Avanto Accelerator teams took over the stage on Demoday

University of Oulu’s lecture hall L2 was full of curious and eager murmur, when Oulu’s newest entrepreneurs from the Avanto Accelerator program presented their businesses for the very first time in public on Thursday 11th of May. The demoday began with an interesting and inspiring keynote from Iain Jawad from Frost & Sullivan, wellknown worldwide. After the keynote the Avanto teams took over the stage to give their business idea pitches. They had extra pressure because the event was livestreamed on University of Oulu’s Facebook page – so if you missed the Demoday, you can still go and check the livestream from Facebook!

After numerous difficult decisions, tight discussions, many cups of coffee, cinnamon buns, croissants and cookies it was time to announce the winners. Tension was tangible. Cameras were ready in position when winner of the best pitch Niina Sormunen from Loominating Designs stepped on the stage to receive her prize. The demoday culminated announcing the winner of Avanto Accelerator spring 2017 batch who was Markus Liimatainen from Eväskala – amazing work! All the thirteen teams we had on board did great job and we hope they will continue to develop their businesses.

We want to thank our prestigious demoday jury: Karita Kasurinen, Visa Viren, Sami Heikkilä, Steven Balliano ja Karri-Pekka Korolainen. Thank you University Of Oulu and Atte Räinä for marketing our event. And thank you all the mentors we had on board – you’re a treasure!

Startup Weekend - Three physicists meet a business guy...

Three physicists meet a business guy and ….

Now you might think this is the beginning of a really good joke or a scene from Big Bang Theory but believe me, to see what happens next you don’t need to go to Reddit or to your TV screens – just take a bus to city centre.

Six months ago I found myself in a place called Business Kitchen taking part in the first-ever Startup Weekend Oulu. The room was crowded with people who were given a simple task – present or join somebody who’s presenting an idea, build it into business in 54 hours and have fun!


Well a couple of hours later, after hearing dozens of pitches and after people had voted for the top 12 ideas, I was feeling really puzzled (and honestly thought about going home) since none of those ideas really struck a chord with me. But then I saw these two guys looking for people to join their idea, which was about turning the unused potential of smart phones into raw calculating power.

We chatted for a while and since the idea wasn’t one of the audience’s top picks we decided to ask the organizers if we could form a “shadow” team and enter the competition. And this is what happened next:

30 seconds later our team of three physicists and one business guy was already busy building a business and racing against time.

48 hours later we were pitching our idea on stage.

49.125 hours later, out of 13 teams, we were announced as the runner-ups of the weekend!

3600 hours later we have an office, a startup called Piecewise and an objective to deliver our first working product within two months.

Startup Weekend is like life in a nutshell. Not only do you get to meet, work, eat great food, (and most importantly) have fun with wonderful people from different backgrounds and cultures, BUT you also realize nothing is impossible.

If there’s one lesson Startup Weekend teaches you, it’s that with the right amount of determination, perseverance and support from great people around, you can do whatever you want in life. And that’s a lesson we at Piecewise believe everyone should learn, and there’s no better place to do it than in Startup Weekend Oulu. Hope to see you there! The End (?) -Definitely not!

Spring Avanto is warming up - Demoday finals

Spring is here, and Avanto Accelerator is gearing up for it’s hottest day. On demoday, the teams will come together to pitch for the public what they’ve accomplished in the last ten weeks and what their plans going forward will be. New companies will be born, very soon!

You are warmly welcome to join the DemoDay of Business Kitchen’s Avanto Accelerator Program on April 19th at 3pm.

Avanto Accelerator is the new pre-startup accelerator program organized by Business Kitchen, the universities entrepreneurship hub in the heart of Oulu. The programme is running its’ second pilot now with eight teams on board. This spring the teams are working on very diverse ideas, and are all planning on starting their own businesses. The 10-week program culminates in DemoDay, where teams will present what they’ve accomplished so far by pitching and showing their demos (when applicable). Taking the plunge in Avanto are the following teams:
  • We have Unimoji, a team building a new universal emoji-language.
  • Palvelutori is building a service-platform which connects doers and those that need to hire others to do small tasks.
  • MyChange is building a solution that helps positive changes stick.
  • Snowroom team is providing a service which connects business in Finland, Sweden and Norway.
  • Project X is building a fitness center for seniors.
  • The smoke detector team is improving fire-safety with their new solution which puts the smoke detector directly in a lamp, and is so much easier to install.
  • Eclipse brewing is going to make edgy craft beer. Just wait til you taste it!

Come to Demoday to meet the minds that are making magic happen!

First batch of Avanto ever!

The first ever Avanto Accelerator program kicked-off in September when nine teams of university students and researchers started developing their business ideas into reality. During the three month program teams have taken part in various coaching workshops in order to improve their skills, know-how and business models.

Participants have also gathered feedback from the market, validated their products and identified customers throughout the process and soon it is time to showcase what they have created.

The Avanto Accelerator Demo Day on the 10th of December will gather these young aspiring entrepreneurs in front of investors, business professionals and general public. On Demo Day we will see how the nine talented teams present and pitch their startups. Here you can have a quick overview what kind of products and services the Avanto Accelerator teams have been building! We want to warmly welcome you to join us on Dec 10th at Business Kitchen!
  • Fineria is creating exciting cleantech solutions for sustainable and reliable power supply. They say that with Hybrid batteries, there will be no blackouts even in the most remote areas in the world.
  • Grovestream is bringing us something from the future. Their product is Exoice: a wearable armor frame that will initially help workers in the Arctic to tolerate the cold but also give them extra strength to increase their performance on the job.
  • Academy of Nordic is offering camps and learning programs for Chinese families in Finland. This passionate team provides authentic Nordic educational tours and cultural experiences for young learners.
  • Hazzle identified an opportunity when they had a simple problem of trying to find something fun to do. Therefore, the team is developing a proximity-based app for discovering and creating events easily.
  • Housebook brings convenience and clarity to property related document and communications management.
  • Sandpit wants to provide coaching and know-how for teachers and caretakers about early childhood education.
  • Koreina team is in the business of beauty as they are building a webshop for cruelty-free cosmetics. With their help everyone is able to find ethically produced products conveniently. Koreina team believes beauty requires no suffering.

Come to Demoday to meet the minds that are making magic happen!