Dear Fellow Startup Sauna Comrades, Coaches, Alumni & Investors,
There’s no better way to start a new year than drastic reformation. On January 1st, the world’s hottest startup accelerator (it’s a Sauna, dummy!) faced a new era. Tears have been shed as Jaakko Hynynen, our seasoned CEO, announced he is moving from the Iron Throne of Startup Sauna to the wildland of intellectuals to finish his academic duties. Left speechless, in our farewell note to him, we sincerely quote Walker Percy as a friendly reminder: “You can get all A’s and still flunk life.”
From the new team, a big up to Jaakko (and his predecessors) for all the incredible work they’ve done. Now, 173 startups later, we’re wiser, bigger and just getting started. The new team is assembled and ready to take off.
Panu Paljakka, CEO
Sauna’s new bossman, jumping in to fill the size 12 Nike’s Jaakko left behind. Lived his childhood in Brussels, studied physics, found startups and entrepreneurship through Aalto Entrepreneurship Societyand Slush in 2013. Panu will make sure that the current team gets the most out of them, while wearing a big fat smile. During 2016, Startup Sauna will focus on providing more value to its stakeholders: startups, coaches, local partners and the Finnish startup community.
Karolina Miller, CMO
Sauna’s First Lady, will be taking over marketing and comms and has a firm intention to boost Sauna’s brand to the highest possible, sublime, level. Karolina holds a degree in Media and Communication and prefers seeing things in a neat, written form. After running an office of a flying-solo-freelance-journalist she is thrilled to have found a home at the Sauna premises. Originally from Russia, Karolina is no stranger to Eastern European oddities, such as having caviar for breakfast.
Kasper Suomalainen, COO & Captain in Residence
Moving to COO & Captain in Residence, Kasper will be taking his first sailing classes this year to make the accelerator run in a smooth, crispy, Sauna-heated fashion. He’ll be in charge of the program content whilst captaining 70 coaches to make the 5-week stint as intensive and relevant for startups as possible. Program themes will include finding focus, identifying your customers, go-to-market strategy, HR processes, and funding, among many others. If you make it through the cut, you’ll realize you’ve never worked as hard as here. Guaranteed.