Startup Sauna is the first international business acceleration programme that ever arrived to Budapest on Monday with its hot Warmup event. CEE Startups had the privilege to be the official blog of the event, so let our report follow:

Startup Sauna Budapest

Startup Sauna Budapest

First of all, we were all impressed by the startup-friendly athmosphere of the venue, the Finnish Embassy in Budapest and the helpful flexibility of Finpro Hungary. H.E. Pasi Tuominen, Ambassador of Finland to Hungary gave the opening remarks, then the Sauna guys (led by Antti Yilmutka, the Captain), gave a kick-ass intro on what they are doing. InVendor, the local co-organiser gave a short speech, and the event turned into what it actually is: a hot feast of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

20 local startups (one being almost local from the neighbouring Slovakia) gave 3-min pitches on their startups. They did not call them elevator pitches, since the highest building in Hungary is around 20 floors and the elevator gets to the top in 30 seconds. Generally it was pretty well done. Hungarians are seemingly good in presenting their ideas – the Sauna guys told us that the Budapest event was among the best Warmups ever and InVendor said that participants in avearage outperformed by far similar local events.

After intensive pitching until noon, the mentors selected the best 10 startups for rotational one-on-one coaching for the afternoon session. Half of the coaches came from Finland, the other half were local:

The 10 companies were given detailed feedback on their performance and were challenged regarding their business models. They were all tough, none of them were crying. Coaches selected the winner, or in this case winners, since four startups received the honorific opportunity to get into the Startup Sauna accelerator programme later this year in Helsinki, and be present at Slush, the biggest Startup event in Europe.

Winners, coaches, ambassador

Startup Sauna Budapest – Winners, coaches, ambassador

H.E. the Ambassador gave a reception at his residency, where the winners were announced:

  • Mailmill (new e-mail experience, the pinterest of e-mail)
  • Mcule (intelligently curated molecule database and molecule webshop for pharma and research companies)
  • Sighter (mobile app for urban geocachers with AI-driven sight comparison)
  • Soometa (blogging redefined: stunning editing and curation for easy-to-consume mixed media content)

Ideapool received a special mention (let’s call it from now on the KISS Award (KISS = Keep It Stupid Simple)) for their awesome milk spoilage indicator that is as simple as a brick. Participants then visited different bars to deepen Finnish-Hungarian connections and Finnish coaches (since they are great educators also) did not miss the chance to let Budapest learn some Finnish songs and evergreens.

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One Response

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