It’s Friday and I’m exhausted. This was the first week of Aalto University’s tough startup incubation program, the Startup Sauna. This is what they say that happens there:
”During the Startup Sauna, the selected teams work intensively to develop their business model, technology & its applications, and early market entry. The teams graduating will be prepared to seek for initial investments and first customers. Startups will go through blood, sweat and tears to become the next success story.”
And this is what really happened:
”Startups go through blood, sweat and tears to become the next success story.”
Ok, ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but any one of the 18 companies would agree with me that this was no ball dance. On Tuesday we started to train on two minute pitches. We trained, trained and trained, were given some tough love by the coaches, and then trained again.
On Wednesday, we were thrown on stage at Slush 2011, in front of a demanding audience, and judged by some of industry’s finest. After my pitch I was rewarded with advise not to keep my hands in my pocket, otherwise they will be tied behind my back for the next pitch
Ramine Darabiha had advised us on networking, so of course we had to take part in the evening program, too, mingling with the Angry Bird hotshots, VCs and other smart people until wee hours. Thursday continued at Slush, with two of our Sauna team making it to Slush 20, congrats to InBelly and Appscale, our lovely ladies.
Today was all about Slush wrap-up, learnings, feedback, and Business Models. For Mobile Brain Bank, finding the right business model is not self evident. I have started to fill in a business model canvas, writing, erasing, and re-writing again.
This is what the Startup Sauna seems to be about, working your behind off to achieve the perfect outcome.
Have a good weekend, people