What are you doing May 5th to June 4th? Will you be pushing your startup full-throttle, or will you still be staring at the wall in your office, and heading home at 17:30 each day? Startup Sauna, the accelerator gathering the best seed startup talent from the Nordics, Eastern-Europe, and Russia to a Helsinki-Silicon Valley based program, is still looking for driven startups looking to turn up the heat over the five weeks of their Spring ’14 batch. You’ll have to get in your application quickly though: their application period is closing this Monday, April 7th.
The best 15-20 selected startups from 400-500 applications will join the 109 startups that have already gone through the Startup Sauna program, which according to newly released statistics have raised over €36 million. These include a few names you’ll recognize, including Infogram, LocalBitcoins, Ovelin, and Advacam. To make it into the program, Sauna prefers that applying companies have a working prototype, and expects a hard working attitude and a team commitment to participate the full five weeks.
In addition to getting through a massive amount of coaching, hundreds of meetings, and access to a super-entrepreneur network like Peter Vesterbacka, Sami Inkinen, Ilkka Paananen, Mårten Mickos, as well as top notch Scandic VCs and super-angels.
According to David Ottlik, co-founder & CEO at Synetiq, Startup Sauna Fall ‘13, “Startup Sauna has spared us months of learning time. The amount of knowledge, the network and the expertise was really valuable for us. We were lucky that we were at an early phase and this is the stage where this program could help the most.”
This spring batch will cumulate with a demo day on June 4th, which will be part of the Nordic TechTour of over 70 VCs. For more exposure, all teams get to pitch onstage at Slush this November, and the best teams are taken to Silicon Valley by the Sauna crew to meet the angel investors, VCs and build momentum.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Startup Sauna to startups is that the accelerator doesn’t cost anything to participate in, nor does it take any mandatory equity to participate in the program. There is optional funding and grants available with Tekes for the best teams, up to €40,000, with standard friendly seed terms) with Startup Sauna the organization is non-profit, and all coaches and mentors work pro-bono. This truly make Startup Sauna a platform and a hub, connecting the best teams, talent and investors.
Edmundas Balčikonis, Co-founder & CEO at TrackDuck, Startup Sauna Spring ’13 says, “Startup Sauna is the best program in North-East Europe. It’s intense, not too goddamn long as other accelerators, you don’t have to give equity unless you want their financial investment, you get probably the largest mentor pool there is as well as access to SLUSH and a large alumni group – what more could a startup need?”
Startup Sauna a non-profit accelerator program with a volunteer super-entrepreneur and investor network. Startup Sauna accelerator has been founded by Startup Foundation, and our mission is to boost and build the Scandid-Baltic startup ecosystem, one startup at a time. In addition to the accelerator, Startup Foundation is the organisation behind the tech conference Slush and student exchange program StartupLife. Find out more information about the StartupSauna Coaches here!