Who?
Matti Pölönen

What he does:
Inventor, developer and exporter of Genetta

For Matti, the spark for developing a whole new kind of pole climbing shoe was ignited from personal climbing experience. During his lineman internship at a local telecom operator he climbed to poles with old fashioned pole climbing irons that didn’t feel comfortable at all – neither made him feel very safe. So he started thinking how it could be done in a smarter way.

How could the climber be better protected if something urgent happens? How could professional, daily climbing be made more comfortable and ergonomic – as the lack of comfort and ergonomy was a widely accepted fact in the field?

“I started thinking that the shoe should feature a proper, high support structure for the user’s leg that would make you feel more stable while climbing and working up in the pole. And most importantly, a support structure that could potentially reduce damage is the climber loses balance.”

Then the idea was left to rest for a decade, but in the meantime Matti absorbed more knowledge about professional climbing. First he was taught by a highly skilled professional in Finland and then he completed the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association IRATA’s Level 1 training in England in 2013 and 2016. Matti reckoned that if working at height with rope access could be this efficient and the gear so top-notch, there must be a way to develop pole climbing gear to the same level.

So it began to form:
a new generation pole climbing shoe that really takes into account the ergonomy of climbing.

Besides climbing experience and engineering facts, Matti researched the animal kingdom for inspiration. The new shoe got its name Genetta after genets, cat-like civets who are extremelly agile climbers and can stand up in trees on two legs.

The cat-like claws of Genetta are the hooks and tips that can be changed to acquire the best possible grip in each pole material. Cats are smart: they know how to hide their claws and take them out only when needed – and this applies also to Genetta, as the hooks can be folded in while walking.

The back support of the shoe curves like the spine of genets, and if you look closely, you might see the shape of cat’s ears in the front plate where the straps attach to the shoe. In the outsole the rubber figures ensure a good grip just like cats’ paw pads.

The Genetta logo is made by designer Heikki Koivurova. The symbol and also the chosen font represent the timeless strength and flexibility of cats.

Now Genetta pole climbing shoe is ready for professional use, but the development work still continues. The truth is that the need for climbing in this world will never cease, even though the purpose of the climbing does. Maybe instead of electricity or telecom poles, we will be climbing to some other high-rise structures, but getting up is something that has always enticed us humans.

However, up until this day, pole climbing shoes have been like a hammer: a uniform, widely accepted product that no one has felt necessary to develop further. The situation is the same globally. But now the change has happened. Our goal is that from now on the word ‘Genetta’ stands for a new way of climbing, all over the world.

Contact Information

MATTI PÖLÖNEN
CEO, Founder
+358 44 023 4000
matti@genetta.fi

MIKA HURSKAINEN
Marketing, Partner
+358 400 328 382
mika@genetta.fi

ARSI MUITTARI
Sales Director
+358 40 187 7747
arsi@genetta.fi

Genetta has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 854975.