What’s the best motivation to cut to the chase? Standing in freezing water in a hole cut in the ice. With this logic, Oulu’s Polar Bear Pitch doesn’t need any countdown timers as entrepreneurs pitch their startup to a group of investors – the limits of the human body are enough motivation to get in, cut to the chase, and hurry into the sauna. We’ve gotten our hands on the Polar Bear Pitch’s livestream, which you can find below the fold:

Finland has a long relationship with the avanto, or hole in the ice. It’s not uncommon to see regular practitioners (read: crazy old people) pop into ice holes on Finland’s shores to prove their toughness or take advantage of winter swimming’s reported health benefits. According to Finns, the early stages of hypothermia isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Practitioners say that winter swimming relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, and refreshes the body and mind – all side effects of your body preparing itself for an icy, watery grave.

As we wrote in last week’s pre-article, Polar Bear Pitch has gathered a good group of startups (and investors) willing to put themselves to the test. There is a show-like quality to the event, of course, but they’ve focused on bringing quality startups into the ice hole to get them in front of investors worldwide on the live stream.

We’ll try to keep this article updated with photos and buzz with this event, frostbite permitting, but become part of the conversation using the #PolarBearPitching hashtag.


Top photo from last year’s event by Henri Luoma Photography.