Startup Weekend Helsinki 2015

    Friday, June 12 - 14, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Helsinki 2015

Friday, June 12 - 14, 2015

Friday, June 12 - 14, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Kaisaniemenkatu 13 A
(2nd floor)
Helsinki, Finland 00100

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What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event, where developers, designers, and other startup enthusiasts from non-technical fields come together to form teams, validate their ideas, build new products and launch startups. Teams go from an idea scrawled on a napkin to a working prototype and maybe even paying customers, all within a single weekend. This will be the 4th edition of Startup Weekend in Helsinki.

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1500 past events in 726 cities around the world with over 13k startups created with the help of over 123k entrepreneurs. 

How does it work?

Startup Weekend is an event designed to provide superior experimental education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night, participants get 60 seconds to pitch their ideas to the crowd and try to recruit the best talent in the room. Continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, the Startup Weekend culminates in Sunday night demos and presentations, where teams present their minimum viable product (MVP) to a panel of expert judges, fellow participants and other guests. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs and mentors. The weekend is centred around action, innovation, and education. 

What do you get out of it?

- You will get a taste of what it's like in the startup world, and learn first hand about every step of building a startup (at the very least, it'll be a memorable weekend away from your usual daily routine). 

- You might find your perfect co-founder soulmate with whom you'll go on to launch a multi-million dollar startup, be it this weekend or down the road.

- We take care of you during the weekend and all you need to bring is your laptop:

  • Catered food - 7 meals total
  • Unlimited coffee
  • Startup Weekend Helsinki t-shirt
  • Fantastic working space
  • Discounts for some of the best startup tools
  • Access to some of the area's best startup mentors
- Plus, if your team wins, you will get heaps of additional resources and mentorship to help you get your startup off the ground. There are also plenty of investors in the crowd, so if your pitches were something special, you might even get funding (it happens!).

How much do you have to pay?

Thanks to our amazing sponsors (do check them out below) you'll only have to pay 50€ for your ticket. Without the help of our sponsors this ticket would be around 99€. All participants get heaps of exclusive goodies including free domain names, web services and more. Not to mention free coaching and guidance from some of the best mentors around. All in all, it's probably the best 50€ you'll ever spend. Early Birds tickets will run out soon, so get one FAST! 

So join us, and get ready for the ride of your life. #SWHelsinki

If you want to keep updated with information about the next SWHelsinki be sure to like us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter!


Friday June 12th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:10 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas for pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:05 pm
Ola Sundell, HUB13

7:10 pm
Anna-Maija Sulonen, BooknHeal

7:20 pm
Adrien Leger, GenieTeams

7:25 pm
Maisa Kantanen, Aalto Startup Center

7:45 pm
Pitches Start
Line up to give your pitch. Everybody is welcome!

8:45 pm
Vote for the pitch you like the most

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Start to formalize teams around the winning pitches. Make an inventory of skills. Be aware of what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

10:00 pm
Done for the day!
You can continue in the nearby bar, or may stay and work as late as the venue will allow.

Saturday June 13th

9:00 am
Morning Coffee
Arrive, coffee and some snacks

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday June 14th

9:00 am
Morning Coffee
Arrive, coffee and some snacks

11:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:30 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:30 pm
Final Presentations
5 minutes pitch, and 5 minutes Q&A

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm
Wrap-Up and Go-home!


Ola Sundell
Founder & CEO of HUB13

A lean entrepreneur and coach helping startups and product development teams achieve product-market fit through systematic and disciplined application of LEAN and Agile marketing methodologies. Through his active work he meets several new teams each week gaining a unique insight into challenges and solutions within entrepreneurship and innovation. Ola is passionate about growth - teams, products and businesses achieving their escape velocity.

Specialties: LEAN marketing, Business Model Innovation, Customer Development, Lean Startup, Business Coaching, Strategic Management, Entrepreneurship Education, Franchising, Sales, Marketing, IPR and Entertainment Law

Anna-Maija Sulonen
Co-founder, MD at

Anna-Maija Sulonen graduated as an MD in 2012 from the University of Helsinki. Early on in the medical school she got interested in research, and her soon-to-be-finished PhD studies are focused on user-driven method and algorithm development in medical DNA sequencing.

Personal experiences as a mental health patient kindled the spark to develop tools that make accessing psychotherapy easier and faster. Presenting her idea and getting lots of postive feedback at Startup Weekend Vantaa gave her the confidence to go on with ithe business plan, and in the spring 2015 Anna-Maija joined BooknHeal / AtCare Ltd. as a co-founder.

Toni Perämäki
Program Lead at Microsoft Turbopump

Toni Perämäki is an entrepreneur who has been heavily involved in the Finnish startup scene for the last ten years as a founder of multiple accelerator and community programs. He has also worked for the 21MEUR Appcampus funding scheme as a Dealflow manager and successfully led Microsoft’s support for technology companies in Finland for three years. Currently he leads Microsoft Turbopump market entry program helping selected Finnish B2B startups scale to European markets. Toni has experience in successfully helping companies on customer development & lean startup, go-to-market, customer acquisition and pitching.

Event Judges

Marc Dillon
Entrepreneur at large

Marc is a passionate and charismatic individual with years of experience in software development and design. Having co-founded Jolla and worked for numerous software and tech companies, Marc knows more than everything about mobile tech and devices. 

Will Cardwell
Partner, Courage Ventures

Currently, I am a lecturer on entrepreneurship and venture capital topics at Aalto University Executive Education, and Aalto School of Science (the Aalto Ventures Program). In addition, through Courage Ventures and NS Sports Management I serve as a mentor in several accelerators, and do some angel investing as well.

Formerly, I was in charge of coordinating Aalto University's strategic university partnerships, as well as being involved in teams that work with corporate partnerships. In 2010 I co-founded and ran the Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE), Aalto's tech transfer and spinout arm. Aalto is one of Finland's leading universities, and is the result of the 2010 merger of the Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology, and Helsinki University of Arts and Design.

Before that, I ran Finland's largest Technology Incubator, Technopolis Ventures, with over 200 customers large and small around Finland as well as St, Petersburg and Estonia. I have spent over 15 years in the Finnish high-tech environment, as CEO of a startup (Valimo Wireless, sold to Gemalto in 2010, 3 years) venture capitalist (Eqvitec Partners, Conor Venture Partners, 7 years), investment banker (Robertson Stephens, 2 years), and researcher and lecturer (Aalto School of Economics, and Aalto University of Technology, 3 years).

Jaana Pylvänen
Innovation Director at Kora

Jaana's current role is an Innovation Director and head of Regus Kora operations in Finland, she is passionate about building enablers for growth companies to grow. Kora is working in university campus areas in order to bring together technology universities, corporates and startups. With global partners like EBAN we help companies to grow and research be more private funded in the future. She has Master of Econ. and had long career in Nokia Networks as recognized innovation driver and execution focused and independent global project leader in all the continents. Jaana also has an experience in running design oriented business for 5 years as an entrepreneur with 10 employees and 80 sales persons, with 900 kEUR sales on 2009 and passion for digital marketing.

Ekaterina Gianelli
Director at INVENTURE

Ekaterina is a Director at Inventure, a venture capital company in the Nordics & Baltics. Ekaterina focuses on early-stage investments, and works with the portfolio companies in digital sector, helping them define their value propositions and market their services. Prior to joining Inventure, Ekaterina has been holding various positions in innovative companies, including an e-commerce startup Kiosked and a service design consultancy Fjord. Her core experience is in service design, go-to-market, marketing and operational management.

Alexander Reay

Over a 15 year career, Alexander has worked on knowledge exchange forums into the Nordic Regions and beyond, with many of the World's leading Universities, Business Schools and most of the Fortune 500 IT service providers, including Gartner, Cisco, HP, Dell, KPMG, London School of Economics, Aston Business School, University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt. Alexander continually presents at leading events and forums on Innovation & Outsourcing.He has been leading outsourcing projects since the late 90's. After a career working on research projects with the United Nations, The EU Cohesion fund and most if not all of the Fortune 500, Alexander was the publisher of EUBIR, the world's first comparative location guide to EU Incentives, Labour Resources and Macro Economic Data displayed in a common statistical base across all EU Member States.His techniques and works have been recognized as best practice comparative location analysis and his frameworks for innovation and common statistical based design thinking are still widely used across Enterprise, Academia and the Public Sector. Today, Alexander continues to enjoy spending his time overseeing operations and strategies of the ITOSDA and consulting Blue Chip and Public sector organizations on achieving transformational results from Best Practice Strategic Sourcing. Alexander is currently an affiliate board member of the Loughborough University, Center for Global Sourcing and Services, involved in research into outsourcing for innovation and new sourcing models. He is passionate about game changing disruptive technologies and is currently the CIO of Zoobba Oy, driving its technology and development.

Taru Haajanen
Product Portfolio Manager OP. Board Member at NFBAN

Taru works as product portfolio manager for OP and is one of the board members in Nordic Female Business Angels Network. She is a finance professional with versatile experience in banking and entrepreneurial mindset. 

Skills: Business development. Digital services development. Product development and Product management. Innovation. Coaching. Facilitator. Business analysis. Corporate analysis. Budget. Management accounting. Consumer finance. Project management. 

International skills: Excellent English. Good Swedish. Talking German. 
Lived in several countries - adaptive to changing circumstances and cultures.

Coaches and Mentors

Voitto Kangas
Pitching, Business Modelling, Teamwork and focus areas

Managing Director at Startup Foundation (Slush, Startup Sauna) and a lover of hackathons. This old student politician is here to help your pitch stand out and take pressure, because behind every good startup or a politician there is a darn good story.

Steven Balliano
General Partner at #digirockstars & Founder at Kivi Labs

Steven doesn't think outside the box, he lives outside the box. Just don't ask him to do normal things.

Tuija Pulkkinen
Founder of Grownups for Startups

Tuija is the Founder of Grownups for Startups to connect experienced corporate background professionals with startup thinking and doing. She is also having a consultancy to help organisations and leaders to transform and ramp up into new ways of thinking and doing business and internationalization. Tuija has a strong track record of strategic and operational sales leadership projects with Nokia, having been a key member of pioneering teams to build company´s first infrastructure businesses in India and South East Asia. During her career she has lived and worked in the Nordics, Latin world, Eastern Europe and South Asia. Tuija is also a Founding Participant at THNK – the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership. 

Tarmo Virki
Founder of coFounder magazine

Experienced media professional. Journalist, communications manager, published author. Storyteller by nature. Keen on startup scene, fascinated by creating anything new.

Kristoffer Lawson
Founder & CEO at Solu, Public Speaker on Technology and Banking, Startup Mentor

Kristoffer is the founder and CEO of the groundbreaking company, Solu. He comes from a strong tech and entrepreneur background and is also the co-founder of award-winning bank disruptor Holvi. He has worked with dozens of startups in mentorship roles through e.g. StartupSauna, Startup Wiseguys & Seedcamp. Additionally he is the founder of the largest digital art festival in the Nordics, the Alternative Party, as well as being founder of the Travelling Salesman project.

Kimmo Kauhanen
Digital Consultant and senior project manager, Founder of Moodwonder, Product Owner, Agile and Lean Coach

Founder of Moodwonder and co-founder of Co-founder of Bribespot, digital consultant and lean startup practitioner, Kimmo has years of experience of leading startup teams and creating new digital products and services. Buzzwords: Lean startup, bootstrapping, UX, mobile first, strategy, outsourcing, customer development. Kimmo can help teams with lean thinking, idea purification, customer development methods, UX and strategy.

Jennifer Kutvonen
Account Manager at Talentmatch

Jennifer is a sales professional at Talentmatch. She is an entrepreneurially spirited adventurer, who believes that it is not what you sell, it is how you sell yourself.

Kasper Suomalainen
Pitching & Startup Ecosystem

Jumped to CMO at Startup Sauna after being President of Aalto Entrepreneurship Society. Kasper grew up in the US, Finland, India and China, so he’s not the typical, quiet Finn. Passionate about robotics and mathematics, he’s here to help you deliver that clear, crisp pitch you need to win.

Marko Taipale
Business and Product Developer

Marko Taipale has co-founded two companies, built concepts from idea to product, sold IPRs, coached AaltoES startups and been executive advisor for Finnish Deloitte TOP10 growth companies. He has applied Lean Startup in both product and service innovation context and has done several public speaking appearances regarding lean, agile and product development. Currently Marko is helping GE to bring new innovations to the markets as Agile & FastWorks Coach.

Jari "Jaffa" Jaanto
Co-Founder of IRC-Galleria, Heimo & Ninchat

Jari is Co-Founder of once largest social media site in nordics: IRC-Galleria with reaching of 80% of 15-24 years old demographics in 2008. He is also: Co-Founder at Heimo, which is a mental well-being community, where people share sensitive stories. Co-Founder at Ninchat which is a chat platform fueling companies customer support & group chat needs. Co-founder & chairman in Skrolli magazine and he has been on the board of IAB Finland.
Jari is one of the best experts in Finland when it comes to Social Media. He has been developing software for 15 years, and been doing digital marketing solutions for 10 years. Jari has been helping out several startups as advisor: Holvi, Taggest, Equivalentor, Illtags, Mloon.
Jari is at Startup Weekend to help you with the product idea development & target group definition

Taina Mikkola

Taina works as a Coach in Haaga-Helia StartUp School. StartUp School is a program that supports students who want to become entrepreneurs. Before joining StartUp School, Taina worked over 10 years in Finnish corporations, first in Nokia and then in Outokumpu. In early 2013 she started her own entrepreneurship journey and now she is a founder of TinyApp, a simple communication service designed specifically for families and daycare. Taina has master’s degree in adult education from University of Helsinki and she is also Certified Business Coach and Career Coach. ​

Reidar Wasenius
a Director of the Founder Institute

Reidar Wasenius is  ​a Director ​of the Founder Institute  ( ​ -  the world's largest startup acceleration program  ​-  ​in  Helsinki. ​ ​ ​ He is also an entrepreneur. As  the Personal Brainer at BRIIM  ​Center  ( ​,​  the world's first Brain Fitness Center in Helsinki ​, h​e helps employees of client companies  ​do well and feel well with brain training. People develop  their  ​abilities  e.g. to focus, ​make  decision s  and ​ motivat e themselves​​Reidar  is a popular  ​public ​ speaker and he is  ​interviewed  as an expert ​ ​ on communications and personal development ​  ​ in  ​national  media  weekly .​ Reidar's past employers include Samsung, Nokia, TeliaSonera, Digital Equipment Corporation and T​ekes. His employers in the media industry include the Finnish National Broadcasting Company, a number of commercial radio stations and Arcada university of applied sciences, where he was the founder and first Director of the four-year B.A. program in Media and Communications. Reidar has studied Computer Technology at the Helsinki University of Technology (now: Aalto University) majoring in Interactive Digital Media and minoring in Mass Media and Journalism, which he studied at the University of Helsinki. Reidar is a regular guest in national media as an expert on personal development plus social media, mass communications and how digital technology affects our lives. His latest book, Personal Brainer, was published by WSOY in March 2016. You often hear Reidar's voice in your telephone and whenever you travel by train in Finland.

James Rutherford
Startup Engineer, Founder at Kickcards

James is a software developer with a background in design and experience founding and running a tech startup. He prides himself on clarity of communication, a focus on delivering project goals, and a professional attitude.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Helsinki 2015 team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Signature Sponsors

Helsinki's Number One Startup HUB - Coworking, Meetings, Events & Acceleration

Visit Website



Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Helsinki is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Mario
    Di Florio
  • Ekaterina
  • Povilas


Povilas Valiauga
Partner at Courage Ventures

Povilas has been at the forefront of startup & entrepreneurship wave both in Finland and Lithuania since 2009. He has been deeply involved in Startup Weekend network, bringing and running a number of events in both countries, mentoring start-ups as well as co-developing few own ventures. Currently he is co-developing Courage Ventures - a company which provides entrepreneurship training and development services. 

Event Staff

Rhonnie Allan

Daria Nikulina

Makeda Yohannes

Chris Holtslag

Steve Peltonen
Event Organiser

Steve is a highly motivated and a hardworking student from Helsinki. Steve volunteers for many different events and causes. Steve's top skills in networking and social media help deliver a great Startup Weekend to the community.

Marius Poenar

Valtteri Maijala

Vincent Markiet

Bao Vu

Event Blog

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