The Entrepreneur from Nokia
After a wild night of sauna and beer, which ended up in me admitting defeat to the Oulu startup scene, I will admit to it being a fight to get up in the morning. Thankfully we made it in time to enjoy the pitches at Starttaamo, the local startup working space. I'm glad I did. Nothing is quite as inspiring as seeing folk fight the odds to become the next big thing. Of special value was to see the people who had pitched the night before, in front of the sauna, really take the advice they had been given, and to improve immensely. Tighter, more flow, and improved details. I was particularly impressed by the guys from Omakampaamo. Their original flow stuttered and lacked cohesion. Now they had compressed the message and it had been very clearly practised. Excellent work. Now take it to the next level, guys!
We would have loved to stay behind for coaching sessions but the drive from Oulu to Tampere is a long and tiring one, especially with that giant wooden sail behind us. We were happy with how everything had turned out in Oulu, but now it was time to look ahead. We had a mission in mind.
Mike had discovered a guy called Roope Tassberg an ex-Nokian, from Nokia (the town). Yes, indeed, Nokia the company originates from a small place just outside Tampere, called Nokia — although it hasn't been there for some time. So as our journey is taking us through all Nokia locations, past and present, it was obvious we had to visit the place where things all began. Not only did we do that, but we collected a pitch!
Roope is behind a new application called Situations which allows you to configure your phone to work differently in a variety of different situations (work, breakfast, travel). It can open a relevant webpage automatically when you enter the cinema, or show you the weather as you are getting up for breakfast. They have a small dedicated team, just starting out on their journey towards building a business. The application is currently only available for Symbian, as that is where the team's background is (from Nokia), but are hoping to build on the experience they get and expand based on feedback.
Roope was nice enough to invite us over for a lovely supper at their place, and to hear their story. I'm sure Nokia town doesn't contain many technology entrepreneurs, and in some ways this has given a real weight to our expedition. Once more we see that technology and entrepreneurship is truly everywhere.
Saturday will be our Tampere meetup, at the lovely old Finlayson factory area. The sauna will be hot, and hopefully the startups too.
The Tampere meetup is supported by Nokia Bridge in Tampere and the New Factory working space.