They say that eventually all good things must come to an end. On April 7th we had the last gathering of our Turbiini Spring 2017 Pre-Startup Program. We called the event “Season Finale” because it felt like it was the last episode of an awesome HBO show. For the last three months we worked with teams from various backgrounds to help them turn their idea into startups. It was an interesting journey full of a range of emotions that comes with the territory whenever you are trying to build something great. On the final day there were five teams that answered the call to arms and were willing to step up to the plate and pitch their ideas to the public. They were in no particular order: Triumf, Safe Go,, Nikkes and Cleaning Observer. Much thanks to all the program participants and the speakers who helped make the Turbiini Spring 2017 Pre-Startup Program possible. Below is a brief breakdown of each team and their idea.

Triumf had focused on developing a game that improved the psychological assessment of children who were undergoing cancer treatment and help to alleviate some of the mental pain and discomfort by giving them a stimulating activity to focus on. Their platform collected patient data through a game environment and allowed parents of guardians to better understand the mental state of the child. Drawing on their vast academic experience in the field of psychology the team made significant strides and overcame obstacles in order to position themselves for future success.

Go Safe was a team that came into the program with their shoe laces already tied and were ready to hit the ground running in order to get far. In a short amount of time the team developed strong interest from both local and international partners. It is amazing how quickly the team managed to develop an investment ready idea. Go Safe utilized sensors to develop a solution which served as a digital guardian angel for anyone engaged in motor sports. The application sensed when a person fell down asked them if they were okay. If no response was given, the application would then automatically call the appropriate emergency contact. Any investors out there should keep a close eye on this team. allowed people to make a customized muesli breakfast that is delivered to their door. The team challenged the old belief system that a healthy breakfast had to be boring. The story of gives hope for those of us who were looking to add a little diversity to our lives. made great progress because they had remained focused on their initial idea and stuck to their vision. By the end of the three month program the team managed to launch a website.  In case you were wondering they are open for business

Nikkes focused on delivering European clothing brands to customers a large market through an e-commerce platform. This dynamic duo combined Finnish expertise and Russian know-how to create a web platform where store vendors from Finland can sell their items directly to  Russian consumers. By beginning to interview customers Nikkes began to refine their idea and better understand the market. The team overcame obstacles and kept their focus in order to launch their website

Cleaning Observer was an IoT based idea that used sensors to collect data and notify cleaning staff when items such as toilet paper and soap were running out. The idea conceptualized utilizing the 5-day Design Sprint method made popular by Jake Knapp in his book. In a matter of few days we witnessed the rapid transformation of an idea into a conceptual prototype that was ready to be shown to customers. By interviewing several industry experts Cleaning Observer managed to arouse the interest of a local cleaning company. It may surprise you to hear that the Cleaning Observer was not the work of an entire team but a single motivated individual.

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Author: Misa Bakajic

Startup community excursion

Last week we had a chance to join the participants from the Turbiini Pre-Startup Program on two day city safari to explore the Helsinki startup eco-system. We hoped that the city would reveal the community that helped give birth to global brands such as: Rovio, Supercell and Slush. In the past few years there has been several organizations that have been contributing to the local startup scene, each with their own mix of value adding services. We wondered if maybe there was a common theme that was present in the Helsinki startup eco-system, one that could be identified as a secret recipe for startup success.

Our group visited a total of eight organizations over the period of two days. On the first day we would visit: Microsoft Flux, NewCo Helsinki, Maria 0-1 and Techcode. The second day we focused mostly on organizations which were based around the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University.  In Otaniemi we visited: Vertical Accelerator, Startup Sauna, Fab Lab and Aalto Startup Center. There was of course many more awesome places we could have visited, but in the end our list had to be kept short, and so the organizations were chosen based on their importance to the local startup scene and our ability to reach out to them.

The organisations we visited were a mix of privately and publicly funded organizations all of which offered some sort of co-working space, hosted events and provided startup education. While all the places offered some sort of long-term space rental contract to startup teams, in most cases the services for startups were free of charge. The type of benefits offered for startup teams differed from training programs to community events. Some places like Vertical Accelerator and Startup Sauna had an application process that handpicked teams to reach specific target goals. Other places like NewCo Helsinki and Microsoft Flux offered a more freestyle option for working. It was a nice to see there was a large amount of local support that was available.

One common motif that emerged from our two day adventure was the importance of community. Each of the places we met took great care to create the conditions where people could meet in a physical space and share ideas. Also the hosts of each organization regularly interacted with each other to discover the best practices for improving their space. It seemed like everyone understood that they were a part of a larger startup eco-system that functioned as a sum of many different parts. While each organization functions on its own, the knowledge sharing enables the entire eco-system to prosper. It seems that it takes an entire startup village to raise a unicorn.

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Startup van

Author: Misa Bakajic