A Day in the Life of TrademarkNow CEO Mikael Kolehmainen

Lisa Wright,

Happy 7th Birthday TrademarkNow!

It is sometimes hard to believe that in just seven short years we have come so far. Since the company was created in 2012 by the four co-founders Mikael, Heikki, Anna and Matti we have grown our customer base and now have several thousand users, who are based all over the globe.

7 Features

We continue to update and improve our platform and its four core enterprise features: NameCheck, NameWatch, Examatch and LogoCheck. As well as our popular free tool Basic Knockout Search. Upon taking feedback from our SME customers we have also recently launched two new features, our trademark pay-per-search and clearance tools: Enhanced Knockout Search and AI Clearance.

180 Countries

Trademark analysts using our platform can now access PTO Databases, as well as Common Law Data Sources, App Store results and Internet results. We have expanded our range too and our customers can now run a trademark and/or logo search and watch in 180 country trademark registries.

Supporting Intellectual Property Professionals

All of our features today serve both our legal and branding clients. We support them with accelerated and accurate trademark and logo searches and provide them with customizable and detailed reports. We also enable real time watch of marks and portfolios - both the client’s own, as well as those of their competitors.

We are proud to be able to support all those working in the intellectual property domain and pledge to continue to foster the human-machine partnership that makes our AI platform and its tools so successful for our users.

The Human Behind the Machine

Talking of the relationship between the human and the machine we decided to take a closer look at our CEO and co-founder of the TrademarkNow platform, former trademark attorney Mikael Kolehmainen and discover more about the man behind the machine and what makes him tick!

mikael

Mikael Kolehmainen, CEO TrademarkNow

I typically wake up at 6am. I have a few cups of coffee, a light breakfast and then I tackle my emails first thing. I like to try to see my daughter to school during term time and then I might head to the gym - if it is a gym day. I work either from home or go in to the office, if I am not travelling. I have been married for eleven years and my wife and I have two children - a ten year old daughter and a one month old baby boy.

Working at TrademarkNow

My day typically consists of face-to-face meetings and quite a lot of telephone calls - primarily video calls. My phone is on all the time (except when I am on an airplane!) On average I have around twenty telephone calls scheduled every week and around ten face-to-face meetings as well as unscheduled phone calls and meetings. At TrademarkNow we don’t use email internally - we use Slack and messages can come in at any time. I would also usually have to spend a couple of hours each day sorting through external emails. I also do pro bono work – at the moment I am mentoring CEOs of very early stage startups.

I was born in Juva, in Southern Savonia in Eastern Finland but I spent my childhood in a village called Ilomantsi in North Karelia. I have been CEO of TrademarkNow for seven years now. Some people might think that this is strange, but my favourite part of the job is fundraising. I really enjoy R&D too - when I get the chance to spend time on our product. If I had to make a call on my least favourite part of the job it would have to be some of the necessary routine that gets built in – administration.

Education

After high school I enrolled at Hawai’i Pacific University Business School in Honolulu. I honed my English language skills there, having studied English in Finland from 3rd grade, when I was ten. Then I moved to the UK and got an English and European Law degree at the University of Essex, during which time I spent an exchange year in Berlin. After this I returned to Finland and completed my LL.M at the University of Helsinki. In 2009 I passed the New York State Bar.

Career Overview

I started my career in 1999 as a legal advisor to Springtoys, a gaming company, looking after trademark registrations and applications. Next I worked as a trademark attorney for a boutique trademark law firm called Benjon. It was while working there that I got the idea to build an AI platform to help manage some of the routines that I faced day in and day out. A better way to process all of the data. There was a lot of paperwork and getting the data was a rather complicated process between me and the paralegals.

I had some bootstrapping funds available for the startup. In my spare time I had done some angel investing and I had a small exit out of one of my investments. It was a good time to go out on my own. I started to reach out within my network for a tech co-founder. Through a personal contact I was introduced to Matti, who is one of the co-founders and our CTO. With Matti, and the other co-founders Heikki and Anna on board, the company began to flourish and grow.

Stand Out Moments

People often ask me for a ‘stand out’ moment of my time at the company, but there are so many of them! Obviously closing a funding round is always a standout moment for me, as my main job is making sure that the funds are there. Another type of a memorable moment was when we got our first pharma client in the fall of 2012. They bought into the idea of TrademarkNow without us having anything concrete to show to them at that point in time. We just had rudimentary algorithms and I acted as the UI for this. This early stage customer validation was a really big moment for all the founders.

Time to Unwind

I don’t finish work at a set time any day as we are a global company. We work within everyone’s calendars. I might have catch up call with our CRO John Calcio in the US in the evening. I don’t tend to take holidays very often but I have a summer cottage and I love to go there. It is in Eastern Finland in a small town called Koli. I took a week off last year to mark my 10th wedding anniversary with my wife. We booked a technology detox week in Cuba - I have to admit though that I was a little bit anxious throughout!

I unwind by hitting the gym - I do some old school weight lifting. I enjoy Salsa dancing with my wife too and music in all forms - especially going to gigs. I listen to books, and science fiction and business titles are my favourite genres. I really like the sci-fi novel Hyperion by Dan Simmons and one of my all time favourite business books is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

If I had an extra hour in the day, as a parent of a newborn, I would use it for sleep! Otherwise, I would choose to spend it catching up with old friends.

We are proud to be able to support all those working in the intellectual property domain and pledge to continue to foster the human-machine partnership that makes our AI platform and its tools so successful for our users.

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