I’m as enthusiastic about procurement technology as the day we started Sievo. The key to building our €20M revenue SaaS company was not investors or funding. Our secret to success is a workplace where Sievonians can challenge themselves, develop and meet the high needs of our customers together. Sometimes entrepreneurs get recognized, but this award goes to the entrepreneurship flowing through our teams and the entrepreneurial spirit of our customers” observes Sammeli Sammalkorpi.  

Photo credit: Finnish Software and E-business Association / ohjelmistoebusiness.fi

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