Startup Dictionary – Pitching

Giving a pitch means telling about your company or idea in a short, captivating way that gets the potential investors interested in your thing. A good pitch includes explaining why your business is going to succeed. It’s also important to talk about the market size and how are you going to make the money. It’s all about making your business idea attractive for investors.

Other good aspects of a promising pitch is telling about the strengths of your team, and of course the numbers. What do you need, or, how much and what for?








Behind the Scenes of Startup Weekend Oulu – Anastasia

Anastasia Shiverskikh – Finance and Sponsors

I want to create a portable sun for the long Finnish winters.”

I am passionate about music and love seeing artists perform live.

The secret favorite song of mine is Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley, but don’t tell anyone.

The best about Oulu is that it has everything one would need for comfortable living. You get nature, opportunities for professional development, fun events to attend and nice places to go out.

I had a special experience related to Startup Weekend when I participated it about a year ago and the first day of the event was on my birthday.

Top secret business idea of mine is to create a portable sun for the long Finnish winters.

 








Startup Dictionary – Minimum Viable Product

Launching the MVP is basically testing your hypothesis fast and cheap. The minimum viable product has just enough features to satisfy the early customers. You’ll get customer feedback fast and you’ll find out if the product is market fit. The feedback of the MVP tells you if the problem you’re solving is big enough and the solution you’re offering is good enough. And when we say viable, we mean saleable








Behind the Scenes of Startup Weekend Oulu – Elina

Elina Kaihua – Member of the Marketing Team

I’ve planned a robot that pours coffee into one’s mouth before the person is fully awake.

I love to do planning and create lists. I also love to go for a coffee and shopping. It’s a shame that I don’t love jogging because it really could enhance my life.

I secretly live like an average grandma. I love knitting and watching cake decoration clips on Instagram. I like to do scrapbooks and go to bed early.

I really love to sniff puppies. They have such a sweet scent.

The best thing in Oulu is to go to the market square in summer.

I’ve had lots of inspiring Startup Weekend experiences but it always sticks into mind when it’s time to go for the final pitch in front of the judges, and the most nervous ones manage to deliver the greatest pitches ever!

Top Secret business idea of mine is the morning robot. I’ve planned a robot that pours coffee into one’s mouth before the person is fully awake. And of course the robot cooks the coffee first. And takes the dog out in the morning. The robot also performs a professional neck massage when ordered.

Behind Startup Weekend Oulu








Startup Dictionary – Validation

Validation is the phase which too many new entrepreneurs will unfortunately skip. It separates the organized innovators from the just hopeful and enthusiastic ones. Validating your business idea basically means asking questions, considering your ideas, choosing the best and discussing about it with experts and potential customers.

Validation saves time and money. Usually the most useful question is whether the potential customer is willing and capable to pay for your service or product. Ideas are cheap. You must also ask yourself if you are willing and capable to produce the service or product. The goal of the validation process is to find out if the product is viable. And always you should remember to leave the building: go out and discuss your ideas.  








Behind the Scenes of Startup Weekend Oulu – Udgum

Udgum Khadka – Marketing Team

My mindshift shifted from then. 

I love travelling and meeting new people.

A secret favorite of mine is a Salmiakki cake. Salmiakki is a salty liquorice tasting candy which Finns love.  

Favorite part about Oulu is the compact, amicable and supporting community.


The one special experience related to Startup Weekend is obviously when I participated and won the first ever Startup Weekend Oulu. My mindset shifted from then.

Top secret business idea is a business letting a person experience opposite gender’s life for some days or even weeks!








ROAR! – measuring decibels at Startup Weekend leads to Melutek

The team Edukate, now known as Melutek from Startup Weekend Oulu’s February 2017 edition, is two-months later happy to announce that their product is being tested in four locations around Oulu. Their stylish noise-detection and instantaneous reporting device was born within 54 hours and since then the progress has been fast. Melutek got a boost as they won Kielo Growth’s hardware track prize from Startup Weekend Oulu which awarded them with coworking space and mentoring from the hardware experts at Kielo.

We sat down for a chat with the team to catch up.

Melutek in Startup Weekend Oulu
Melutek in Startup Weekend Oulu

Why did you decide to join Startup Weekend?

One of our teammates had heard about Startup Weekend from his friend and persuaded the rest of us to join. School was winding down and we knew we would now have some free time and we really wanted to start some new project. Startup Weekend seemed like a good way to kickstart something new. Before the event we were brainstorming for new ideas, and settled on an idea for measuring the sound level in a room.

What happened at Startup Weekend?

We got there, and were excited to meet new people and liked the atmosphere instantly. We didn’t really know what to expect, and we were really nervous about sharing our idea. Luckily Henkka was brave enough to pitch, and he went in front of the 70 people to share it. Even though there were like 30 ideas, our idea was voted on to continue. We got a few more team members to join our team and we got started.

Welding the MVP
Welding the MVP

We started brainstorming potential uses for it, and realized fast that we need to find a target audience and figure out if there is any demand for it. If we would have made just a general gadget, maybe no one would have needed it. Soon we realized that classrooms could really use a device like this.

We wanted to physically build the product, and so we divided our team roles well. 2 focused on the business and 3 on the product. One of the mentors even brought cables for us to attach to Arduino because otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten it done. The premises in the Fingersoft building were incredible since there was space to weld.

On Sunday night, 44 hours after starting the work, we were already pitching to investors and the audience. However, two hours before the pitch we were missing some crucial cables. Luckily Tuomas found two old mouses from the trash and we turned those into a potentiometer and the cable for the push button.

Melutek MVP- Minimum Viable Product
Melutek MVP- Minimum Viable Product

We knew that we needed to wow the jury, and so we had to fake how our product works. As it was the Startup Weekend right before Polar Bear Pitching, the whole SW had been using the bear roar to energize the group. In the middle of our pitch we asked for the group to roar, and wanted our noise detector to react to it. We were missing the microphone, so during the roar we faked and put the readings in ourselves 😀 Fake it till you make it, right? Now it works naturally of course.

What happened after Startup Weekend?

We won the Kielo prize from Ari Takanen, and thus we got coworking and mentoring from the Kielo Hardware Incubator. This was an amazing opportunity to be surrounded by so many great businesses who were also building new products, and were able to give us so much advice! Without them we wouldn’t even be where we are now. Also having one common location for us to meet up was important.

One guy we actually met at Kielo became excited about our idea and funded our prototypes so that we could do more testing and validation. We’ve really gotten to experience the startup life, sometimes working until 5 AM because of a deadline, and we love it!

Melutek device being tested in Tellus Innovation Arena
Melutek device being tested in Tellus Innovation Arena

Now we have summer jobs and need to focus on those. But it’s good that now our products are visible in five different locations around Oulu and are being tested. You can see it in Tellus, OP Lab, OAMK, Oulun nuorten työpaja, and in Touhula daycare center. We need the valuable information from testing to be able to further develop our product.

When we brought our noise detector to the daycare center, they loved it so much that they asked us to bring them another one since they had two groups and the other group was jealous. They had had a manual cardboard version trying to achieve the same thing and were super happy for a digital one, and asked what would the price for this be.

Any tips or advice for others who are considering if they should join Startup Weekend?

Just go! And really don’t worry about it being in English. Startup Weekend being in English was actually a really good way to learn it more since nobody cares how good your English is! Go there, meet new people and have fun while learning! SW is also the place to be even for building hardware projects. Also do go to SW as soon as possible, our only regret is that we didn’t go sooner.

In the Melutek team now:
Tuomas Toppinen
Atte Väyrynen
Henri Niskanen
Lukas Fitz








Startup Weekend Helsinki Food facts (part 2 -end)

The event metrics, winning teams, and a sincere thank you from us!

By Lien Cao & Bao Hoang

 

This is the 8th time that Startup Weekend Helsinki is organized, and the 10th time in Finland. This time, Startup Weekend Helsinki took a while to come back, and when we came back after 8 months, we brought along a special theme: Food and Agriculture! There are some metric facts you may want to know from us.

  • Startup Weekend Helsinki VIII happened from 27th to 29th January 2017, attracted 57 attendees, 19 mentors, and 9 sponsors.
  • It was organized and coordinated by 5 organizers, 2 volunteers, and 1 facilitator.
  • There were 17 ideas pitched, with 11 teams formed.

Our teams did their work extremely well during the weekend, and among them, there were 4 stand-out teams which were recognized by the judges.

I. The best pitch: Tofu Queen

Katja is pitching for the team Tofu Queen.

 

Tofu Queen is a small team of three, and interestingly enough: one of them doesn’t like tofu at all, or at least the type of tofu she had tried in Finland. Katja is her name, and she was the one who went to pitch for the team in the final presentation. “Why did you join a team about tofu when you don’t even like it?” Katja smiled, she liked the idea, and she wanted to try fresh tofu in Helsinki one day, so she decided to contribute to the team.

On Sunday, the pitch order list was kept as a secret from everybody, until the last minute before the presentations started. And surprisingly, Tofu Queen was the first name in the list! “We didn’t expect to be the first one at all.” – shared Viet Dung Nguyen – the idea owner. Despite feeling worried as the first team on stage, Katja stepped up and started a structured, straightforward presentation with a clear and loud voice. She had done a great job to point out all needed factors for the business idea, well kept within the time limit. Congratulations Tofu Queen! We hope you will continue to work on your startup idea after the event so we all can try the “fresh, soft and silky tofu” you promised in the presentation!

II. Runner-up 1: Caulizza

Caulizza team is passionate with their idea!

The first time you heard the name, you may be confused: “What is Caulizza? Why does it sound familiar, but yet so strange at the same time?”. Caulizza is the combination of “Cauliflower” and “Pizza”, which is a creative way to describe a pizza made with cauliflower instead of normal flour. Caulizza is a good option for people who are allergic to gluten, and who would love to enjoy pizza but want to skip the carbs. More than that, Caulizza is a convenient and tasty way to eat more vegetables. To prove its possibility, Caulizza team even made a sample of pizza base themselves and brought it to the presentation.

One concern for Caulizza came from the price of the product itself since normal pizza base made from flour is easily found everywhere with low prices, yet Caulizza’s pizza base made from cauliflower costs much higher. Moreover, being a vegetable makes cauliflower seasonally available, which raised up a question for its availability. In order to clear out these concerns, Caulizza went out to ask customers about how much they are willing to pay for the products, and the result was positive: the average price range is 8-10 euros per two pizza based. Potential customers considered Caulizza as a healthier substitute comparing to normal pizza, therefore they can pay much more for this product. About cauliflower availability, the team showed their confidence in finding the cauliflower supply all year round in warmer region of Europe with reasonable price.

Hopefully, in the near future, we shall have the chance to see Caulizza being sold firstly in Finland markets. Who knows, it can be the next trend of food in Finland after pulled-oats that everybody will talk about!

III. Runner-up 2: Forest Pig

Forest Pig team is confident about their farming experience!

Forest Pig idea owners are experienced farmers of a family who have long kept the agricultural tradition. They are passionate with a brilliant idea: an ecological and economical type of pork with a remarkable taste. Within the weekend, the Forest Pig team worked hard to create a pig breeding model which utilizes natural Finnish features. The pigs shall be raised for a longer time in a natural habitat, which helps to develop its meat texture and flavor.

Answering a concern from audiences about the effect to nature in their breeding model, team Forest Pig believes that with their experiences in farming, the model shall not damage the environment. With the market price around 18 euros per kg, their first target customer sector is restaurant industry. As a fact, high-end restaurants are willing to pay more money for a premium product with significant taste. After it, Forest Pig hopes to reach to other local markets.

Forest Pig’s expected product received a lot of love from the judges and audience, who all claimed to buy the products when released. Wish the team all the best in their business road to bring premium and ethical products to customers.

IV. Winner team: Kitchen Hotel!

Kitchen Hotel is receiving gifts from Erica Liewendahl, Strategy Development Manager at Paulig.

You have been dreaming about your own catering services, but struggle to build a professional kitchen? What are you going to do when this limitation will just disappear, since you can rent a kitchen with reasonable prices to cover all your needs? Kitchen Hotel idea’s is building one large space where they can fit several kitchens, or in another words: a kitchen hotel. This shall help solve the problem with the lack of affordable kitchen space in cities and reduce the time and initial cost of establishing a catering restaurant (establishment cost approx. €85K and daily variable cost €300/day– according to research from the team). Nowadays, a new trend is emerging where a lot of restaurants do not have dining areas, which only do straight delivery from kitchen. So Kitchen Hotel targets customers which are catering businesses and new restaurant entrepreneurs but also current restaurants focused in take away and delivery food in Helsinki.

During the weekend, the team had troubles forming a solid and profitable business plan. However, with the help of several mentors and caterer businesses, they overcame it by totally flipping their rental strategy and opting for high utilization rate. They are aiming to establish one large kitchen facility with 6-10 kitchens in Helsinki city, and then expanding to more cities in Nordic area.

The team consists of Joonas Jämsä whose field is in property law services, Roope Karjalainen who has worked already several years in capacity optimization. Kasimir Kaitue, previously founder of a marketplace startup and experience in business development, innovations and future. With a balancing team. Kitchen Hotel is having a promising business future!

Thank you all for contributing to a successful Startup Weekend Helsinki Food! Wish you all the best with your startups and careers!








Startup Weekend Helsinki VIII – some random facts (part 1)

by Bao Hoang Quoc & Sheila Riikonen

 

Credit: Sheila Riikonen

 

Some random facts to prove that at Startup Weekend Helsinki, we give you the tools to succeed in your entrepreneurial ambition and provide you the tools, networks, and platforms to achieve your goals.Click To Tweet

Continues with more info later! Stay tuned!

Startup Weekend Helsinki Food kickstarted at 4 pm on Friday, 27th Jan 2017. Big thanks to Paulig, Nordic Law, MTK, Sitra, Founder Institute Finland, StickerGiant, Valio, and EAFRD for sponsoring this event.

Learning from Paulig’s Clear Strategy and Vision

“Good ideas start with brainstorming. Great ideas start with Coffee.”

The first speaker of Friday 27th is Erica Liewendahl, the Manager, Group Strategy Development of Paulig Group. Erica has worked with Finance, Business development and M&A over 15 years in various industries in Finland, Sweden and Germany. During the past three years, she has been leading Paulig Group Strategy Development and has been involved in all acquisition and divestments in the Group – where the acquisition of Gold & Green is the latest one. She has been involved with setting a clear Strategy and Vision for the Group as well as creating supporting processes to enable implementation. As her passion is innovation for future growth and she likes to get her hands dirty, she has also been leading radical projects like Paulig Muki.

Legal counseling worth of 1000 e for the winner team from Nordic Law

Jon Hautamäki and Alexander Sundström are mentors from Nordic Law in Startup Weekend Helsinki. Jon is also a member of jury board on Sunday.

Our partner Nordic Law offers Quality-driven and affordable #legal services for #startups! Have you seen that our partner Nordic Law offers as a value promise fixed priced service packages Nordic Law in Helsinki, as a partner of Startup Weekend Helsinki edition VII

Our partner Nordic Law offers Quality-driven and affordable #legal services for #startups! Have you seen that our partner Nordic Law offers as a value promise fixed priced service packages Nordic Law in Helsinki, as a partner of Startup Weekend Helsinki edition VII offers lean and agile law firm providing extraordinary value for early- and growth-stage startups. Their philosophy regarding the legal advising of startups is based on specialized knowledge and fixed priced service packages.

Startup Weekend Helsinki mentors are industry leaders

Matti Copeland is listening to the pitches.

Matti Copeland is here again at #SW2017 #swhelsinkifood to be our judge and mentor throughout the event. Matti Copeland is a Growth Accelerator and a curious leader, currently working as an Executive Director of EY. He has worked for over 30 years in helping companies and teams grow and especially aligning their stories to match with investor demands. He has been assisting Startup Weekend in several events and it is such an honor to have his support here once more time.

Jernej is a reliable supporter of our startup teams.

We are also grateful to have Jernej Dekleva as a facilitator for the whole #SW2017 #StartupWeekendHelsinki. Jernej is originally from Slovenia and has been living in Copenhagen, Denmark for his last 5 years. He is a COO of Valuer – a marketplace with data driven and automatic matchmaking process between corporates/investors and validated early stage startups. He attended his first Startup Weekend in 2012 and he is an organizer of Startup Weekend Copenhagen since 2014. He flew all the way from Copenhagen to support and assist the organizing team for the whole weekend.

Some random facts to prove that at Startup Weekend Helsinki, we are able to fulfill all your food desires and provide you much more:

Food and agribusiness are the main themes of #swhelsinkifood this year and we have tried our best to deliver the most innovative and surprising food combinations to our participants. Throughout the 3 day event, our cooperated supplier has been providing much help and high-quality restaurant food to please all.

 








Looking back at the Startup Weekend experience

By: Christoph Hartling, Lendy, the Winner of Startup Weekend Fall 2016

Startup Weekend Oulu Winner Lendy

 

It is almost exactly three months ago, when I made myself on the way to the city center of Oulu to participate in the Startup Weekend. Up to that point, I didn´t really know what was expecting me at the Startup Weekend Oulu, the only thing that was running through my mind was, that we somehow had to create a company within 54 hours!

When I arrived at the Business Kitchen venue, I was warmly welcomed and suddenly surrounded by dozens of young and likeminded people. Shortly after, the pitching started and I was impressed about the wide variety of different ideas, but also curious about how these ideas will develop during the Startup Weekend. After that, everything went really quick, we formed a team of four enthusiastic students and lost no time working on our business idea.

Even though, most of our team members had never participated in such a startup event before, we never felt lost or uncertain about our next steps. I can fairly say, that this was mainly through the great support of the Startup Weekend mentors.

In retrospect?

  • We got our own office space.
  • We launched our first website.
  • We found our first customers and early adopters.
  • We worked together and got supported by Finland’s biggest bank ─ OP Financial Group.
  • We went to Europe´s Leading Startup Event – Slush.

I guess answering the question, if it was worth participating at Startup Weekend Oulu is unnecessary, even if you have only read the last few sentences!