Startup Weekend Turku

    Friday, April 13 - 15, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Turku

Friday, April 13 - 15, 2018

Friday, April 13 - 15, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

SparkUp Turku
Tykistökatu 4
Turku, Finland 20520

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Startup Weekend Turku

What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend Turku is a 54-hour event where developers, designers and business development folks come together to form teams, validate their ideas, build new products and launch startups, all in one weekend.  It is a great opportunity to test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Turku and launch your next startup!

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 2900 past events in over 150 countries around the world. Till date Startup Weekend events have witnessed 23k+ teams being created with the help of over 193k community members.

How does it work?

Startup Weekend is an event designed to provide superior experiential 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 model 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 centered around action, innovation, and education.

Why should you join?

1. 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).

2. 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.

3. We take care of you during the weekend and all you need to bring is your laptop. We'll provide you with:
  • Plenty of food to keep your energy levels up
  • Unlimited coffee
  • Fantastic working space
  • Discounts for some of the best startup tools
  • Advice and coaching from some of the area's best startup mentors
  • Global community of entrepreneurs
Startup Weekend attracts each community’s best makers and doers, and by spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, our participants build long-lasting relationships and may even walk away with a job or an investor. Plus, if your team wins, you will get loads of additional resources and coaching to help you get your startup off the ground.

No talk, all action! Check out the Startup Weekend FAQ for answers to the questions you might have about the event.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday April 13th

6:00 pm
Doors Open! Registration and networking
Arrive at the venue and get checked in and network

7:00 pm
Welcome & Introductions
Welcoming words from the core management team. Take a look at the agenda for the weekend! Get to know the speakers, coaches, organizers, sponsors and community leaders. Answer any preliminary questions the participants might have

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:30 pm
Voting and Forming Teams
Attendees vote for the top selected pitches… *drumroll* Teams start forming and discussing ideas together!

9:30 pm
Begin Work
Time to kick off the hard work! Start to formalize teams and take note of everyone's skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. Don’t hesitate to work throughout the night.

11:00 pm
Networking & Beer

Saturday April 14th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Validation tips
Startup Weekend mentors will assist the teams to test and validate ideas.

10:00 am
Begin Work
Teams set up workspace for the weekend and discuss gathered ideas together. Let the magic happen!

12:00 pm

5:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help from mentors, coaches and facilitator.

11:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday April 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Getting your pitch ready

11:00 am
Presentation Feedback sessions starts

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Presentation feedback sessions continue

2:30 pm
Final Presentations start

4:00 pm

4:30 pm
Final Presentations continue

5:30 pm
Awards Ceremony

6:00 pm
Moving to Saaristobaari
Let’s get ready for the epic ending of The Weekend!

6:30 pm
Dinner at Saaristobaari

8:30 pm
Final words from the core team
Wrap-Up! You did it .. Congratulations!! Time to relax and party!

Event Judges

Alexander Törnroth
CEO at SHIFT Business Festival

CEO of SHIFT, founder of Kakola Brewing Co. and Manjana Invest. Firm beliver in delivering value through experiences. Favourite cocktail Whiskey sour.

Konsta Weber
Chief Evangelist at Ultrahack

Konsta is the Chief Evangelist at Ultrahack. A serial entrepreneur by profession and politician by nature.

Sara Hoxhaj
Chairperson at Boost Turku, Sales executive at SHIFT Business Festival

Sara is a passionate about business, international relations and non-profit work.
Currently as the Chairwoman of Boost Entrepreneurship society and sales executive at SHIFT Business Festival, she enjoys working with young startups and helping them on their journey to success. Don't be shy to approach her at any time. (Great conversation starters are spicy food and Corona drinks.)

Jukka Laiterä
Business Angel and Sailor

Jukka is a business consultant angel investor. As a seasoned marine industry executive he has gained considerable knowledge of international operations including global networking and new establishments abroad. Jukka is one of the founders of Monttu Ventures Oy. He is also working as a senior advisor of Turku Science Park in establishing a global Maritime Accelerator program in Turku Business Region. Jukka is a passionate sailor and has crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice with his 15 m sloop.

Coaches and Mentors

Teemu Tiilikainen
Co-Founder at Talented

Teemu is long time software developer and consultant who gained most of his experience consulting media companies in United States, LatAm and Finland. Now he is part of the founding team at Talented, talent agency and community for experienced IT professionals. During the first year of existence Talented reached almost 2 million in turnover and build a community of over 900 developers and designers. He can help team especially in technical questions and prototyping.

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.

Eero Laaksonen
Founder and CEO of Valohai

Eero is a serial entrepreneur who has been working with startups since 2008. He has been involved with companies like PPG Manager, Anders Innovations, and Herrainpukimo. He is the founder and CEO of Valohai, an active boardmember of e-commerce Finland and founder of Turku.AI meetup.

Jani Rusi
Co-Founder at Hydrosport Solutions, Financing Manager at Nordea

Jani is a 204,5cm tall, sports innovator from Turku. He is a former professional swimmer,  Co-Founder at Hydrosport Solutions Oy and a financing manager at Nordea. He wants to help others especially in the field of sports, entrepreneurship, business and networking. I like to think outside the box and find new ways to help you to achieve more!

Tomi Neulanen
Customer Happiness Officer at Sofokus

Tomi has a comprehensive background on web development, which is actually a spin off of his own startup experiment couple of years after the turn of the millennium. Currently he explores the startup scene as part of his work  as a customer happiness officer at Sofokus. On a higher level his job is to build common understanding between Sofokus and their customers. So if you are wondering about customer experience and how to develop long standing, even co-operational, relationships with your customers, Tomi is your man.

Jere Ketonen
Software Developer at Vincit

This is Jere from Vincit. Most of his experience comes from C# coding on the financial sector, with some front end stuff on top of the cake, but he knows this and that about everything, pretty much. He has lots of experience about setting up highly available systems that need to be 24/7 and running the systems side of things in a DevOps manner. Jere is no stranger to hackathons.

Juho Ylikylä
Software Developer at Vincit

I’m Juho Ylikylä, a software dev working at Vincit. I do mostly backend development professionally with Java but I dabble around with Scala, Elixir and JavaScript doing some React native mobile development, web development with Vue.js and a cool web app done with the Phoenix framework. I can also help out on how to start a new project, how to store data and where to deploy stuff easily (for example Google App Engine, Expo and Firebase)

Juha-Matti Santala
Founder of Turku <3 Frontend

Juhis is a developer, community builder and board game enthusiast. He's the founder of Turku <3 Frontend and a former Community Manager of Boost Turku. Now Juhis is working as a software developer in Futurice.

He can help your team in focusing and honing your sales pitch. He also loves asking the tough questions you are avoiding to answer.

Mari Järvinen
Co-Founder of MJ² for Startups, Entrepreneur and a Startup enthusiast

Mari is an organizational psychologist with a background in organizational development, leadership research, conflict resolution and personnel assessments. In recent years she has worked with, for and among startups in Finland and Amsterdam, helping them create a solid foundation for success.

Mari Jokiranta
Co-Founder of MJ² for Startups, Senior Consultant at MPS Enterprises

Mari is an organizational psychologist with extensive experience in the field of personnel assessment, individual and organizational development, talent management and employee well-being. She is passionate about helping you and your team become the best possible version of you. 

Jani Anttonen
Developer at Nordic Venture Family

Jani is a creative mind with a broad view of cutting edge technologies. Expert in designing and building web applications with ~10 years of experience. Has experience in deep learning, statistics and building decentralized stuff with solidity.

Janne Saarikko
Lead Director, Founder Institute Finland & Creator of Firsts,

My name is Janne Saarikko and I create Firsts.

I am a Creator of Firsts and Strategic Visionary with passion to create first-in-the-industry solutions that will change the rules of the game.

I have seen 1000+ startups, coached 400+ startups, helped and advised 100+ startups and founded two.

I’m nice but honest, and always argument my views. Expect direct talk with positive spin.

I have close to 30 years of experience in various fields of international business, especially ICT, mobile, security, entertainment, design, AEC, HR, food, marketing, communications and social media.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Turku 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.



Organizing Team

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

  • Lasse
  • Elias
  • Jesse
  • Miika
  • Yasara
  • Justus
  • Kiia
  • Sanna
  • Anna
  • Susanna
  • Leevi
  • Toni
  • Iuulia


Jernej Dekleva
Program Manager @ InnoPeaks

Jernej is originally from Slovenia and has recently relocated from Denmark to Switzerland. After working at Y Combinator backed startup, he joined an accelerator as Program Manager at InnoPeaks, where he is helping entrepreneurs scale the next generation of healthtech and insurtech companies. He attended his first Startup Weekend in 2012 and he is an organizer and facilitator of Startup Weekend since 2014.

Jernej was a lead organizer at Europe's first ever Startup Weekend Mega. A Startup Weekend with 4 tracks: Smart City&IoT, Healthcare, Media and Services running simultaneously at same venue over a weekend. By this date it's Europe's biggest Startup Weekend with 300+ attendees. 

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