5.1. 2015 Kuukauden kasvo

Ida Erling maintains a balance between work and leisure

Diagnostics company Labrox Oy has launched Upcon™ plate reader which allows for faster and more accurate marker tests using nanoparticles. The company started life in business incubator Protomo and according to CEO Ida Erling the future looks promising.

Labrox introduced the new Upcon™ concept at the Medica fair together with its partner Kaivogen Oy. It has attracted a lot of interest, and the first products will be delivered in January–February.

”The reader is able to analyse for example cardiac markers optically from the samples very quickly and reliably using nanoparticles provided by Kaivogen, so it’s ideally suited to quick tests. Our goal is to get the result in ten minutes or even less”, says Ida Erling, CEO of Labrox Oy.

A team of seven

The company was founded just three years ago and is a good example of what a group of co-operative people can achieve when they join forces. They are working hard on the second floor of a green building in the industrial district of Itäharju, right next to Turku Science Park. The team of seven people comprises dozens of years of experience in product development and equipment manufacturing.

Labrox started operations in business incubator Protomo where former colleagues from Wallac were planning a joint business idea. In addition to Ida Erling, the founders were Pauli Salmelainen, Jarkko Sarmaala, Jukka Valtonen, Markku Ojala and Antero Yli-Koski. All of them are shareholders of the company and still involved in its operations.

The success has generated more enthusiasm which has been channelled to further development. Financially the new company will break even at the end of this year, although depreciations will make the result negative. Ida Erling says that turnover will stand around 600,000 euro. The outlook for 2015 is also promising.

Ida Erling spent her childhood in Lappeenranta and came to Turku to study physics. There is a local university of technology in Lappeenranta, and her boyfriend was studying in the town. Ms Erling was also accepted to study in Tampere, but chose Turku as it felt more exotic. She didn’t know the city or anybody there beforehand.

“Studying in Lappeenranta seemed like too easy a choice, everything was familiar there. Turku was far enough, because I wanted to see how I get along. I went back later though to pick up my husband. He moved to Turku after graduation”, Ms Erling says.

Volunteer work in the Plan organisation

Although Ms Erling is an entrepreneur and loves her work, it’s important for her to maintain a balance between work and leisure.

”If I sit at work for a long time I notice a decrease in my efficiency, so I try to keep my working hours reasonable. At leisure I go to e.g. guided exercise, and a few months ago I started voluntary work in the Plan organisation. Before that I had been a supporter. I’m very pleased that we managed to organise a photo exhibition of Nepalese slaves by the award-winning photographer Meeri Koutaniemi in Kultatalo, Turku on the second week on December”, Ms Erling says.

The entrepreneur also has time for holidays. In the summer she heads to interesting places in Finland with her husband. Last summer they went to Ostrobothnia and previously they have toured in Savo. Next summer they are planning to go to the Åland islands.

“There were some really fascinating sights in Ostrobothnia. We visited, for example, the Devil's Nest cavity in Jalasjärvi, the Kalajoki sand dunes, and an 18th century style marketplace in Isokyrö. There was a cannon fight show among other things. We also visited a new whisky distillery built in Valio’s old dairy, Kyrö Distillery Company, which produces rye whisky.


Text and photos: Anne Kortela

Ida Erling

  • Born in 1980 in Lappeenranta
  • Moved to Turku to study in 1999
  • 2005 M.Sc. from the University of Turku, major subject physics
  • 2004–2010 Perkin Elmer Wallac Oy, platform manager
  • 2011– Labrox Oy, CEO and shareholder
  • Hobbies: physical exercise, voluntary work in the Plan organisation, travelling in Finland

Ida Eling and the new Upcon reader.