Meet a Junior Mentor: Sean Cappone

Today, meet Sean Cappone. Sean is a student, entrepreneur, and served as a junior mentor last spring. Read on to hear about his journey and experience in the Junior/Senior Mentoring Program!

Today, meet Sean Cappone. Sean is a student, entrepreneur, and served as a junior mentor last spring. Read on to hear about his journey and experience in the Junior/Senior Mentoring Program!

Hi Sean! First off, what do you want us to know about you?

I am a double degree student at TUNI studying public finance & public management. My degree is also from Italy at the University of Eastern Piedmont, where I am also a board member. My thesis is about solving an international strategic issue. I worked as a financial analyst for some time, in real estate and finance, and was also in the army for a long time. I am a mountain corps. This is really important in business because it taught me to have resilience and learn how to tackle hard situations. I also learned how to handle coffee, which is also important.

Tell us about your interest in entrepreneurship.

I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. When I went back to Italy from Ireland for a double degree this guy called me and asked me to be a board member of the university with 207 million euros of turnover. I went back to uni and started working and learning from the board. It is very hard to working on a public board in Italy, full of problems, lots of power games. I fly back often. Coming here to Finland I kept my responsibilities, so far so good. 

What brought you to the Junior/Senior Mentor Program?

I ended up at Y-kampus looking for a solution for my thesis, which is also associated with my personal company. Maria Ruokonen connected me with the business camp in the fall and it was really good. I later received an email about the Junior/Senior Mentor program. So for fun, for training, and to keep myself in the field I joined the program.



Tell us about the entrepreneur that you worked with!

I picked Zealbots which is also the only startup that had been involved that has been funded since then.

Cool! Zealbots is also one of the startups that will be a part of C-LAB this fall. Tell us more!

We did a lot of work to transform Zealbots – create awesome presentations, create accounting structures, get everything ready before selling and finding the money. We did things again and again and again until it was perfect, or at least almost perfect. If you think something is perfect, then you stop working and stop improving. There’s always something to improve.

Working with Zealbots was great practice for me in a startup environment, most of all in financial engineering. I learned a bit more about how Finnish banks work and how funding from Finnish banks work. I also improved my knowledge of the financial environment here in Finland. But the best thing that I got out of this was a good buddy – a couple of them. Our team worked well together.

Team is everything. Tell us about your team!

Simon, the senior mentor, is a really nice guy.  He has good knowledge of the business environment, which was a great asset to us. I didn’t feel like he considered me junior, we worked together as equals. We built a relationship and interact with each other as human beings. I feel like he actually values my opinion, and he often asks for it.

 I still support Gnanavel (the entrepreneur) and support him in his business; we have become friends. Gnanavel listens a lot and learns from listening. Something that I learned is to communicate with simplicity because not everyone speaks with your type of language, especially if you have technical vocabulary. You need to make things simple if you want it to be clear and understood by people who do not have that knowledge yet.

Starting a company is about team most of the time. You can’t have one man’s army, especially if you have new tech to develop. It’s important to bring people with different backgrounds together and match them together in a way that might result efficiently in the end.

Thanks for sharing your experience and insight! Any final words?

It isn’t about the prize, it’s about playing the game and winning it.