FinnishNews/NordicWeek try to cover SME’s especially when there are great stories about small companies involved in exports.
Acon is one of those stories that started when a young teenager, Tarmo Sallinen, spent a year (1992) as an exchange student in the USA. While he was there he saw a trampoline in the open air, something that he had never seen before outside a gym hall.
In 1996, he used his student loan and bought to fill a van with trampolines which he drove from the Netherlands back to Finland to soon sell. One year later he started to buy even bigger batches of trampolines to sell to camping sites and by knocking on people’s doors. One year later the first trampoline container arrives from the States. Summers are spent on the road selling them while winters were spent on other jobs.
In 2002 saw the opening of their first small Acon shop opens in the back of a warehouse, and this was followed by their first Acon trampoline called Acon Air. The Finnish Gymnastics Federation approved the model that was manufactured in China. That business partnership has endured to this day.
An online shop opened in 2008, www.acon24.com, and they celebrated the first purchase by drinking a cup of coffee! They are modest folk!
In 2011 Acon decidesd to develop its own Acon Wave series of hockey goals and shooting pads for street games and individual training. Mikael Granlund, the NHL star endorsed their products. This was followed by expansions of online shopping in Europe, USA, Canada and Russia. More recently they have introduced billiard tables and dart equipment.
Last year they had total sales of around €7 million and they made a tidy profit of around €1.5 – nice for a small company with just 12 staff!
They have always been pushing new ideas – Sami Vaskola, also a contributor to FinnishNews/NordicWeek, has filmed the highest ever trampoline jump – over 5000 feet / 1,5 km. The stunt was carried out in the city of Klatovy in Czech Republic where the ACON team hauled the trampoline with a hot air balloon.
At the world record height, a specially trained unit of professional skydivers climbed down to the trampoline which was placed under the basket of the hot air balloon. They performed a few front- and backflips before bouncing off the trampoline into a freefall.
ACON has filmed trampoline stunts in other breathtaking locations too, including the fell areas of the Finnish Lapland and the bottom of the sea in Greece. With these videos, ACON wants to inspire trampoline jumpers all over the world to challenge their imagination and seek thrills.
Here is the video: