Nowadays the VHS (or Video Home Systems) seem as old as dinosaurs, but less than a decade ago they were as popular as DVDs, CDs and USB are now. Many people have their most treasured memories stored on tape recordings that modern equipment cannot play. So how can you be sure that you will not lose something important: parents wedding, your christening, first day at school, or grandma’s graduation ceremony?
The same thought occurred to Finnish girl Edvina Wallenius when she was only ten years old. One day she saw her dad throwing out the VHS cassettes and told him “Hey, wait a second! You know, there is something I can do with them!” That was the moment Edvina came up with the idea of converting cherished old home videos and other video tape recordings to DVD format. It took her one month to discover what kind of equipment she needs, how to create the necessary program, and how long it takes to convert.
After that together with her dad, Edvina decided to start her own company E.d.i. The business name came from her nickname Edi and means Erittäin Digitaalisia Ideoita (“Very Digital Ideas”). As the company started operating in 2017, Edvina became the youngest entrepreneur in Finland. She has created her own brand logo and learnt how to do accounting and pay taxes from her grandma.
In Lahti where Edvina lives, many people have their home videos recorded on cassettes that they were not able to watch using their computers or TVs. Now they can contact E.d.i. and receive DVD versions of their birthday or travel videos. Edvina says that by now, more than 300 tapes have already been converted, thus more than 300 memories have been saved from being forgotten.
In the future Edvina hopes to become a famous trailblazer. She has already received a letter from the president of Finland impressed with her work! She wants to set a good example to other children from Finland and all over the world that they can become entrepreneurs and inventors as well. “You have to always at least try… even if something seems difficult!” Edvina says, addressing all kids that are thinking about becoming social entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators. She believes in the importance of being a taxpayer because these funds are used for public education, health-care and other needs of society. She mentions that if she earns enough money some of it will be used to support poor children around the world.
by Iryna Maliatsina, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT)