Holvi Blog for Makers and Doers

Fintech in an abandoned hospital

Digitalisation of entrepreneurship · 17/05/2016, 16:02 · Nikolas Lempiäinen

My first two weeks at Holvi as a content marketing intern, or how I joined the team of crazily inspiring fintech nerds in a former mental hospital.

Last time I walked into Lapinlahti’s former hospital sweating and stressing about a job interview. This time I am heading to the former hospital to start my first day of work at Holvi. Very excited and a little terrified, I enter the office, and the Head of Finance and Legal, Luis surprises me. “Cool shirt!”, comments Luis about my shirt covered in printed stars, and greets me with a brotherly handshake. My shirt isn’t anywhere as cool as Luis’s title, but the friendly welcome calms my stress. I still can't believe I'm about to become a marketing guy at one of the hottest fintech companies in Europe. I meet other team members, and see a lot of smiles. It'll take several days to put names to the faces.

Lapinlahti rakennus 2

How I found out the office life in a fintech company can be crazily exciting. 

I surprise my manager Arttu in the kitchen. Arttu wonders about an outdated milk, which he accidentally pours into his coffee. Arttu gives me a tour around the office. Holvi has just moved to a new office,  which happens to be a former mental hospital. Today the place is filled with creatives and artists, a nice cafe in the corner and violin concerts in the yard. After that, we kick off things by going through my tasks, and every one of them sounds better than the other. 

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Processed with VSCO

Soon the lunchtime approaches, but this time lunch doesn’t mean eating muesli bars all by yourself, but a picnic lunch by the sea. Our analytics wizard Lari guides me through the hospital halls to join the picnic. We both have heard about haunted rooms in the building, and rumour has it that the separate building by the sea used to be a morgue. The building is now used by small business owners and freelancers. According to our office manager Terhi, one of the freelance actors keeps skulls in his rented room for rehearsals. Nice to know!


The park around Holvi's office is probably the best spot in Helsinki for a picnic in the springtime. Over the lunch, I learn how diverse the team is — 12 nationalities, 17 languages and Senna, Holvi's Instagram star dog. The topic of discussion changes quickly to the full-stack designer Vas' experiences in Kouvola, and how the city resembles Chernobyl. Pablo joins the conversation. Pablo is Argentinian, who lived in Brazil and France. The topic of discussion changes quickly to mixed martial arts promotion company UFC, and how Pablo liked the sport more when it was more bold and there were more steroids. The topic of discussion goes well with my supermarket meat pie, but not with the scenery – fortunately. A picnic discussion about Chernobyl and steroids makes me realise that working in Holvi will be very different.

Processed with VSCO

Snapchat-2041950082128250243By the end of the day, Vas opens a champagne bottle in celebration of new employees. Elena has brought some strawberries to go with it. I couldn't think of an better start for my career in Holvi. It’s great to be able to work on something meaningful, in an environment you enjoy, with people who are just awesome.

If you want to stay up to date with my adventures at Holvi, follow us on Instagram.




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