Helsinki

Miikka Rosendahl
CEO & Founder

miikka.rosendahl@zoan.fi
+358 40 963 4977

Laura Ala
CMO / Sales & Marketing

laura.ala@zoan.fi
+358 40 351 6808

Pauli Kangasniemi
Head of Real Estate & Architecture

pauli.kangasniemi@zoan.fi
+358 50 353 2321

Matias Rantahakala
Business Development

matias.rantahakala@zoan.fi
+358 50 411 9051

Los Angeles

Eric Krauss
VP North America

eric@zoan.io
615-525-5334

Belo Horizonte

Jonathan Biz Medina
CTO

jonathan.medina@zoan.fi
+358 45 1462428

The Team

We are a team of 31 people on 3 different continents which gives a cool international twist to everything we do. Our DNA is to create amazing projects and products that make our clients shine!

Translation of ZOAN:

Zoan (Tso`an) is an ancient hebrew word for a king’s closest servant. That is what we would like to be to our clients. We would like to be trusted to do our work and make our clients look awesome.

The Team

We are a team of 31 people on 3 different continents which gives a cool international twist to everything we do. Our DNA is to create amazing projects and products that make our clients shine!

Translation of ZOAN:

Zoan (Tso`an) is an ancient hebrew word for a king’s closest servant. That is what we would like to be to our clients. We would like to be trusted to do our work and make our clients look awesome.

The ZOAN story

Told by Miikka Rosendahl, founder and CEO

2009

In 2009, I was visiting the city of Wuhan in China for the third time in my life. Our local guide took me to see a 3D modeling company that had just finalized a new project for a massive business park. Right in front of my eyes, I could see a tall building opening up floor-by-floor. I was captivated. I felt like I had had a chance to see into the future. I also dreamed of building the future. I wanted to give the same feeling of excitement to our clients that was given to me when I tried it for the first time.

.
.
.
.
.

FOUNDING ZOAN

2010

I had been an entrepreneur with my brother for six years, but was now ready to take a leap of faith and start ZOAN. I was a bit frightened, yet I was eager to pursue my passion for visual media and combine that with web technology. I wasn’t sure of the outcome, but I knew I had to start somewhere.

The first couple of years were full of web design and coding with only a few 3D projects. It was still far from what I had dreamed of. I worked 100 hours a week just to deliver what clients had asked for, but was never able to take the projects to the level I had hoped to. Even though the clients were satisfied, I was not as I was aiming for something so much bigger and more complex.

.
.
.
.
.

GOODBYE FINLAND

2012

In order to fulfill my dreams, I had started a 3D visualization company with some friends of mine, but we never found a good flow while working together. At the same time, I was still running ZOAN and working on mobile app projects with a Chinese programmer and some trainees in Finland. The culture and language barrier made it almost impossible to deliver projects with the quality I wanted. “There has to be a better way,” I thought to myself. I was frustrated. The only thing that made me happy was the fact that I had just met a beautiful, Brazilian girl, who would later become my wife. I decided to take a leap of faith and move to Brazil. It was an easy decision to sell all my shares, hop on a plane and start everything from scratch.

.
.
.
.
.

OLÁ BRAZIL

2013

In Brazil, I had an amazing opportunity to learn business from a totally different cultural perspective. Even though I had a lot of experience working with different cultures after living in the USA and dealing with ten different nationalities in my previous field, Brazil surprised me. After spending half of a year in Belo Horizonte, my girlfriend and I were enjoying dinner with a friend and her husband. He was a businessman, who was working on a ambitious project of making the largest and most luxurious vacation island by the only artificial lake that had ever been built in Brazil. As I showed him my portfolio, he got very excited and wanted to introduce me to his business partner. In the following meeting, we made a deal and started working on a project to visualize the luxurious island before it was even built. The project was amazing, but having to return to the stressful, outsourced team from China, I realized that something had to change. We needed a better and easier way to work.

.
.
.
.
.

THE ZOAN TEAM

2014

Acquiring 3D work from China and communicating in portuguese, which I now speak fluently, felt like dancing samba. Luckily, I worked with two talented Brazilian 3D modelers. After a year, I asked one of them, Matheus, to join ZOAN. At that time, I was already working with him on several projects. For the first time in the company’s history, I started to feel like we were on the right track, going somewhere new. While visiting Finland, I met Martti who introduced me to some important people from the real estate market. As we started meeting Finnish companies, we realised that our product that had been polished for the Brazilian competitive market, which was years ahead of our competitors products in Finland.

.
.
.
.
.

BACK TO HELSINKI

2015

It all happened really fast in the Finnish real-estate market: sale after sale, project after project. There wasn’t a single meeting without positive feedback and proposal requests. In that moment, I realised it was time to move back to Finland and start investing in the market that was really moving at that point. While we were modeling entire neighbourhoods, we realised that we could model the entire city of Helsinki. It was an ambitious idea that started to feel like the right idea. Our team had already expanded to seven people, but we needed to expand even faster so that we could attend to the market and at the same time model Helsinki.

.
.
.
.
.

HELSINKI2020

2016

With a lot of trial and error, we managed to get the first version of a virtual Helsinki to work. This had been my dream ever since we had done our first client project with this new technology. Our team had grown to 14 full time employees and ten freelancers working on more than 15 simultaneous projects. The technology event, Slush, in November of 2016, was the defining moment in which we came out with years of our work. We released our virtual Helsinki city model, HELSINKI2020. Now, ZOAN has entered a new phase where can finally lead the way in the Finnish VR scene. We are excited and want to create excitement with our solutions. Our team consists of amazing people and so it’s easy to look the challenge in the eyes and start working.

.
.
.
.
.

Year of Growth & New Projects

2017

In 2017, ZOAN would launch into new areas of business with new projects and clients. We were asked to talk to several advertising agencies and B2C companies that opened up new relationships and opportunities.

The largest development project was a “living painting” by the National Museum of Finland. The immersive experience offers the museum visitor the ability “to step into The Diet of Finland of 1863.” The painting featured motion capture performances, voice acting as well as highly demanding animations. The VR project received major coverage including an article written by The New York Times.

Out summer projects included: the first VR-pop-up café in Finland with Robert’s Coffee. We built a K-Kampus block in Kalasatama for Varma, and further developed the concept of real estate digital buildings. In the fall we took a few team members to a Moomin-themed hackathon in Japan, which later led to a contract with Moomin Characters.

Lastly, a few of the new clients are University of Helsinki, Tallink-Silja, YIT, Otavamedia, Arilyn, and Artek. We also started on a few projects in the USA. Slush was again a success for both us and our partners.

…and the biggest success of the year was the news that my wife and I would be expecting our first child, a beautiful baby girl.