Bringing #ActionMatters Into Action – This Was Arctic15 Helsinki 2019

Arctic15 2019 Helsinki #ActionMatters Aftermovie

Arctic15, the most effective matchmaking startup event in Northern Europe has come to an end, with quality networking set in motion. After the inspiring talks, speed dating sessions, workshops and deal room meetings, now is the time to utilize the connections you’ve made, incorporate what you’ve learnt in your business, follow up on the meaningful conversations you hopefully had and nurture the friendships you built.

“One of the most difficult things at a conference is just going up to people and start that random conversation”

1500 participants, 60 countries, 5000 meetings, 6 meetings/person/day

The biggest challenge at a conference is to go up to people and start talking: finding the right time, always having your one eye on you next “target”. Well, not here. Deal Room is one of the key elements of Arctic15, an easy-to-use tool to book your meetings in advance and be able to enjoy the event by knowing when you’ll have meetings with whom instead of aimlessly running around trying to catch investors. The number of people taking action were incredible this year: on average, 6 daily meetings per person was held. 40% of meetings at Arctic15 Deal Room eventually lead to a deal.

“The energy level here has been absolutely fantastic”

This is an event where being open to connections comes naturally – and that is also thanks to the unique atmosphere. The lounges, the sauna and the exquisite food selection all add up the true experience. Our guests chilled in 3 different lounges, enjoyed carefully prepared meals from Krog16, refresh at NewCo Café and the water points. All cups were biodegradable! #ActionMatters in the small steps too.

“Some of the sessions have really been eye-opening”

2 stages, 15 tracks, 137 speakers, 16 workshops

Two stages were dedicated to 15 tracks, bringing inspiring speakers and talks, covering industries from AI, Space, Health to Mobility or Fintech. 

Day 1 kicked off with Dmitri Sarle, CEO of ArcticStartup on stage, setting the tone for the upcoming days by emphasizing the importance of making meaningful connections here and encouraging everyone to take action – after all, it is your personal responsibility to make the most out of the event. And don’t forget your secret mission! Marvin Liao and Adeo Ressi joined on stage to discuss the winning mindset and the psychology of entrepreneurship: the next trend will be purpose and impact, while startups should have a meaning way beyond making money to become successful, according to them.

Industry tracks took over the stage: all very different, but with the same intention. To show how startups, corporates, investors and all the different players can take action to grow and strengthen the ecosystem in the Nordics and worldwide.

At the 5G track by Telia has taken over the stage for 2 hours of lively discussion on the interconnected 5G ecosystem, talking industry collaborations and the latest trends.

Health track powered by Vake discussed why this is the most exciting time to build a business in the digital health space. Founders of Nightingale and MySugr told their success stories on how to create a worldwide health app, while Eugene Borukovich of Bayer gave insights on corporate collaborations. 

At the New Space Economy by Business Finland players from various sides of the industry gave insights on how the economy is changing and how non-space companies should already now be thinking about how space can be part of their business, as for example the sustainability solutions for space can be used on Earth.

Corporate Venturing track by Helsinki Business Hub, gave a snapshot of the current CVC trends around the world: according to the speakers, Europe is a very fragmented in terms of industries and knowledge, and even though innovation is everywhere, it is a challenge to find startups that have the same market as in the USA.

XR track by Nordic XR Startups showed us a world of a different reality that giants like Facebook is currently building towards: Julia Ognieva from Facebook shared how they encourage the use of AR/VR and later this summer Spark AR will launch on Instagram as well.

“We test and then we scale. Once you know it works, go absolutely crazy” – said Ola Ahlvarsson when opening the Scaling Track by Nordic Scalers and then real life examples showed how entrepreneurs from the Nordics are conquering the world. And remember what Jeff Abbott said: “If the business opportunity is there and you don’t go for it, someone else will.”

Meanwhile, the second LP Summit gathered LPs and GPs to an exclusive session especially tailored for investors, organized together with our partners at the Finnish Venture Capital Associationand the European Investment Fund, tackling the relationship between LPs and GPs, and purpose driven investments.

Day 2 continued with the same energetic mentality, truly bringing #actionmatters to life in all aspects of life.

Smart Cities by Business Järvenpää started the day by reflecting on the true meaning of a smart city, which is not technology but usability and a strong focus on people, crowd insights and analytics, the latest trends from the bay area and a live demo.

There’s a huge hype in AI but very little understanding of what it can do. What sets aside true AI companies from companies using AI? AI and Data track powered by Accenture shared an open call: companies like Accenture, Telia or Nordea are more than open to working with startups and see it as an opportunity to co-create new and exciting solutions.

Fintech track did not follow the usual drill to start with the traditional views on stage: the program focused on the new, non-traditional players and discussed a fresh outlook on the future of financial services, rapidly rubbing off incumbent providers. And what makes a successful fintech company in 2019 according to the speakers? People, timing and product market fit.

Building a business is one thing, but in the end it all boils down to a successful exit strategy: at Exits by KPMG track a fresh success story, Ekahau’s exit to Nexit Ventures was showcased on stage.

At Mobility track powered by Nordic Ninja, speakers emphasized how the aspect of mobility as getting people from A to B is changing rapidly and an additional layer becomes more and more important: to find sustainable ways of doing so. Autonomous driving is also coming very soon – Nick Sugimoto from Honda said. Tobias Jahn from BMWi Ventures added, that BMW will have 500 cars by 2021.

Making a change has never been a more lucrative business: many environmental challenges can be solved by combining growth entrepreneurship, science driven innovation and value-adding capital to make the change with a high impact. At the Impact track, founders and investors alike gave insights on the current trends.

Mindset track became home to such a lively discussion, that really showed a severe need to openly talk about mental health in entrepreneurship and finding a way to a balanced life: “We need to stop this hustle all the time.” said Stewart Rogers. “The most successful founders are always purpose and impact driven.” – added Marvin Liao.

Time has finally come for celebration at the Funding and Founding track: the perfect closing of the event was a deal closed in the Arctic15 Funding Program organized in collaboration with FIBAN. Duuers did it, and secured 250 000 EUR Funding from the angel syndicate.

Next stop: Stockholm

Missed the Helsinki event? Don’t worry, we are bringing the Arctic15 experience to Stockholm in October! 

Do not miss your chance to meet Gary Vaynerchuk, who is our first confirmed keynote speaker! Early bird tickets are now on sale, get yours here.

Find more pictures of the event here. See you in Stockholm!