Last night Startup Sauna, the FInnish startup accelerator pulled of something that became Europe’s largest demo day with some 750 registered attendees. We’ve also noticed something else this week with Founder’s Week in full swing and Latitude59 taking place in Tallinn – we need to begin to prioritise startup events as we’re simply running out of bandwidth. As we’re also attending the Latitude59 event in Tallinn we weren’t actually able to attend the Demo Day, but based on what we’ve heard – the Startup Sauna guys and gals pulled off another great event with an awesome late night after party.
Overall, there were 20 companies who started the program, but quite early on a few of them dropped out. One of the dropouts was Metrify, that we’ve covered here on ArcticStartup before. The company was founded by Kristo Ovaska, one of the founders of Startup Sauna. He told us that initially he believed Sauna would be good for his company, but realized the team needed their own space to focus when things started picking up speed at Metrify
During the eight weeks the startups heard numerous mentors share their experiences at the Aalto Venture Garage. In addition to just talks, the mentors did some very hands on coaching for the teams to find the right direction to go forward with. All this climaxed at the end of the program in the form of a Demo Day that took place last night.
The full list of companies that participated in the Startup Sauna program can be seen on their website.
In addition to just competing inside Startup Sauna, the alumni companies have raised €11.9 million in financing from private and public entities. Despite being just a couple of years old it has already established itself as one of the most respected and sought after programs in Europe. This doesn’t mean Startup Sauna should begin to enjoy its current status, but leap into the next levels to truly help in building a great startup hub in the Nordics and Baltics.
But then again, I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here.
Image taken by @teemu.