SoS Demo day 2012In preparation for the long drive, we "volunteered" to help by fetching a sauna for the demo day after party.
The original plan had been that the nice folks at palo sauna would bring their sauna to the yard, but the previous weekend some low-life scum had vandalised it ;(
An alternative of fetching the Vihtori sauna from Kirkkonummi was found. We had moved this sauna once before for the Startup Sauna demo day, so apart from the fact that the collection point is down a forest road, it is pretty easy to get to.
I had an oppertunity to walk round the stands/booths before collecting the sauna, and I have to say I was really impressed with the effort all the teams had gone to. Once again, the Design Factory's main stage was packed to capacity (and even more as the lobby was also filled with those that could not get in, and so had to watch a live stream.
After a nice introduction by the chief and the shepard, we had a talk from Jussi Hurmola from Jolla Mobile and Heidi Roizen.
It was nice to have two shorter talks with Q&A rather than the more traditional single keynote.
Then onto the main event itself - the pitches from the teams, who had been working hard for the previous two months
Now, it is here that I have to make a small disclaimer, I have been coaching the teams through the summer, and had seen the run through during the previous Friday.
All of the teams provided a good quality pitch/demo, with a couple of them standing out, depending on your judging criteria. The nice thing for me was that all of the teams had a strong start (non of that "Hi, I'm X from Y..." nonsense), defined the problem space they were working in, had a clear ask/call to action.
It was also nice to see them answering the questions with short answers and then asking folks to "come to our booth where we can talk more".
You can find the complete list of teams on the Summer of Startups home page(includes video one minute pitches), and on this arctic startup write up (text based summaries of all of the teams).
After the winners were announced, the celebrations could start (or for the teams, the hard work of beening at the booths and answering questions began!). Hopefully there were all taking notes, as the most common questions should the first thing they add to their pitches
The party went long into the night (only stopping shorty after the cleaners had arrived in the morning!).
I arrived later in the afternoon, helped clean up the palju and the sauna before returning them to their home.