It was one unforgettable year – a real adventure I would say. TalentAdore went through tremendous changes in 2016, including hiring new employees, upgrading the product, building vital customer relationships, closing funding and participating in major events.
Team – like a single family
At the beginning of last year, there were only five persons working full time at the company. In one year, five has turned into 12. The number of employees has grown but the team dynamic has not changed. Our team is still small and tight – we are like a single family. We at TalentAdore believe that work should be more than just work. We are prepared to work hard towards our common goals but at the same time, we can have fun. For each and every employee we want to offer an opportunity for challenging responsibilities, ownership potential, flexible working hours and ways of working as well as extended healthcare. We take care of the team, as it is the key to success.
The revolution in candidate communication
Having new employees has made it possible to develop our product to a totally new level. Our first solution enabled employers to give 100% individual feedback to each candidate in just 10 seconds. In October, we launched an upgraded product which still takes care of the feedback but it enables so much more. Employers can now carry on their end-to-end recruitment process with our solution, from job posting to hiring decisions. What is truly magical is that employers can communicate with each job candidate throughout the process. In addition, companies can build their talent pipelines to recruit more efficiently in the future and save costs. Our Finnish and English language versions are already available and currently we are building the Spanish language version. Our aim is to go global.
As well as new employees, one crucial thing enabling us to push forward is the funding we have received. In December 2016, we closed an important funding round – close to one million euros. During the round, Risto Siilasmaa joined the ranks of our investors through his investment company First Fellow Partners Ltd. You can read more about us and the funding here: Good news from Finland (in English), Kauppalehti (in Finnish), Tekniikka & Talous (in Finnish) and Taloussanomat (in Finnish).
Polar Bear pitching, Arctic15, Startup Sauna & Slush Helsinki
We were super successful in multiple events last year, which we are extremely happy about. In February, Joni Latvala (the CTO and Co-Founder of TalentAdore) took third place in the Polar Bear pitching competition. It was one crazy competition – as the competitors were pitching in ice cold water…
“Polar Bear Pitching gathers hundreds of participants from around the world every year to Oulu, an innovative city in Northern Finland. Unlike in all other pitching competitions, in Polar Bear Pitching there is no time limit. However, the entrepreneurs have to give their pitches while standing waist deep in ice cold water on a stage carved in the frozen Baltic Sea.”
At the beginning of June, we were selected to pitch in Arctic15 as one of the top 15 startups. Saku Valkama (the CEO and Co-Founder of TalentAdore) gave a great pitch, and the whole team was there to support and also to promote the company on a demo booth. All in all, the event was a great success and we will definitely be participating in it this year as well.
One of the greatest successes of 2016 was getting into the Startup Sauna accelerator program. 750 companies had applied, and only 14 were selected. The acceptance rate to the program was a historical low of just over 1.8%. In the end, Startup Sauna was as awesome as the rumors say. We met amazing people and received great advice. It was a fun and useful experience at the same time.
Startup Sauna culminated in Slush Helsinki, which took place at the turn of November and December. Among thousands of startups who applied, we got into the top 100. Actually, we had an opportunity to pitch twice; once in the main pitching competition and once at the Demo Day, organized by Startup Sauna. We also had a demo booth on both days and spent that time meeting hundreds of people. It was nice to see how interested they were in our company and solution. We also got to know other companies and learn about new innovations. It was truly inspiring.
What a wonderful year it was with all the events, product development and funding. Thank you to all the customers, cooperating partners and colleagues for making it all happen. And this is just the beginning. We are aiming high and going to do even greater things this year. Together, we bring the human touch back to recruitment.