Wowanders founders Taru & MaijaHow did we end up starting Wowanders?

Wowanders was established in 2017 by us, Taru and Maija, two international business professionals (M.Sc. Eng) by experience and enthusiastic travellers by heart. We have together more than 30 years of experience in international sales, consumer insights, business development, go-to-market strategy, and software product management. We have also separately travelled to more than 80 different countries in the world.

The idea for Wowanders was the result of extensive analysis and research on how people travel, what travellers want and how they behave, and the current tools available for travel planning, experiencing, reliving and sharing. Based on this research we started developing our app, world’s smartest travel diary. Thanks to the recent technological advances, emergences of AI and the available social and location APIs, we are creating a more effortless and exciting user experience and addressing a currently unsolved problem in travel.

Both Maija and Taru work fulltime in Wowanders and are determined to make it an international success through basing the solution on real traveller insights and being rigorous about execution. And with a lot of passion and a hint of craziness 😉

Taru Aalto – CEO

Taru (M.Sc Eng) has 15+ years of experience from leadership, sales, strategy, consumer insights and software product development from international companies. She has both worked in large corporations, such as Nokia leading the concepting of a smartphone product portfolio, and in smaller technology and lifestyle startups helping them grow internationally and leading the sales teams. She is passionate about consumer understanding and building growth.

Taru is also a passionate traveller and has visited more than 60 countries. She loves good food, hiking, and hot weather. She also writes a blog about her travels ( and frequently posts pictures from her trips in Instagram ( Her favorite cities are Cape Town, New York and Hong Kong, and most memorable trips include fishing for piranhas at Orinoco delta in Venezuela during sunset, visiting Petra in Jordan at sunrise, admiring the Iquazu waterfalls in Brazil, and seeing the big five during a safari to Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti in Tanzania.

You can follow Taru in twitter at

Taru’s full resume is available at

Maija Kaukonen – Head of Product

Maija (M.Sc Eng) has 10+ years of experience in product management, consulting & telecoms. She is passionate about building great products and executing their go-to-market strategy. She is very analytical and likes to base her decisions on facts. She has worked in consulting, both in a large consulting companies such as McKinsey & Company as well as been part of the founding team of a smaller service design consultancy. She also has several years of experience from Nokia where she led the GTM program for a major software product.

Maija loves to learn about the world through travel and to go to the less travelled destinations such as North Korea and Iran. Opposite to Taru, she doesn’t much care for hot weather or beach life. In recent years, she has become an expert in travelling in Sweden – likely the most family friendly country in the world. Next time you go to Sweden, skip Stockholm and visit Visby, Falun or lake Siljan instead.

Maija’s full resume is available at