The Startup Circus is an annual early-stage business idea pitching event that brings together the leading student teams from the Helsinki area. The teams represent the best talents from higher education courses and incubator programs in the Helsinki area, including Aalto University School of Business, Hanken School of Economics, Aalto Ventures Program (AVP), Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, and The Shortcut. The teams pitch to an expert panel that decides the winners of seed funding prizes. The evening is featured with both performing and visual arts. Startup Circus 2018 featured a pop-up exhibition by three artists, a participatory painting installation and a variety of performing circus arts.
The philosophy of the event is grounded on fostering creative collaboration and crossing both disciplinary and institutional boundaries. We aim to enable a deeper collaboration between different educators in Helsinki area to give direct support and visibility to the most talented student teams. In order to foster creativity within Helsinki´s startup ecosystem, by bringing both performing and visual arts closer to everyone the Startup Circus aims to give talented artists more visibility to their beautiful work to new audiences.
Zen Coffee (Aalto-Hanken)
Winner of the 1st prize (3000 Euros) and special mentoring award
Zen Coffee is the first coffee created specifically for people who experience negative side effects from caffeine. By combining the relaxing effects of tea with the high caffeine content of coffee we've created a product that gives you the best of both worlds: a high energy beverage without the negative side effects. The result is a better more relaxed and focused from of energy.
Team: Sam Thompson, Per Simberg, Jere Vitikka, and Aarre Tuokko
DSM Bracelet (Aalto-Hanken)
Winner of the 2nd prize (1500 Euros) and special mentoring award
We at DSM Bracelet want to prevent the horrific amounts of sexual assaults and assaults that occur at music festivals. We want to do this with a bracelet that will be included in the ticket price for the festival attendees. The bracelet will have two primary functions: the first one will be a walletless payment system, that is intended to make buying/selling more effective and thus increase sales for the festivals. But our USP is an emergency function. The emergency function on the bracelet will enable people in dangerous situations to activate a distress signal that will immediately be relayed to security personnel. The security personnel will receive the exact location of the distress signal as well as a GPS guidance, from each individual guards mobile device to the person in need.
Team: Victor Lindahl, Sara Käld, Axel Helisten, and Mathias Granberg
ZeroWaste (The Shortcut)
Winner of special mentoring award
The ZeroWaste app by WAAP will give you everyday advice about eco-living. If you follow these instructions you will get scores which you can exchange for a discount in our partners' shops and restaurants. Also, we will open an information website where you can get all info about eco places in Finland. The team has participated the Idea Development Weekend and has been spotted at the lab working on their project.
Team: Ekaterina Vladimirova, Majdouline El abdellaoui, and Mariana Poncio
FloweRescue (The Shortcut)
Honorable mention from the judges
FloweRescue unites flower lovers and middle age flowers to avoid them going to the bin. How does it work? Florists offer their not-so-fresh flowers on an online platform, they find and lighten a new home. This environmentally friendly idea won the first place on the Digital Prototyping Weekend due to its readiness and applicability.
Team: Kati Mayfield and Saravanan Duraisamy
Other teams in the order of pitching
RINKO and our project is about building bioclimatic greenhouses on the rooftops of Helsinki, to produce organic vegetables and provide Helsinki restaurants with a supply of healthy and local grown food.
Team: Vivien Lefranc, Vladimir Zieger, Reda Elwaradi, Yohann Sandoz, Nil Fontanals, and François-Xavier Lelong
Costa Del Sol Properties (Haaga-Helia)
The channel number one for your dream home in Costa del Sol
Team: Edward Poolan
Super Sales (Aalto-Hanken)
Airports depend on sales to survive and flight delays are the way to do that. SuperSales uses IoT data such as flight schedules and inventory in order to predict airport businesses’ customer flows and future demand. SuperSales eliminates the uncertainty caused by delayed flights, enabling airport retail companies to benefit from increased sales, better-decision making, smarter time allocation, all the while being more sustainable.
Team: Roope Nykänen, Loi Tran, Verneri Autti, and Anna Hedvall
We at Beni believe that everyone has the right to live a healthy and enjoyable life, regardless of age or physical condition. We are creating a device that’s easy-to-use and that helps elderly live an easier and more convenient everyday life. The device consists of a wearable wristband and tags that are attached to one’s valuables. We’re all about helping them save time and feel safe, so they can focus on doing the things they love.
Team: Emelie Norrgård, Julia Kyllönen, Wilma Westerholm, and Van-Nhi Nguyen
VerifiOne is a financial check service, which helps landlords verify payment capability of their potential tenants. We aim to bring private landlords more reliable information by finding financial problems before they can be seen in credit check. The service is safe and reliable to use without human interference in check-up process.
Team: Zulal Karaca, Uyen Lo, and Henri Korhonen
PT Studio (Haaga-Helia)
Personal Training services with an individual diversified approach and training environment for a full focus on own goals for a better health, self-esteem and new horizons.
Lumo (The Shortcut)
Lumo is the ``digital friend`` of a child. Winner of the Idea Development Weekend, but the team already has the first version of the prototype and working on the second version.
Team: Tatu Luoto, Mikko Alho, Marika Vuorinen, Deepak Aggarwal, Tu Vu, and Volha Vurst.
To make remote work guilt-free, offer better focus and better communication with co-workers.
Team: Tommi, Bilen, Bas, and Linh
Homes in One System Oy (Haaga-Helia)
Homes in One System provides all participating agents/brokers a service that encourages a collaboration among each other to provide a better service for home sellers and buyers
Team: Marcel Angelosanto, Sofia Saarinen, Joseph Karanka, and Jordan Forbes
In his 10 minute keynote, he explains his philosophy in regards to keeping himself open and creative between different types of working environments and ensembles.
Behind the event
Currently the event is supported by funding from the Yksityisyrittäjäin Säätiö as well as Yrjö Uitto Foundation, Kauppatieteellinen yhdistys, AVP, and the Multicultural Encounters, Growth and Entrepreneurship (MEGE) EU-project and it is aimed to be scaled further during 2019.
The Startup Circus was launched in 2017 with the lead of Dr. Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä (Aalto University School of Business) and Dr. Juhana Peltonen (Hanken School of Economics). The event gathered 200 guests and two best teams were rewarded. Winner teams will be pitching about the their journey in 2018 event. The performing arts included a magician and a joggler. You can find more information on the past events here and here.
With nine years of experience as a sociotherapist in the Netherlands he developed his workshops on networking and communication. When he came to Finland to work in the startup world he created a vast network in Helsinki and an even bigger network in the startup world. His workshops are personal passion project of him to help the people to cope with the challenges they have in ethical communication, growing and activating their network & non violent conflict resolution.