It’s not a secret that the Helsinki metropolitan area is one of the most vibrant regions in Europe for entrepreneurs. Institutions such as Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, the Shortcut and many others are pumping many talented individuals into the Startup scene at a very early stage.
In such a vibrant environment, Startup Circus is rising year upon year as one of the most colorful pitching competitions in town. This year, we had a chance to see 13 talented teams with amazing ideas such as FloweRescue which unites flower lovers and middle age flowers to avoid them going into the bin, SetUp which aims to make remote work guilt-free or Costa Del Sol Properties which aims to be the number one channel for your dream home in the Costa Del Sol. But what makes Startup Circus a unique event is its ambition to combine the different areas of art and entrepreneurship with a hugely vibrant community from all the leading educators in the area.
“The philosophy of the event is grounded on fostering creative collaboration and crossing both disciplinary and institutional boundaries. We aim to enable a deeper collaboration between different educators in Helsinki area to give direct support and visibility to the most talented student teams.”
Startup Circus Team
The Design Factory where the event was held this year, was turned into an even more artistic space with colorful circus staff, pop-up gallery, and exciting performances. The pop-up gallery from three talented artists: Christian Sjöholm, Saara Alhopuro, and Luca Delgado was available throughout the day for all visitors. In addition to that, the participants were able to create their own art via participatory art installation by Emmi Holopainen. Performing artists included Unia performing flow artist group, Nerg and Nivala Circus duo, Laura Penzin and Toto Foussier. Viljami Lehtonen created the artistic sounds and Sini Suomi was the photographer of the evening. You can see the artist BIOs at www.startupcircus.fi
The evening was all about bringing different communities together, it was organised with the support of The Shortcut community from Maria01 and EU-funded Mege-project. This being startup competition, the team was proud to bring in following three top – level judges: Pia Santavirta from Finnish Venture Capital Association, Tom Henriksson from Open Ocean Partners Oy and Timo Tirkkonen from Inventure/Nordic Technology Fund. was one of the judges of the pitching competition.
After excellent hosting by a startup entrepreneur Minna Mustapää and listening to all the pitches, the judges from three selected venture capital firms selected the winners of the competition with prizes of 3000 EUR and 1500 EUR, by Yrjö Uitto Foundation and Kauppatieteellinen yhdistys. Zen Coffee received 3000 EUR as the winner while DSM Bracelet received the 1500 EUR prize. Also, FloweRescue received special mention from the judges. The teams, educators and artists were able to connect to each other throughout the different parts of the event. The surprise prize included three startup-founders giving mentoring to the teams they choose to be most potential. Those teams were Zen Coffee, DSM Bracelet and ZeroWaste. This way the Circus wishes to foster the giving back entrepreneurial philosophy in Helsinki area. The 2019 Startup Circus event is already supported by Yksityisyrittäjäin säätiö so expect Circus being back in town even more exciting during 2019! For enquiries, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Design Factory where the event was held this year, was turned into an even more artistic space with colorful circus staff, pop-up gallery, and exciting performances. The pop-up gallery from three talented artists: Christian Sjöholm, Saara Alhopuro, and Luca Delgado was available throughout the day for all visitors. In addition to that, the participants were able to create their own art.
You can see the details of 13 ideas presented and more information about Startup Circus here.