The Avanto Accelerator teams and coaches hit the Myllyoja residents’ house last Wednesday 22.11 for a pretty epic pitching workshop. This was no ordinary workshop – yes, a keynote speech and practicing was on the agenda, but so was food (really good food), drinks, going to the sauna, relaxing in an outdoor jacuzzi, and last but not least, a hole in the ice.
The workshop began with a wonderful and inspiring keynote from the notoriously great public speaker from the artificial intelligence startup Valossa, Karita Kasurinen. After her keynote, the teams were scheduled to give their business idea pitches, which they had previously given when the Avanto Accelerator program for this fall kicked off in August. Teams picked up valuable tips from Karita’s speech, and were able to alter their pitches accordingly and include elements such as storytelling that Karita taught to participants. After each team pitched, they received feedback from peers and coaches in order to keep improving themselves, and then they were given the ultimate pitching test – jumping into the hole in the ice to pitch their ideas. (Don’t worry, this part was completely optional!)
A filming crew from Helsinki was visiting the workshop in order to get some footage for an upcoming commercial video of Oulu Innovation Alliance, and we figured that this pitching workshop is the perfect way to showcase the Agile Commercialization ecosystem here in Oulu. The filming crew was not quite convinced that anyone would be willing to go into the ice hole, but before we knew it, there was a line of eager teams forming from the sauna to the ice hole wanting to pitch their ideas in the freezing water. So needless to say, the crew got their footage, go teams!
Thank you to all of the participants for helping to make the workshop memorable with your ice-melting pitches and good spirit!
Text: Elina Kaihua
Pictures: Sari Perätalo