Tampere Pitching Competition winners – Sini Havukainen, Applicado Oy23.10.2018
“Finland has two things that are arguably the best in the world: educational system and maternal health care”, thought Sini Havukainen, CEO of Applicado Oy in 2014. “The former is being exported all around the world with great expense, but what about the latter? Should we be the first?”
The reasoning behind great innovations is often simple and easy to communicate – even in a three-minute pitch. But the simplicity of an investor-ready concept takes years of hard work to materialize. That’s exactly the case with Applicado and its star product, the Layette mobile application for expecting parents and parents of small children.
“My original profession is midwife”, says Sini Havukainen. “However, living in Silicon Valley, I was immersed in a startup attitude.”
So, upon returning to Finland in 2014, she immediately decided to be the first to combine the Finnish maternal healthcare know-how with the new technologies. In 2015 Applicado Oy was founded and development of Layette was at full steam.
The potential of the Layette application did not go unnoticed.
“In 2016 we won the prize in Kasvu Open as the product with the greatest growth potential”, says Sini. “When our company was shown on Nasdaq video screen on Times Square, we knew we were on to something big.”
But the application didn’t code itself, so 2017 was still a lot of hard work making Layette ready for publishing.
The big year
In 2018 things really started rolling.
“We published the application, and already one in five Finnish expecting mothers use it!”, Sini exclaims. “There has been some incredible stuff happening, such as an invitation to speak at UN about reducing the infant mortality rate in the third-world countries.” What’s more, there was an invitation to tour Japan, which is currently remodeling its maternal health care system after the Finnish Neuvola system.
The perfect pitch
The winning streak for Applicado continued at Stream Festival, where the three-minute pitch won a Slush package, complete with a stand, psychometric evaluation and much more.
“We screamed until we lost our voices when the winners were declared”, Sini smiles. “This victory was super important, as we are looking for maximal exposure for Layette as well as new investors to jump on the winning team.”
What advice Sini has for pitching? “You really need to learn how to condense your message”, she says. “What is your product, what’s wrong with the world and how your product fixes it – and how to make money out of the whole thing.”
Sky is the limit
After winning Tampere Pitching Competition on Tuesday 9th October 2018, Applicado was also recognized on KASVA! event by the JCI Finland. Seems like the sky is the limit.
“We have already scheduled our presence at Slush and all the side events to get the most out of it”, Sini says. “We want to be seen everywhere, all the time!”
See you at Slush!
To get the most out of Slush, you won’t want to miss the side event presenting the Tampere region startup scene. Sign up now at https://businesstampere.com/tampere-slush.
The organization for growth
One of the sponsors making Stream happen is 6Aika – Ecosystems of Growth: Enabling the Growth of Companies through Collaboration. The project aims to generate new business activities in city regions and support growth-oriented companies to better access networks and innovation ecosystems that support their needs. Project is a joint effort by the six largest cities in Finland: Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Turku and Oulu, together with the Council of Tampere Region. The idea of cities having a significant role in developing and activating networks to support innovation in companies, guides project implementation.
The project is funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), promoting growth and internationalization of enterprises. The 6Aika strategy’s EAKR projects government funding comes through Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional council. The Tampere sub-project is funded partly by the Tampere city region economical development company Tredea Oy (Business Tampere) and the city of Tampere.