Eemeli was part of the team that won the last Startup Weekend Oulu and has been a driving force in making the next Startup Weekend better than ever!
Yesterday I got to sit down with Eemeli and find out why he chose to get involved in SW and what he hopes to accomplish this year.
Q: What originally made you sign up for Startup Weekend?
E: I think the main reason, back in autumn, was that I’d heard good things about it. It is a global event and you meet a lot of new people. I had just started at the university here in Oulu and thought what would be a better place to meet new people that have the same mindset as me then at Startup Weekend?
Q: What was your biggest takeaway from the experience?
E: I think during the weekend, the 54 hours, all the skills that you learn starting from making quick decisions to reversing them and making the decision again. I liked walking down the whole path of creating a new company during just one weekend. It’s something that, well, you could study for 150 hours in a classroom or you could just work 54 hours with your friends and see if you can really make it happen. So, I think that’s the biggest takeaway.
Q: What would you tell other people thinking about participating in Startup Weekend?
E: I would say that it’s an investment in your own life. It’s an investment in your own skills. Also, the networks that you get out of it is something that cannot be measured with money.
Q: If you could do it again would you change anything? Do anything differently?
E: That’s a hard one. I think I would have written a little bit more down, because we didn’t do much writing during the weekend which is totally okay, but for the continuation of the idea I would have written down a little bit more stuff.
Q: What do you remember about those first few hours when it all began?
E: Well, there was a lot of pitches, I think there was more than 25 different ideas on the stage. I didn’t pitch myself because, well, I was feeling a little bit shy since I’m a Finn, but a lot of pitches. There were a lot of great ideas then eventually I think the best ones were chosen so…just meeting new people, right from the start. Going in I knew only around 4 or 5 people, so there were more than 60 people I had never met before…
Q: What made you want to take on the responsibility of setting up this event?
E: I just want to be there to help the community organize this kind of event that actually promotes the entrepreneurial spirit. I like that it gives the chance for anyone to experience how it is to start a business, because for many of us entrepreneurship is not in our DNA but if you just try, maybe it will light a fire in you.
My name is Mariah O’Mara, I am an International Master’s student studying Education and Globalization here at Oulu University. I participated in SW last year and it was such an incredible experience that helped me to build my network and my confidence. This time around I am helping to organize the event and am hoping to make this the best Startup Weekend yet!