Arctic15 was quite something this year. While our team is slowly recovering from a 3 days long full-on marathon, we would like to present your some of the major highlights of Arctic15 – 2017.

Matti – the Unicorn

The event started off by introducing our VIP guest –  Matti, the Finnish Unicorn. The startup world is filled with entrepreneurs with aims of becoming the next big Unicorn (a billion dollar company), but Arctic15 wanted to show our attendees a different side to the story.

You see, at the moment – funding and valuation seem to be the key metrics that startups use to measure success. While at the same time, the very same companies that are Unicorns – are often making huge losses. Uber comes to mind.

Matti was a symbol of both the goal of many entrepreneurs to become unicorns, but also of the fact that sometimes it is totally okay to accept that you are a pony and focus on making what you do best. In the case of good companies – that is making money and making your customers happy.

Maybe, just maybe, you will then become a successful company and someone will call you a Unicorn.

Pitching Competition

If you attended Arctic15 this year, you already know the reason behind the name of the conference. For the last 2 years this has been the question we were asked the most. Here’s the revealing truth – Arctic15 gets its name from the pitching contest that makes the center piece of the conference, in which the TOP 15 early-stage startups from the Nordics and Baltics compete for a 50 000 euro syndication deal from the Finnish Business Angels Network (FIBAN).

Top15 startups were selected among 200+ startups from the region. All finalists were invited to Arctic15 to presented their pitches at the OP Stage. Now, when the event is over, let us show you how we selected the order for the pitching competition.

Hope you had a good laugh. Among TOP 15 only 3 companies made it to the finals – virtual assistant for recruitment TalentAdore, keyboardless CRM data input solution ZeroKeyboard, and positive peer communication app Mightifier. The latter eventually became a winner of Arctic15 Microsoft Pitching Competition.

X Reality Day

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality are the hot topics, and this year we decided to dedicate the entire day to VR, AR and MR (mixed reality) only. We call it X Reality Day. Together with Tekes and Finnish Virtual Reality Association (FiVR) we were able to put up a pretty awesome line up of VR business superstars, including Marco DeMiroz from The VR Fund, Paul Bragiel from Presence Capital, Chien Nakayama from gumi Inc., Sam Wick from UTA Ventures and Petteri Koponen from Lifeline Ventures. The cherry on the top was the visit of Finnish award winning radio host Jaajo Linnonmaa. Mr Linnonmaa happens to run a VR startup called Virtual Traveller, that allows you to travel around the world while wearing your VR glasses. 

See You Next Year

We already started planning next year’s event, which will take networking to a new level yet again. If you have any ideas on how to make the event better – let us know by sending an e-mail to [email protected] The best idea will get a ticket to the event.

The dates are May 30 – 31, 2018. Early bird tickets available here – 2018.arctic15.com

by Valerie Vlasenko and Dmitri Sarle

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