Meet our EEX Advisors – 5 experts who will help Weeefiner to grow

In the picture: EEX Advisors Hauke Paschek, Johannes Rastas, Anne Vasara, Arne Bayer and Uwe Bretz and Weeefiner’s Elmeri Lahtinen, Mikko Hänninen and Timo Galkin.

Weeefiner has been chosen to be one of the 17 sustainability-driven startups taking part in the 11th EEX Journey. During the EEX program, each participating startup will get a designated Advisory Board for a year to help with their challenges.

Weeefiner has developed a revolutionary technology to address industrial water treatment and raw material circulation challenges. We have ambitious growth plans to bring our 4D Scavenger® technology to wider markets and the EEX program is a perfect opportunity to receive strategic-level advice from fresh perspectives. 

Weeefiner’s new Advisory Board consists of five experienced leaders with diverse backgrounds; Hauke Paschek (Head of Infrastructure DB Fernverkehr), Uwe Bretz (Leader of global sales team, Bosch), Arne Bayer (VP of Asset Development, Uniper), Johannes Rastas (SVP R&D, and Head of Digital Development, KONE), and Anne Vasara (Ambassador for Circular Economy and Energy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland).

Experienced leaders with unique backgrounds

Each Advisory Board member has a unique set of skills and experiences that could benefit Weeefiner during our growth phase. For instance, Hauke Paschek has a strong technical background and he can support Weeefiner in the technical and infrastructure field.

“Through my 21 years of diverse professional experience as a car mechanic and aircraft engineer at Airbus and DB Fernverkehr, I understand not only the process of the theoretical conception of a product, but also the practical creation and development of the product.”

Uwe Bretz, on the other hand, can give Weeefiner advice from a strong sales perspective, as he has worked in sales for more than 15 years. Even though he started his career at Bosch as an engineer in Mechatronics, he soon moved to sales and project management. He has worked as a sales manager in South Korea and Austria before moving back to Germany with his family. Now he has taken over the lead of a global sales team, responsible for a big US customer.

“Weeefiner offers a very promising product which provides a solution to their customers to cope with future stringent environmental requirements and to fully recover valuable dissolved materials for reuse. I can contribute to Weeefiner’s sales strategy as a sparring partner for all issues related to the business model, product planning, market penetration and product life cycle management”, says Bretz.

Arne Bayer has a unique opportunity to give Weeefiner advice from customer’s perpective. He is a trained mining engineer with a Ph.D. in mining machine automation and pattern recognition. Before his career as a VP of Asset Development at Uniper, he also spent three years in strategy consulting. Nowadays he focuses on power plant/asset projects and is for example, accountable for the rehabilitation and restoration of large former mining areas in Germany.

“Given my mining and mineral resources background and dealing with land restoration, I can support Weeefiner by putting the customer’s hat on to give a different perspective on the added value of the 4D Scavenger® technology. I can also challenge their business model and give insight on scale-up strategies”, explains Bayer. “At the end of 2023 I hope to see that this Advisory Board has made an impact on Weeefiner’s success story and given insights which will help to accelerate that journey.”

Opportunity to enhance leadership skills

To the advisors, the EEX gives an opportunity to not only promote a more sustainable future but also to enhance their entrepreneurial leadership skills and mentality through engagement with innovative startups. Johannes Rastas applied to the program to get a little closer to the start-up world and to offer his experience and knowledge of strategy, business development and technology for the benefit of others.

Rastas has worked for global companies in four different industries and even though his roles have been mainly product development and R&D driven, he has had the opportunity to lead also functions such as design, customer experience management, digital marketing, & selling. On top of his day job heading Services & Solutions R&D at KONE, he serves as a board member in a leading Finnish textile brand house.

Even though most of the Advisors are from large organisations, our Advisory Board also has a member from the government. Anne Vasara is Ambassador for Circular Economy and Energy, at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Department for International Trade. Her unique point of view and knowledge of internationalization efforts can greatly help Weeefiner’s growth journey. 

“My current position in the Team Finland trade promotion unit and previous experience can be useful in advising on steps to take when looking for growth outside the borders of Finland”, says Vasara.

“We are grateful to work with all these top-level advisors and we believe this program will boost our growth significantly.  I’m expecting that during this year we will be developing tremendously, as a company but also on a personal level. I’m very excited to start the EEX journey!” says Mikko Hänninen, the CEO of Weeefiner.

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