Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Kostas Papageorgiou, a copywriter in Finland who creates engaging content for startups

Right off the back from all the coverage Startup Sauna and Slush has received, it’s easy to forget that there’s also a startup scene outside the Finnish capital region. Turku, the third largest city in Finland, and home for the likes of Walkbase, NurseBuddy and Belon.gs, is slowly, but surely establishing itself as a breeding ground for aspiring entrepreneurs

On Thursday night Boost Turku, the local entrepreneurship society and organizer of the Startup Journey accelerator program, hosted its second demo day of the year.

The program puts students and researchers from Turku’s higher education institutions through their paces in an intense two-month period. The main goal of Startup Journey is to provide teams the opportunity to turn their business idea into a reality. This fall, a total of 12 teams got accepted into the program with 4 emerging as finalists and ultimately pitched last night.

Mohammed El-Fatatry delivered the keynote of the evening with an honest and critical assessment of his failures. Using examples from his time as Muxlim’s chief executive, El-Fatatry also described what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how to build a successful startup by hiring the right people in a candid, yet engaging manner.

Following the keynote, the four finalists, who all of who had a demo ready, and were aiming to win the trip to Silicon Valley took center stage.

Here’s a run down of the four startups that made it through the program.

1. Rival Games (Winner) – A click and play game based on criminal dramas. Rival Games lets players become the protagonist, or antagonist in the game that puts their choices at the center of how the story plays out.

2. Shopped – Making shopping more convenient. Shopped is a mobile application that enables users to create shopping lists and locate items from the store’s layout plan.

3. InstaRant – Got terrible service at a restaurant? InstaRant is a dedicated platform for disgruntled customers to share bad experiences with friends and businesses.

4. GameDay – A mobile application that allows sponsors to engage fans, and spectators by asking them sport related questions and rewarding right answers with special offers or prizes during sporting events.

In the end, Boost Turku organized an entertaining and cozy event at their Startup Farm, which is home to several startups that have emerged from the grass roots movement started by Boost. Turku may not be known for its huge startup scene, like Helsinki is, but it can take pride in the tight-knit community it has fostered among young entrepreneurs in the city. There’s certainly a lot of untapped potential in Turku, and we can only wait to see what Turku has to deliver next.

About the author
Kostas Papageorgiou is a copywriter living in Turku, Finland. He specializes in creating engaging content for technology companies and has written content for Finnish, Dutch & US startups. Kostas also maintains a blog at Kanguro Communications where he talks about marketing and innovation. You can also follow him on Twitter @k_papageo.