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Startup events are all about new beginnings. New ideas, new investors, new business. Stream Festival at Hiedanranta, Tampere was the first of its kind, marking a new beginning for the entire Tampere region startup scene.

The history of Tampere is the history of industrial development. From cotton mills to workshops, from technology giants to startup culture – this industrial town has never gone Detroit but has re-invented itself after every major change. Modern day Tampere has invested a lot of resources in an ecosystem that creates and nurtures more startup buzz, and the latest, most visible outcome of this investment was the first Stream Festival in October 9th 2018.

Exciting venue

Appropriately enough, the Stream Festival took place in an old industrial area of Hiedanranta, now repurposed for cultural events and artists’ workshops. Decorated with murals and filled with light, fog machines and sound, the old industrial complex was now vibrant with new energy. Speaking of which, dozens of volunteer workers made sure everything went smoothly.

Business Tampere - Stream Festival 2018 @ Hiedanranta
Business Tampere Stream Festival 2018 at Hiedanranta. Photo: Mirella Mellonmaa

Up and coming startups

At the heart of any startup event are, of course, the entrepreneurs and their ideas. Ranging from insect food to real estate agency, from a love application to corporate asset management, the company stands gave a good overview of today’s trends – and some of tomorrow’s. The age of the companies stretched from a few months old, looking for their first break, to some that have already established their position and were mainly enjoying the event and its atmosphere, networking and socializing.

New encounters

The other key ingredient to a successful event is the investors. The event had a special Dealroom Matchmaking Area, where investors and startups could meet 1-on-1. Finnish Business Angels Network, FiBAN, was present with tens of investors. What will come out of the encounters remains to be seen, but financing isn’t the only reason for an investor to check out events like Stream Festival.

“Learning, getting to know people, networking… participating in startup events makes you a better investor and a better person”, says Reidar Wasenius, CEO of FiBAN.

“For a new investor, regional events such as Stream Festival are a perfect way to see the general level of the startups and meet the local business angels. For a more experienced investor, there is always the hope to see something new that has never been done before.”

Pitching galore

Almost mythical part of a startup looking for financing  is the perfect pitch – how to make a compelling case in front of an audience, in a limited time. That’s why it’s a great learning experience to be in a pitching competition. 19 startups were shortlisted to participate in Stream Festival’s pitching competition. Ten best pitches were awarded with tickets to Slush. Eight of the best received also a psychometric evaluation, and top six had their own stands to Slush. The ten winners are:

  1. The Rudolf – https://www.therudolf.com/
  2. Applicado Oy – https://www.layetteapp.fi/
  3. eeedo Oy – https://eee.do/
  4. Polar Partners Ltd – http://polarpartners.fi/
  5. More Minutes Ltd – https://store.teachergaming.com/
  6. Visumo Oy – https://www.visumo.fi/
  7. BrainCare Oy – http://www.braincare.fi/
  8. Random Potion Oy – http://randompotion.com/
  9. Voconaut – https://www.voconaut.com/
  10. Cuppla Technology – http://cuppla.co/

 

Food for thought

No event is perfect without some thought-provoking lectures and workshops. In Stream Festival, the star guests were a bunch of Israeli investors, who shared us both their personal views as well as the methodology behind Israel’s success in startup field. Workshops were kept for pitching as well as other useful startup skills.

#agoodstart

All in all, the first ever Stream Festival was what it was expected to be – ushering in a new era for the startup scene in the second biggest financial region in Finland.

“Stream Festival was a strong signal. It shows that Tampere Region has made the right moves in supporting the startup ecosystem, says Reidar Wasenius.”

Next year will surely see even bigger and better event with the experience gained from this year. With all the work done behind the scenes, Tampere region will take its rightful place on Finnish startup map, enabling a beginning for several success stories in the future. As Peter Westerbacka put it, #agoodstart.

Be a part of the story

The next major appearance of the Tampere Region startup scene will take place in Helsinki in form of a Slush side event. To be a part of it, visit the Tampere Slush Party webpage and sign in!

Who’s behind

The organization behind this website 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 economic development company Tredea Oy (Business Tampere) and the city of Tampere.

 

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