700 applications, a mere 2% acceptance rate – meet our spring ‘16 batch

April 20, 2016

At Startup Sauna, we travel the extra mile, get out on the field and do the legwork to find those exceptional, brilliant startups.

-Panu Paljakka, CEO of Startup Sauna

Traveling 17 countries in a month and a half, including our annual Silicon Valley tour, is not just fun, but productive as hell. This spring our local events tour took us all the way from Oslo to Seoul. We brought altogether 31 coaches along to guide the startups in the right direction.

In addition to the Nordics, Baltics, and Eastern Europe, we visited South Korea, Beirut, Ethiopia and Tanzania. We arrived to Seoul only to witness the local ecosystem booming stronger than ever. Lebanon was buzzing with enthusiastic entrepreneurs coupled with great ideas and exceptionally good pitching. Ethiopia and Tanzania, on the other hand, are great indicators that technology has the potential to change things drastically. Many local startups were tackling the problems they face in their everyday lives such as children’s poor education and famine.

Going towards East, Russia, we wanted to see the Volga river – this brought us all the way to Samara, Russia’s 6th largest city and the home of Samara State Aerospace University. Woah, some insane, very technical startups seen there.

Along the way, some crazy stories were shared with us:

”I drove all day, all the way from Kaliningrad to Krakow, just to get to your event. I was practicing my first ever pitch in English during the 8-hour drive,” said an attendee who drove 860 kilometres from Kaliningrad to Krakow to our local event.

After 20 events and 180,000 km traveled, we stationed ourselves back to Finland to filter down the overwhelming amount of applications and make the cut to the amazing, Spring ’16 batch.

Our program starts May 2nd and this year we’re pushing teams to especially crystalize their focus, nail their go-to-market strategy, and find the right product-market-fit. After an intense 5-week stint, these guys are ready to conquer the world, as well as pitch like rock stars at our Demo Day held at Arctic15.

Ladies and gents, please meet the diamonds in the ruff, each hand-picked, ready to enter the steaming Sauna.

Airvision, Vilnius – We provide intelligence from drones and space satellites. Instantly.
Censored, Kaliningrad – Data routing technology for decentralized network
Cumucore, Helsinki – Disruptive mobile services to truly connect the world
Dripit, Riga – Know your customers
Kuan, Hong Kong/London – P2P money transfer platform for small businesses
Kuoll, Minsk – Fix end user bugs as easy as in your own browser
Marina Ahoy, Tallinn – We bring self service to harbours
Modeo, Beirut – The easiest way to create furniture
SkenarioLabs, Helsinki – Webservice for urban developers
Noiseless Acoustics, Helsinki – Making sound visible using our acoustic camera
Palleter, Tallinn – The million dollar trucking software for free
Revealytics, Moscow – Get your revenue & marketing metrics instantly
Toneboard, Riga – Speech analytics for consumer finance
Vital Smith, Seoul – Saliva based smart ovulation tester