Winner of the Falling Walls Lab Finland 2019!

Technology Academy Finland and Aalto University hosted The Falling Walls Lab Finland event in Aalto Design Factory 19 September 2019.

Winner Laura Koivusalo
Laura Koivusalo receiving the Prize at Aalto Design Factory on 19 September 2019.

Winner of the Falling Walls Lab Finland 2019

Winner of the Falling Walls Lab Finland 2019 is Laura Koivusalo for ”Breaking the Wall of Corneal Blindness”.

She is currently PhD Student at Tampere University, Eye Group.

”I’m very pleased but also surprised! We are building a startup that focuses on stem cell therapies for corneal applications. This was my first pitching competition and my number one goal was to get practice how to pitch our ideas and targets”, Koivusalo says.

Limbal stem cell deficiency is a form of corneal blindness that affects millions of working age people worldwide. The condition  cannot be treated with conventional corneal transplants. Winning innovation is solving the problem in renewing the damaged corneal surface with engineered stem cell product. Laura designs the materials for transplantation of these cells.

The international conference on future breakthroughs in science and society

“Falling Walls Lab Finland was a great starting point for the actual competition in Berlin. I am excited and really happy for the opportunity to pitch about corneal blindness for the world’s movers and shakers of science, business and policy-making. I am hundred percent in”, Koivusalo tells.

As a winner Laura will be traveling to Berlin to the Lab Finale on 8 November. The Finale winner gets to speak once more on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November 2019, receives a cash prize, & the opportunity to win a six month Virtual Residency with Nature Careers of the global publisher Springer Nature.

TAF wishes Laura good luck with the Berlin competition!


For more information visit the Falling Walls Lab about page and from our website. Below you’ll find the participants and the members of the jury.

Participants of the Falling Walls Lab Finland 19.9.2019 (name, nationality, organization):

  • Hirskyj-Douglas Ilyena, United Kingdom, Aalto University
  • Hirvonen O. Petteri, Finland, University of Jyväskylä
  • Holavins Arturs, Latvia, University of Helsinki
  • Jamali Hossein, Iran, Islamic Azad University
  • Koivusalo Laura, Finland, Tampere University
  • Lvov Anatoly, Finland, University of Lapland
  • Munawar Mustafa Ahmad, Finland, University of Eastern Finland
  • Ollila Hanna, Finland, University of Helsinki
  • Oksanen Julle, Finland, Aalto University
  • Piatek Katarzyna, Poland, Turku University
  • Sopher Hadas, Israel, Technion,  Israel institute of technology
  • Vostrov Konstantin, Russian Federation, Lappeenranta University of technology

Falling Walls Lab Jury:

  • Janne Laine, Vice President for Innovation, Aalto University, Chairman of the Jury
  • Marina Biniari, Professor Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University
  • Paavo Räsänen, Investment Director
  • Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio, Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University

If you have any further questions, please email


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