Nils Paajanen from Startup Sauna


today we have kneels by and then did I make it right sure yeah startup sauna and I would love to hear about what start of Sundays and maybe you can give us a what an elevator pitch on that okay so basically startup sauna is a seed accelerator boat program based in Helsinki Finland what we do is we do a row tour around Russia and northern Europe the Baltics Sweden and gather the best start up from these local pitching events and then bring them over to Helsinki for a six week intensive coaching and mentoring program where they get coached by some of the best entrepreneurs in the region and then the winners of that program we bring over to the valley to meet with potential investors and customers and what have you all right well cool what are the main reasons why someone would want to go to Finland for six weeks why do you think most of the companies decided to go that route instead of let’s say go into Silicon Valley and join y combinator or 500 startups well basically it’s its first of all it’s probably a lot harder to get into those programs there and also they’re over here so basically what we have to offer is we have a big co-working space in Helsinki where you get to work you get offices and we have a really really strong network of coaches were connected also in in the valley so basically we have people from Rovio Pedro vesture buckeyes one of our coaches we have people from supercell people you know basically people who know what they’re doing have done it before and just want to give back to the community and bring those startups into success great well what are the terms so much well what’s the cost of this thing for a start-up tons of equity in terms of amount of money that you invest or do not invest could you give a centered terms for start-up startup sauna doesn’t take any equity from from the participating companies so that’s a big bonus and differently a differentiating factor from all of the Y Combinator or fibrous herbs or whatever you have over here and also we provide some seed funding and the winners of the of the program obviously get that amount of seed funding as well cool could you give us an idea would what are the somewhat successful or very successful companies what’s your track record well basically our track record is pretty strong we’ve had around 50 startups go through the program it’s been around for two years or so it used to be called something else now it’s called startup sauna and basically those 50 companies have altogether raised around eight ten million euros in funding perhaps some of the some of the best startups to come out from the recent match has been for example catalyst which is a lot vian startup that started in garage 48 basically didn’t really know what they were going to do with it attended startup sauna and they actually said that startup sauna made the biggest difference for them it really took their business to the next level and they realize they can actually do something and all of a sudden they’re meeting with customers in New York meeting with customers in the valley and they’re really taking off and now they’re I think they’re a pen now attending Seedcamp I can’t be sure all right cool tell us about the about Dementors who they are how many what kind of experience they have maybe you can name a few prominent wants and what they have achieved in the past sure well we have Peter vesture baca obviously behind Angry Birds success there’s a network of around 40 coaches you can see them all on startup sauna calm actually that’s probably a bit easier I can’t remember who all we have up there but I mean really prominent people both in gaming industries as well as you know a diverse basically a bunch of people who know what they’re doing okay what do you think the most important contribution that you mentors have been able to help with two startups that are in your program that’s a tough question it really it really depends on the coach of course but I mean I think in terms of getting getting teams to really realize their own potential getting them down and dirty you know really working hard and basically helping them focus on what in their business is the key to basically success I think that’s that’s probably the biggest value that that they can add and also of course contacts because these guys have been around for a while so they know they know people and they can help you out meet people who can possibly partner with you and help you now I’ll be asking a rather hard question two of them all right one would be what are the things that what are the top three best practices or tactics or a view on how an incubator works that you borrowed from some of the best ink waiters out there basically what’s your benchmark and what are the three things that you liked about other incubators I’m really not the right person to answer that because i haven’t been responsible for for you know setting up the program organizing how it works but i think i think we have a lot of the same mentality in where where it’s really about helping startups that’s that’s the key we want to build an ecosystem in europe and finland and we basically want to help the best talent from over here to compete with the best talent over here because there’s a big gap in between uh what are the benefits that startup sauna brings to the entrepreneur that anna preneur cannot reasonably achieve on their own what are those and why you think it’s it’s very very hard to do it on your own well a key thing for any entrepreneur starting out is basically you know you have to get feedback all the time get out of the building and don’t just imagine that you know exactly what your customers want you have to get out of the building and talk to people and startup sauna is sort of a vehicle for for first of all you get feedback all the time all the coaches every day you get feedback on what you do what you doin well what you’re doing badly secondly you also get basically all the other entrepreneurs so you have people who can help you with something you know especially with notice people who are working in the same space you’re just you’re sitting across from someone and you don’t know how to solve this problem so they come over and hey do you know anything about this and then they can help you out you know it’s a really collaborative space basically so it works really well alright cool what do you think the the trends in the in the incubator world that happened in the last few years and what do you think for you as as an accelerator program would be the key to success long tour I think I think the key to our success has been based on the great mix of people that we’ve managed to gather behind this it’s a need that’s been recognized really well this sort of stuff needs to happen in Europe and we are basically building something that that hasn’t existed before in this region so I mean that’s that’s something that’s really really been working for us and and in terms of building that cluster in in Finland I think that’s one of the key issues at that we’re at the point where we’ve gathered enough talent enough people who want to help that it’s sort of taking off and in terms of trends in incubators it’s it’s I don’t I don’t really have a comment on that well thank you a lot for the interview it’s been a pleasure best of luck to you and sharp sauna thank you and remember to apply the road tour is going on right now so check out syrups on okami well thank you

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