3 reasons to take a steam bath in Startup Sauna

    Hyvää päivää, habr!

    imageTwice a year, Helsinki runs a monthly program of one of the best business accelerators in Europe - Startup Sauna. A week and a half ago, the spring batch call ended, during which 17 startups from Europe, Russia and Africa worked without sparing their stomachs to take their companies to a new level.

    Participation in the program is free, plus 1,500 euros will be allocated for flights and accommodation. Applications for participation were submitted by more than 400 startups, our team from distant Siberian Tomsk was lucky to pass the selection. We share our impressions of the month of a unique life experience.


    Startup Sauna is a free, open 24-hour coworking service at the Aalto University campus in Espoo, Finland. The days of the acceleration program are crowded: two participants from 17 teams, organizers, plus startups of students and employees - 50-60 people are recruited every day.

    The platform acts on the principle - who first got up - that and slippers. You come in the morning, choose any table and work, and when you are finished - you remove everything after yourself. The next day you can choose another workplace.

    It has a fully equipped kitchen where you can prepare breakfast, a free coffee machine. Of course, round-the-clock access to startups' main fuel, beer, is provided. Thousands of bottles of beer are needed to provide them with 60 people a day.

    Challenge: How many startup founders do you need to drag 6000 bottles of beer?

    Barbecue on Wednesdays

    Each Wednesday, the participating teams were united by nat. The main goal was to organize a barbecue party for 60 people. The budget is 400 euros. The party starts at 18:00. No one controls anyone, but at 6 pm 60 people suddenly start demanding food from you.

    It is important that the teams compete, whose party will be more beautiful. Culinary talents, cultural customs are used. It turned out that organizing a really fun party for such a crowd is not so simple.

    It was fun and delicious. Especially in moments of vodka time!

    Educational program

    Every day there are 1-3 lectures, practical tasks, 1 on 1 coach session. For a month, top managers, vice presidents, venture investors, business owners spend dozens of hours to get you a beautiful, packaged startup in which it is nice to invest money.

    Organizers and coaches do their pro bono work (free). And they expect that the participants will take advantage of the opportunities that they are given, will learn and apply new knowledge. Those who are late, lazy or consider themselves the smartest - immediately get slaps. Typical dialogue: Can't find 30 leads in a week? Buy a ticket home, do not waste my time.

    The difference between coach and mentor IS ...!

    Coaches refer to startups as a senior instructor in combat and combat training for Hartman recruits from Full Metal Jacket. They are demanding, but fair and work not so that you feel good, but so that your startup survives. This approach worked wonders. Teams that initially muttered uncertainly under their breath about the technologies that they use and “we have a great team,” a month later arranged a show in a hall with 600 visitors.

    A moment of glory for those who worked hard

    Specific results

    We left the Sauna with new people.

    For a month, we came up with and tested a strategy for entering the market, identified segments and channels for attracting consumers, tested them and collected traction. Shoveled a bunch of analysts, built a financial plan, found out how much money we need to bring the company to a new level (from the point of view of the investor).

    We have a better focus on the product, we deliver a unique life experience to our consumers. We know what needs to be thrown out of the product, and what needs to be added. They came up with features that are so lacking. We also created a community in 3 days, which attracted more than 500 of the first users.

    What's next?

    All Startup Sauna participants have a lot of work ahead, according to program statistics, some of us will receive millions of investments within two years. Someone will close, someone will exit.

    In one post it’s difficult to tell everything, so ask questions, we will be happy to answer!

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