Dream Teams of Ahjo Accelerator 2016!

Have you already read the post about how did Ahjo Accelerator 2016 go? If not, you can read it here!

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This article is dedicated to our creative and hardworking teams and their ideas. Ahjo is a great programme thanks to them! All the judges noted exceptional commitment of the teams to their ideas and the teams’ willingness to learn and develop. Let us start here!

1) Mesto.com

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www.MESTO.com is one of the most userfriendly websites on the online booking market. The website is realised on the concept of open platform.

To compete well we are trying to charge smallest commission. Mesto.com uses progressive scale of commission and split it between landlord and tenant on the equal bases. This technique helps not to increase rental price significantly.

The main issue that sets us apart from airbnb and booking is that we are targeted on connecting only Russian customers with those who are interested to rent their property. That means that are marketing comparing is more direct and efficient. Moreover, we in Mesto.com are planning to serve our customers with the additional options in future. We are planning to arrange partnership with catering services as well as independent guides to provide our clients with additional exclusive services.

2) A.conte

We are a team of vietnamese students! Our service connects the students who are traveling from/to Vietnam and has a free space in their luggage with those who want to deliver something to Vietnam or to some country abroad.

3) Fito

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We are João Barata and Kelly Nguyen. Our idea is to create a marketplace to connect travellers who have free space in their luggages and people who have items to be delivered. Therefore, people would have a cheaper and faster way of shipping.

4) Smart Light

Our idea is to replace the ususal lights on teh street with LED lights for cost saving and extra brightness.

5) S&Y Consulting

S&Y Consulting aims to provide students with work experience and networking opportunities through pro-bono management consulting projects for SMEs, non-profits organisations, and charities that usually lack the financial means to pay traditional consulting fees.

6) Chuoi Squad

We have build a marketplace where students and young people can sell and buy things in Finland. Previously this buying asnd selling was organized in Facebook groups, where it was often difficult to find something special to buy. Our service brings convenience and helps you spend less.

7) Satic

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Collecting and displaying thickness data of pipes with our own sensors. The technology can show when pipes are to be deteriorated and helps avoid expensive rennovation.

8) Venna Pannu

Our service helps provide delicious and eco-friendly russian pancakes at a small cost.

9) Suple

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Aren’t you just tired of constantly hearing someone praising new ”revolutionary” diets, supplements and other substances? So are we. Suple, the actual revolution in the world of supplements and vitamins, brings the industry to this day. Behind Suple are three Finnish folks – Kalle, Alvari and Mikael.

10) Volunt.ee

We are planning to build a smart app for the festival and other event volunteers, that will help both event organizers and people who want to volunteer: enhanced communication between the event manager and volunteers, tips and assistance are a part of this application.

Ahjo Accelerator 2016: How it was

Huuuh! Now Ahjo Accelerator has come to an end and it’s time to sum up what has been going on throughout the programme and how the Demo Day (aka Grande Finale) has ended! The teams for Ahjo Accelerator were selected based on the validity of their idea – the idea had to be realistic and scalable. Out of 13 submissions 10 were chosen to continue. You can read more about the teams’ profiles in this blogpost.

The programme started on 29.10.2016 with Annie Talvasto (who was also the head coach) introduced the concept of lean and explained what a start – up is more in-depth. The teams had the very first coaching and tried to improve or change their idea concept for the startup idea to work out.

 

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The next day of the Programme continued with Mikko Lampi, an IT expert and a founder of HackLab Mikkeli, a hub where tech-related ideas can become real. Mikko talked about how the changing technology affects the businesses nowadays and what tools teams can use to make the most out of their idea.

 

The next guest speaker session continued on the 3rd of November, with Oki Tåg. Oki talked about the concept of Lean from a different perspective, than Annie did: ”Lean is like soda – there is Coke, Sprite, Fanta – many different kinds of soda. And so it is like with Lean – you can use this concept in a number of different ways”

The next meeting with a guest speaker happened on 7.11, when Henni Roini, a Program Manager in StartUp Life , came to Mikkeli from Helsinki. Henni, an expert in online marketing, told the teams about the basics of marketing and gave great tips on how the marketing campaign could be enhanced.

After that talk the teams had enough time to intake and apply the information learned during the previous sessions. During the whole programme each team had to have 4 30-minute Skype or face-to-face sessions with Annie Talvasto, the head coach. Annie helped teams understand whether they each were moving in the right direction. Also Annie have the teams hints on what they could do next in order to develop their idea further.

The programme continued, with Mike Bradshaw, a famous pitching coach from startup sauna, giving a great speech on the art of pitching. All the teams got to present their business concept in 2 minutes, and after each pitch Mike gave every team hints on how the presentation can be improved. Participants also got to ask Mike questions about their business concept and received valuable advice on how to make the best out of their ideas.

 

Johanna Rantanen visited Ahjo Accelerator programme on the 23rd of November. Johanna is a professional lawyer at Dottir Attorneys and her presentation was related to the company’s name registration, legal guidelines and the company types in Finland. The teams got the opportunity to create names for example businesses and learned how to create a good name for the company.

After that guest speaker session the teams had their final discussions with the head coach Annie Talvaso and prepared their pitches and presentations for the Demo Day.

The Final presentation of teams’ projects (aka DemoDay) happened on the 2nd of December in Bar’n’Night Vaakuna. The teams had 3 minutes to present and 5 minutes to answer all the questions from the judges.

 

The jury consisted of Marc Martinez, a coach from Tieto Data Incubator, Annie Talvasto, Eetu Kirsi (Entrepreneur) and Heikki Kurhinen. All the judges noted teams’ exceptional dedication to their ideas and a great deal of work completed to achieve success.

 

The winner of Ahjo Accelerator was team Satic, and their idea about sensors being installed inpipelines to measure deterioration gained the most points from the jury. The winners were rewarded with a glass of sparkling wine and won a trip to London, where they will be able to meet talented entrepreneurs to develop the idea further!

All in all it was a great, action-pack 5-week programme. MES members are very happy about Ahjo 2016 and are definitely looking forward to Ahjo 2017!

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Explore Tieto Data Incubator!

One of Ahjo Accelerator’s sponsors is Tieto, providing a very interesting opportunity for all interested in the development of data-driven services as well as business models. Tieto Data Incubator helps turn data-driven ideas into business opportunities via idea incubation and commercialization – following lean startup methods. As Taneli Tikka, the Head of Innovation at Tieto Data-Driven Businesses said:

“We warmly welcome all ideas from our ecosystem. Tieto Data Incubator is like a top-notch racing team: we have a super car for you waiting here. All the technology needed. The pit crew is standing by. Catering is arranged. Everything is ready for you to come here as the driver and decide what data-driven idea to work on”

Learn more about the opportunities Tieto provides by following this link: www.tieto.com/incubator

Ahjo 2016

When something big begins.

It is the last Saturday of October in 2016. There is something and someones in the beginning of an adventure. This adventure is called the Ahjo Accelerator Program. This year we have eight enthusiastic and exciting teams with us (Introduction to the teams and what they are doing will be released later).

So what’s Ahjo about? Ahjo is an accelerator program for young and ambitious startup teams in Mikkeli. MES organizes the program third time in its history. Ahjo began today – 29th of October – and the program culminates in the DemoDay event on Friday 2nd of December. For five weeks teams will develop their startup idea, search for first customers and rehearse their pitching/marketing/sales skills.

At the starting point of Ahjo 2016 we had startup evangelist Annie Talvasto from Microsoft Flux giving a speech to the teams. She spoke about among other things lean startup and MVP (Minimun Viable Product OR Minimum Loveable Product as she said). Annie is the head coach of Ahjo 2016 and will coach the teams throughout the program.

Stay tuned and follow our website, social media channels on Facebook and Instagram!

PS. In the next week we will announce more information on the Demoday event which will be the first Startup party in Mikkeli ever.

#MESlovesstartups

Ahjo accelerator 2015 teams introduced!

Ahjo accelerator 2015 is nearing it’s end. 2nd of December (Today!) is the last day of the program, and the teams are going to pitch their ideas and development in 2 minutes.

Therefore, we have 7 amazing team pitching today. These people have worked really hard and created impressive things. This blog post will a quick recap of the teams, and what they have been up to.

 

Here we go!

 

Design2B

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Design2B is internationally operating designer consulting service for professional freelance designers and companies to meet. Their mission is to enhance co-operation with designers and companies. Design2B´s aim is to provide a service for creative ideas and business know-how to come together. To enable development of better products, create jobs for educated designers in a more flexible way in a highly dynamic job-market

 

Mikkeli alet/ Best in town/Trident

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Mikkeli alet has a new name, which is Best in town. Best in town is a website providing information of discounted products in Mikkeli area. It offers local discounts, which are easily available on mobile. The website helps customers to find discounts to shops in Mikkeli.

 

Kurki

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Kurki´s idea is to create mobile application with a real time chat. In the chat you can talk anonymous about the program you are watching at the moment. Team Kurki thinks that often TV-programs raises different opinions, especially because nowadays tv-programs are very entertainable, even provocative. So theyl have a solution for need to share your thoughts while watching TV.

 

Shekamou

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Shekamou is a website linking cookers and eaters together. Shekamou name comes from a persian word for a person who likes to eat. Shekamou helps people to find homemade food near your location at reasonable price. The idea is that cookers can sell their cookings to other people and turn food waste into income. Shekamou has a cative facebook group, testing their idea.

 

Kiidä

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Kiidä is a ride sharing mobile application, which makes it easy to share rides and also search for the rides. Kiidä will bring the intercity ride sharing in Finland to this century. Kiidä has created Facebook page and websites. Soon they will launch the mobile application, and present it also at the demoday!

 

Sweet Green

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Sweet Green is aiming to create a bakery, selling all kinds of cakes, muffins and cupcakes. The main products are organic products with green services. The green services include recycling materials which customers gives to company and in return Sweet Green gives discount for Sweet Green´s products along with bags and holdings made from their materials.

 

Emit

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Emit is providing an easy way for students to plan their daily schedules, focusing on mobile apps. Their idea is application for universities schedule. In the app you can create your own schedule and use it even without internet connection. Emit has created mobile application for Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, which is available for Android and IOS.

 

Most of the teams can be found from social media, and you can talk to them during demoday yourself! Don’t forget to ask tough questions!

 

All of the teams and their members have improved their ideas and skills with help of coaches. Head coaches are Petri Vilen and Eetu Kirsi. In addition to head coaches teams have gotten help from the visitor coaches: Jussi Kämäräinen, Milla Halme, Tuomas Otala, Mike Bradshaw, Karl Ots, Toni Perämäki and Antti Pajatsalo. Thank you to all the coaches!

 

See you in the evening :D

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Ambitious teams

The program is meant for ambitious teams with international focus. The requirements for the team are following:

  • you are an ambitious and motivated team
  • you have a promising idea for a new product or a service
  • your idea is scalable and internationally focused
  • you have a will to turn your idea into profitable business
  • you need help with validating your idea and developing your business model
  • you are ready to commit to the program schedule

The language of the program is English.

How big the team should be?

There is no limit for team sizes, but it is recommended that a team consists of two to five members. The most important thing is that everyone in the team has a valuable role.

What if I already have a business?

The program is meant for new businesses. If you are running a business, but want to develop new services or products, or expand to new markets, the program is also for you.

Apply now

Application deadline is October 20th but teams are being selected already. A limited number of teams can be selected, so apply now!

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Ahjo accelerator program

Definition of the Ahjo accelerator program

Ahjo (’forge’ in English) helps you in validating and developing your business idea. If you have an idea, we make it happen together. If you don’t a team around, we help you find one. If you don’t have contacts, we help you find them. We help you also to raise funding to your idea.

Schedule

Ahjo is up and running from Monday 29th of September and the Grande Finale will take place on Friday 21st of November. So we have eight weeks to go with fantastic teams and ideas.

Weekly scheduled exercises on Monday, Wednesday and Friday will light up your idea. On every Monday we have a get-together and your team has a sparring session with our Mighty Coach Petri Vilén. On every Wednesday afternoon we have star guests giving useful hints and do’s & don’ts. On every Friday we will meet each other to have the weekly pitching session (demo) and a casual after work (retro).

Timeline

Week 1

29th Sep. Kick off

1st Oct. Inspiring stories by local startup entrepreneurs

3rd Oct. Demo + Retro

Week 2

6th Oct. Monday meeting + sparring session

8th Oct. Linda Liukas & Monty Widenius as guest stars

10th Oct. Demo + Retro

Week 3

13th Oct. Monday meeting + sparring session

13th Oct. Fail Day in Mikkeli – Mikkelin Mokapäivä

15th Oct. Mike Bradshaw as a guest star – ”How to give a great pitch?”

17th Oct. Demo + Retro

Week 4

20th Oct. Monday meeting + sparring session

22nd Oct. Growth story by a guest star

24th Oct. Demo + Retro

Week 5

27th Oct. Monday meeting + sparring session

29th Oct. Panel on Funding – guests from crowd funding companies, TEKES and startups. Also business angels will give some comments.

31st Oct. Demo + Retro

Week 6

3rd Nov. Monday meeting + sparring session

5th Nov. The most important legislative issues for Startups presented by representatives from law firms Fondia and Lexia.

7th Nov. Demo + Retro

Week 7

10th Nov. Monday meeting + sparring session

12th Nov. Inspiring speech by a surprise guest star

14th Nov. Demo + Retro

Week 8

17th Nov. Monday meeting

18th-19th Nov. SLUSH

21st Nov. Grande Finale