Startup Movement in Helsinki

published Apr 30, 2015
1 min read

14 Selected startups will join Startup Sauna in Finland


Startup Sauna gathers together the best startups from the Nordics, Baltics, Eastern Europe and Russia for an intensive 5-week program held in Helsinki, Finland. A total of 545 startups were competing for a spot during the spring 2015 local events tour, of which only 14 got accepted to the program. Startups come from ten different countries and the program starts on May 4th at the Aalto University campus in Otaniemi.


This spring we broke all our previous records with a nearly 30% increase in applications. It’s great to see that the quality of teams as well as the overall interest towards our program has rocketed, which can be seen from the fact that this year we admitted our first team from USA” CEO Jaakko Hynynen explains.

The Startup Sauna local events tour visited 18 cities in 15 countries organizing free, one-day coaching events for local startups. Only a few of the hundred applicant startups got selected this time, lowering the acceptance rate to about 2.5%. The farthest team comes from New York and, in addition to the Finnish teams, there will also be participants from Romania, Ukraine and Denmark.

Startups will go through an intensive, full-time 5-week program during which they will get coaching from dozens of serial entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts. Teams will attend our Founder’s Talk series as well as receive one-to-one coaching regarding their business model, pitching, legal matters, or basically anything an early-stage startup would need,” COO Panu Paljakka elaborates.

What happens when the program is over?

Firstly, all the teams are expected to take home valuable knowledge that will help their business idea grow. All startups accepted to Sauna will have free access to the leading startup conference Slush held in November in Helsinki, Finland. Apart from this, the best teams will be taken to Silicon Valley after the program to get to know the ecosystem there, meet potential clients, and visit the most prominent VC’s on Sand Hill Road.


What is Startup Sauna?

Startup Sauna is an accelerator open for startups from all fields of business that have the potential to scale globally. Startup Sauna is hosted in Aalto University’s campus in Otaniemi, Finland, and takes place twice a year. With the 11th edition on the way, Startup Sauna has 145 graduates who have raised over $42M USD in funding. Startup Sauna takes no equity and the program is free.

The accelerator helps promising early-stage startups to get ready for taking the next step, be it entering their market or raising a seed round of funding. Coaches are some of the most talented serial entrepreneurs, investors and other industry experts in Finland and the surrounding region. Startup Sauna has organised over a hundred coaching events in the Nordics, Eastern Europe and Russia, and coaches have acquired solid knowledge and understanding of the problems and needs faced by young startups in the region.