Pertti Vuorela



Startup Sauna Demo Day at SLUSH 2015

Startup Sauna Demo Day 12.11.2015 concluded a month of hard work, sweat and tears (and a lot of fun, too).

16 teams have developed their idea in Startup Sauna, a startup accelerator for the most promising startups in the region, since the 14th of October.

12.11.2015 was the day they were pitched to the public.




This was Slush 2015

In 2015, Slush brought together 15.000 attendees, including 1.700 startups, 800 venture capital investors and 630 journalists from exactly 100 countries. People from more than half of the world’s countries traveled to the cold and dark Helsinki, with the ambition of taking their business to the next level.

Slush is a non-profit event organized by a community of entrepreneurs, investors, students and festival organizers. Although Slush has grown from a 300-person event to become one of the leading events of its kind in the world, the philosophy behind it has remained the same: to help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies forward.

Slush 2015 in 100 Pictures

slush front-page1



SLUSH 2014, Nov 18-19 at Helsinki

The SLUSH conference in Helsinki, Finland 18-19.11.2014 was this year biggest ever with 14 000 participants, investors, company executives, entrepreneurs and enthusiastic people from 79 countries in the global startup ecosystem.

There are many good stories about this event, here some:

Slush is solid by Mika Salmi

Slush by Reaktor;  Slush 2014 day two: Helsinki gets Uber, Enbrite pitches for 500k and people keep on launching tablets

Slush pictures by Slush Media

Slush memories: A photo essay of the hottest conference in the cold Nordics

Slush youtube

Winner of the Slush 100, €500 000

Slush to Ring The Nasdaq Stock Market Closing Bell

SLUSH homepage





Lifeline 2nd Fund is earlier stage

Lifeline Ventures is a team of serial entrepeneurs that invest in sectors they know by heart from their years as founders and startup leaders.  Due to their background, they often start working with a startup even before it has launched its first product, typically taking it from the inception to successful Series A investment and beyond. Goal is to be the first person the entrepreneur reaches out to in eventual times of trouble and joy.

Lifeline, The Early-Stage Finnish VC Firm That Backed Supercell, Closed Another Fund. “It’s all very Finnish — pragmatic, long-term and maybe a little eccentric.”

Lifeline second fund is smaller than their first fund at roughly $20 million compared to $30 million.

“We had a lot of external pressure to go bigger,” Koponen said. “Quite a few people said that they should be room for a growth-stage fund here, which would have meant we could have raised $100 to 150 million. But we just thought that we would actually maximize our impact if went even earlier stage.”

The new fund also doesn’t have a standard lifespan of 10 years. It’s indefinite. “Instead, we could hold companies for 20 years or as long as it takes,” said Lifeline’s other founding partner Timo Ahopelto. “We’d never be in a hurry to sell.”

It’s all very Finnish — pragmatic, long-term and maybe a little eccentric.

Oh, and with this fund, they’re not planning on focusing too much on games, which might be surprising considering the Renaissance that’s happened over the last five years in the local gaming industry with successes like Angry Birds-maker Rovio and Supercell. “We think the chances of category leadership are pretty slim,” Koponen said. “If we discover the right kinds of games company, we would be super happy to invest. But while game companies can be really attractive and I can understand why the money is flowing there, it’s not our cup of tea.”

They’re also excited about a few of their more recent investments like Oncos Therapeutics, which works on targeted cancer therapies and, which is a Facebook ads optimization tool.

Finland hosts the first ever coding World Championships

Sign up for the teams ends on April 7 2014.

Finland will host the first ever coding World Championships Hello World Open 2014 in Helsinki, Finland, this June 2014. The website for the games states that “now it is time to take the championships global, bring together the next programming superheroes and inspire the whole world to experience the joy of coding.”

— We want to make coding better understood, more accessible and sexy. Our aim is to find coding world’s Kimi Räikkönens and Sebastian Vettels, comments Ville Valtonen who is main organiser for the event.
The event is supported by the mobile gaming company Supercell and the Finnish creative technology company Reaktor. According to Talouselämä, the organisers are expecting 10,000 teams to participate the championships.
The teams need to have 1-3 members and the sign up for the teams ends on April 7. The actual coding starts on April 14 and finishes at the end of the month. After that the teams are chosen for the qualifying rounds. The finals are held on June 5 in Helsinki.
Reaktor organised first coding Finnish championships in 2012, and over 200 teams took apart to the event.



21/100 Finnish startups Red Herring!

21 Finnish start-ups make it to the Red Herring’s top 100 Europe list.

The Finnish companies nominated as finalists are: AppGyver, Avansera, Boomlagoon, CBTec, Codership, Diktamen, Fingersoft, Hibox Systems, Indoor Atlas, Invesdor, Musopia, NearMe Services, Nexstim, Piceasoft, Runteq, SingOn, Smarp, SN4Mobile, Tespack, Valopaa and Youlapse.

The Red Herring has chosen again top 100 Europe start-ups and 21 Finnish companies are amongst the finalists. The winners will be announced in Amsterdam in April. The Finnish companies nominated include gaming companies Fingersoft and Boomlagoon, cloud computing company Indoor Atlas, mobile company Musopia, entertainment company SingOn and clean tech company Valopaa.

Red Herring 100 Awards are widely recognized as one of the industry’s more prestigious recognitions, with hundreds of candidates from each continent competing for a Top 100.

Each year Red Herring’s editorial team analyses hundreds of cutting edge companies and technologies, and selects those who are positioned to grow fast. It uses more than 20 criteria to analyse the companies, and these include revenues, growth rate, industry awards and recognitions, technological advantage, customer base and teams track record.

European Capital of Innovation – iCapital Award. With this prize the European Commission wants to acknowledge the outstanding achievement of a city in building up an innovation ecosystem, i.e. a system which links the citizens (People) with a built environment (Place) and public organizations and policy-makers (Public) through business (Private).

Barcelona, Espoo, Grenoble, Groningen, Malaga and Paris are the six cities shortlisted for the first European Capital of Innovation award, or iCapital (IP/13/808). An independent panel of experts has agreed on the six finalists for the €500000 prize. The money will go to the city building the best “innovation ecosystem” – connecting citizens, public organisations, academia, and business – with a view to helping the city scale up its efforts in this field. The winning city will be announced at the Innovation Convention 2014, Europe’s premier innovation event which will take place in Brussels on 10 and 11 March (#euic2014).

11.3.2014: Just annouced: The winner is Barcelona! Congrats!

Mayor says Barcelona wants to inspire a new economy of urban innovation based in mobile and smart city technologies.



Easier to raise money at home

Why Silicon Valley Can’t Find Europe / by Sten Tamkivi

Go to Europe these days – to Berlin, London, Helsinki – drop in on any of the regional tech confabs and you will quickly see that the European startup scene is in the most bustling, vibrant shape it’s ever been. The potential is everywhere, and the energy is undeniable. Then you return Stateside, in my case to Palo Alto, and Europe isn’t just irrelevant among the tech industry power-set. It has virtually ceased to exist.

You will be far more successful raising seed and early-stage VC financing close to home, on whichever side of the Atlantic it may be.

Looking at closed early-stage deals listings in Pitchbook, it is very clear that U.S.-based VCs invest in U.S. companies, and European VCs invest in Europe.


In my experience, this mindset applies to institutional investors in a clearly structured way, but is a notable behavior even for private angels in AngelList. Investors believe that there is much more that they bring to the table than just money – but that ineffable “value” is hard to bring across long distances and multiple time zones. No matter how much the video calling has improved, board seats, hiring networks, corporate development efforts and just quick (unscheduled!) calls work much better in proximity. Raise your money at home.

Expat_logoA successful example of strategic development through international projects was the EXPAT Project, co-financed by EU Interreg IVA Central Baltic Sea Region Programme, where Uusimaa worked closely with the local international community, public authorities and stakeholders in order to improve the information and services available at place for the international talents and their families.

With its 10 partners from Finland, Latvia, Estonia and Sweden, the EXPAT Project shared experiences and improved the capability of the region to facilitate internationals’ accessibility to soft landing information services and to enhance internationals’ integration through social networks.

The project’s results are presented in a series of documents, which you can find on the page

The list of documents summarized the aforementioned benchmark results, as well as analysis and policy recommendations for future actions in the issue of talent retention.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Starting And Running A Business

by James Altucher

“No joke. This is going be a bullet FAQ on starting a business. If  you’re a lawyer, feel free to disagree with me so you can charge someone  your BS fees to give the same advice.
If you can think of anything to add, please do so. I might be missing  things. If you want to argue with me, feel free. I might be wrong on any  of the items below.
There are many types of business. Depending on your business, some of  these won’t apply. All of these questions come from questions I’ve been  asked.
The rules are: I’m going to give no explanations. Just listen to me.”

Some examples:

1. C Corp or S Corp or LLC? C-Corp.

3. Should founders vest? Yes, over a period of four years. On any change of control the vesting speeds up

4. Should you go for venture capital money? First build a product, then  get a customer, then get friends and family money (or money from  revenues which is cheapest of all) and then think about raising money,  But only then. Don’t be an amateur.

14. What if nobody seems to be buying your product? Then change to a service and do whatever anyone is willing to pay for.

18. How do you get new clients? The best new clients are old clients. Always offer new services.

24. I have lots of ideas. How do I pick the right one?  Do as many ideas possible. The right idea will pick you.

28. How long does it take to raise money? In a GREAT business, six months. In a mediocre business: infinity

63. Should I negotiate the best terms with a VC? No. Pick the VC you  like. Times are going to get tough at some point and you need to be able  to have a heart to heart with them.

72. My client called at 3am. Should I tell him to respect boundaries? No. You no longer have any boundaries.

96. Investors want to meet me and customers want to meet me. Who do I  meet if I need money? You should know the answer to that by now.

99. I can change the world with my technology. No you can’t.

100. If you’re so smart why aren’t you a billionaire? Because I sold my  businesses early, lost everything, started new businesses, sold them,  and got lucky every now and then.

You create your luck by being healthy and not regretting the past or being anxious about the future.

– – – –


Thanks to Ilkka Lavas finding these and putting them in Finnish business life:!


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