And the Winners of Startup Weekend Helsinki 2013 Are… !!!

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Startup Weekend Helsinki Grand Finale – Sunday

The energy was amazing the Aalto University Open Innovation House on Sunday! The teams were focused on getting ready for the final presentation. Some were looking for beta testers, some were designing t-shirt with their own logos for the presentation, others were practicing pitching, and all of them were simultaneously finalizing their working prototypes for the final pitch.

Around 4pm  the special guest speaker, US Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck  had arrived with his trusty sidekick Deckert  (who was voted by acclamation the official Hound of Startup Weekend Helsinki 2013 – plenty of photos coming soon!). The tried and true lottery method was used to decide the presentation order of the teams – numbers drawn out of one of our empty Kellogg’s Corn Flakes boxes…

Each team had 3 minutes to demonstrate and pursue judges that it’s their startup that is going to be the next big success. Main criteria that judges used related to business model, customer validation, prototype, scalability, team as well as the passion and enthusiasm. All of the pitches were THOROUGHLY photographed, of thanks to a talented photographer who happened to be one of the participants but ended up as the Official Startup Weekend Helsinki 2013 photographer, Yu Shen (also student in Aalto computer sciences student). Please see here for a complete photographic essay, complete in the living color of Startup Weekend and Open Innovation House/ AppCampus environment!  Please see the Startup Weekend Helsinki Facebook page for all the great photos!

All of the teams their own brand and degree of creative genious. We had plenty of useful apps as well as some B2B SaaS, plus a few others. We had people playing guitar and singing, running away from monkeys, and sharing what’s bad and good in their relationships. After Bruce straightened us out about what it takes to enter the US market, we had a great networking session – but everyone was anticipating for the highlight of this weekend – the announcement of the winners!

As all the participants, judges, organizers and everyone involved got together again it was the time to finally get to know who will go down the history as the first winner of SW Helsinki. Here we go…

Second runner up – InstaRide !!! – an awesome team which is going to solve the problem how to get people in taxi queue’s to collaborate to get taxi-rides faster and cheaper;

First runner up – Emocloud !!! – music fanatics who are going to provide better feedback for lonely artists as they perfect their music, and maybe become rockstars themselves during the process judging from their performance ,);

Finally, the winner is… Local Guides !!! – the 7-person team who met here at Startup Weekend and have done an incredibly impressive amount of work during the weekend! Local Guides does to local tourism what AirBnB has done to the lodging industry – instead of relying on the same old tours and tourguides, why not leverage the huge number of specific content specialists in a local market who are just a click away! The 7 team members spanned the globe in their nationalities – South Korea, Singapore, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, and of course Finland! The team had a signicant amount of experience from the tourism industry, as well as a lot of software development, design, and of course,Photographic(!) experience – and it certainly showed!

So boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen , this was our Startup Weekend Helsinki and this was one hell of the event for being the first event SW in Finlnad ever! There will be more content about the results and lessons learned to follow on this site, so please continue following us!

And of course, we hope to see YOU at next year’s SW Helsinki Round 2!