During the first two weeks at Startup Sauna, we participated in multiple sessions with varying topics led by different coaches and speakers. Each session has been outstanding: we have got useful advice and learned a lot. I would like to mention a few of the sessions and what we have got out of them.

Riku Asikainen gave an inspiring speech, also known as “the mountain talk.” According to him, start-ups should always focus on one mountain at a time. There may be several interesting mountains, but prioritizing is crucial to be able to succeed.

I also really enjoyed a networking workshop with Peter Kelly. He gave plenty of real life examples of how to become a better Networker. What especially stuck in my mind was his learnings of small talk and statement; “No big business is done without small talk.” Networking is extremely important to all companies but especially vital for start-ups. Several things should be kept in mind when meeting new people, but one thing you may be wondering is how to be interesting. The answer is quite simple. If you show that you are truly interested in the counterpart, you will be interesting to him. So, to be interesting, be interested!We have got a lot of great advice regarding our business model, and it is becoming rock solid. One of the most interesting sessions from the second week was led by Fabian Sepulveda. He exhibited that customer development is an entrepreneur’s most important task and it cannot be outsourced. He could not be more right. Customers come first.

One of the core parts of each week is a pitching session led by Mike Bradshaw. He guides us towards the Slush100 pitching competition, which we are determined to win! Practice makes perfect, so we happily take all advice we get.

Each week, there is also a founder talk at the Startup Sauna. It is exciting to hear founders talk about their success stories, but also to learn from the mistakes on the way to that success. Smartly.io has achieved a lot in a relatively short period of time, so it was fascinating to hear the founder and CEO Kristo Ovaska tell us about how the company has become what it is today.

We are taking it all in! And more is to come. In the next and last post (Startup Sauna Part 3/3), I will tell you what the last weeks of the program taught us and how we feel before Slush.

Miira & team TalentAdore