I learned about Business Kitchen in 2016 when I just started my Bachelor's. I accidentally saw that there was an application ongoing in Demola, so even though I was pretty busy with school, I decided to give it a try. The project was called Pivo 2.0, in collaboration with OP Financial Group.
In Demola we had an awesome team. There were people of different backgrounds and walks of life, which gave us the asset of having different perspectives and understanding of the problem.
That experience taught me really well how to collaborate with a diverse team. It wasn't always easy, but we worked really hard and that was definitely worth it! The reward was Demola victory in Demola Autumn season 2016. Also, it was cool that OP licensed our solution and integrated it partly to their existing version of Pivo Mobile Wallet.
But as I found out a bit later, that victory in Demola was just a start. After Demola was over, I was contacted by OP and asked if I would like to continue working for them. Let me tell, I didn't even think things like that were possible and Business Kitchen proved me wrong. Working at OP Lab has been an awesome experience that has given me a lot.
What I loved about my experience in Business Kitchen is that it presents you with vast opportunities, possibilities to try new things, develop new skills, while at the same time providing you with the safe environment to experiment and learn by doing.
It also changed my attitude towards uncertainty. I have learned that the future will always be uncertain, so you really need to learn to adapt to the constantly changing environment. When you participate in Business Kitchen events and especially programs like Demola or Avanto Accelerator, they put you in situations when you learn how to be innovative when you're stressed and productive when you're tired.
Yet another unforgettable experience was Startup Weekend Oulu in Autumn 2017. It was a super intense weekend-long sprint, at some point even nerve-racking, but again, extremely rewarding. I think the inspiration, the uplifting feeling of accomplishment and of course the invaluable knowledge about the startup world that we got to absorb in just 54 hours lay the foundation for our startup, Mailando (www.mailando.co). After the Startup Weekend we continued to work with our product and at the moment our service is up and running. We also swam our way to the Polar Bear Pitching 2018 Finals, which was definitely one of the craziest things I have done so far. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFVioQ2O0rA).
So, to those of you who are having second thoughts on whether Business Kitchen is for you, my message is it definitely is! Not everybody has to be an entrepreneur, but even if you're looking for a job in a company, oftentimes what they seek is actually the entrepreneurial skills and the mindset that Business Kitchen helps you develop. So just go ahead and try! Doesn't matter, which program, just join anything that you think suits you best because that will definitely challenge your old patterns and change your life.