BusinessUp Fall 2018: From eco cosmetics to space data

  • The winner of the 7th BusinessUp acceleration program was Zero Gravity
  • BusinessUp’s participants are often experienced professionals or researchers from higher education institutions in the region
  • Next BusinessUp programme will start in February

BusinessUp business acceleration program, which was organized by Turku Science Park Ltd for business start-up companies, ended on Wednesday with space startup company Zero Gravity’s victory. For the prize Zero Gravity receives the competition sponsor Lukander Ruohola HTO’s consulting sessions.  The best pitch prize went to event startup LocaLoca and eco cosmetic company Luonkos. Other startups and teams in BusinessUp included e.g. IoT-solutions, performance analytics, 360 experiences, environmental innovations and digitalization and distribution of cultural productions.

Mies ja kaksi naista katsovat kameraan. Miehellä shampanjapullo ja naisella lahjakortti, joka oikeuttaa lakipalveluihin.
Milla Forsman from Lukander Ruohola HTO rewarded the BusinessUp winner. Cedric Bodet and Olga Bodet from Zero Gravity on the left.

Mentoring and pitches

“BusinessUp is an intensive three months enterprise acceleration program where we go through e.g. productization, marketing, finance, customer identification and sales. In total 68 teams have participated the program, which has been running for three years now. Nowadays, many financiers want the startup to be ready to share their ideas in a well-structured format called ‘pitching’ and we will practice that every week in our program. BusinessUp’s specialty is a large regional expert and mentoring network which gives startups good business advice as well as their extremely valuable networks. It might be that just that one well-targeted and timely meeting is enough for the idea to move forward concretely”, explains Johanna Puhtila, Senior Adviser from BusinessUp Accelerator Program Turku Science Park Oy.

Autumn BusinessUp Acceleration Program culminated in Wednesday’s 28th November Demo Day event, where eight different teams came to the stage to share their business idea and activities. The three-minute pitches of the teams were judged by jury members, including serial entrepreneur and CEO of Sofokus Teemu Malinen, attorney Milla Forsman from Lukander Ruohola HTO, BusinessUp alumni Satu Salmela from Remotec Ltd and startup advisor Jani Rusi from Nordea. The evening was hosted by the Managing Director Claes Mikko Nielsen from Nordic Business Angel Network.

Every year about 50 applicants

Even though the startup world is considered to be very youthful, BusinessUp’s participants are often already experienced professionals or researchers from higher education institutions in the region.

“Every year, about fifty teams apply for the program and we take in ten teams per program. Often, the idea and need for a product has matured through one’s own work or research. “We interview all the teams applying for the program and ensure that those ideas which are not selected to participate the BusinessUp program will benefit from the help of our other services or experts”, Puhtila explains.

After the program, companies are eligible for office space from startup community SparkUp. SparkUp brings under the same roof the startup operators, experts and events of the region, and help to avoid the risk of drifting young startups into the “death valley” during the first year. Turku Science Park Ltd’s services for startups team can also be found at SparkUp so you can ask for business help even while queuing on a coffee machine. Various financiers and co-operatives also keep their pop-up offices at SparkUp premises, so the threshold for assistance is low.

Next BusinessUp acceleration programme will start 14th of Febuary 2019. The application period for the spring is about to open. More information from Ms. Johanna Puhtila, johanna.puhtila@turkubusinessregion.com