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"Arctic15 Was A Game Changer For Us"

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Arctic15 pitching competition winner Fourdeg succeeded to win three pitching competitions this year – and to get funding.

Markku Makkonen, the CEO of Fourdeg, received the winning check and trophy of Arctic15 Pitching Competition on May 27th.

The year is about to change, and we’re getting ready for Arctic15 2016 edition. We love to share the experiences of the companies that have built up value from our events, and this year’s Arctic15 OP pitching competition winner Fourdeg is one great example of a success story.

“Arctic15 was a game changer for us,” states Markku Makkonen, the CEO of Fourdeg.

“Prior to our pitching victory we had 60% pre-subscribed. In Arctic15 we got the Finnish Business Angels syndicate and also got in contact with Amor & Labor. With those new funding teams we got our round completed. It however took some months to negotiate the package, but finally we found an adequate compromise that everyone could agree upon,” Makkonen comments on the €250 000 angel round they finished in late October. The investors of the company include Butterfly Ventures, Amor & Labor, Riku Asikainen, Kaisa Hernberg, Jaakko Salminen and other private investors.

Makkonen says the round taught to Fourdeg team that you need to have good facts, and you also need to keep on talking to investors who perhaps could be interested in your future business.

“Most of the time investors avoid ‘love at the first sight’ investments and quite often they want to syndicate. So you need to prepare time to meet a few times and plus negotiate. Professional angels however are excellent investors with their background in other successful businesses. Their requirements in the funding round were fair and clear,” says Makkonen.

“The private risk funding triggered positive decisions also from Tekes and Finnvera, too. With all those we have now been able start shipping our product,” he continues and emphasizes the importance of events in their success on 2015:

“Arctic15 gave everything we needed at that time. We got the private funding we so much needed – and we also got other networking efforts such as a connection to Kasvu Open which was another lucky strike for us.”

Fourdeg provides a smart solution for saving energy when using water heating systems.

The last quarter of the year was also successful for Fourdeg, who won the Kasvu Open pitching competition in October and got to finals in EIT Digital Idea Challenge in Smart Energy Systems -category. In 2015, they were also selected among Nordic Cleantech Open top 25 companies and they won Finnish Lassila & Tikanoja’s Pitching Competition.

Tips On Developing Pitching Skills

To share Fourdeg’s experience on winning three pitching competitions this year, we asked Makkonen to share his tips for putting together a pitch to remember.

“Decide why you are pitching – If you are not looking for money you can just have fun and tell what you need to tell. But if you are looking for money make your pitch easy for the investors,” says Makkonen and tells that his recipe is to tell a true story:

“Collect your facts and build a story following the classic pitch format to make it easy to adopt. Then flavour it with something that is personal to you. Make sure you believe the story yourself – and be proud it! Finally make the pitch in your own style.”

If you want to join the Arctic15 alumni – the ticket sales of Arctic15 2016 edition is now open.

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