About

Kiuas exists to support early-stage startups in their journey from idea to first revenue.

Our story

Partners

Team

FAQ

Our Story

In 2017, Summer of Startups and Team Up events, originally organized by Aalto Entrepreneurship Society, were brought under one brand – and so was Kiuas founded. Since the end of 2018, we've been operating as an independent, non-profit entity.

Over the years, we’ve organized a variety of different programs and events ranging from weekend-long bootcamps to all-year incubator programs. In total we’ve supported over 200 early-stage companies and teams during the past 10 years.

Currently, we run 3 batches a year of our two main programs (2 x Kiuas Start & 1 x Kiuas Accelerator).

With a unique combination of top-tier coaching, networks, tools, office spaces, and the Kiuas community, we are supporting over 50 companies a year in their journey to first revenue and beyond.

All our programs and activities are free and zero-equity.

Past projects

Team

Mari Liukkonen

Marketing

mari@kiuas.com

Niklas Hellström

Operations

niklas@kiuas.com

Rosalie Bergman

Programs & Community

rosalie@kiuas.com

Aaro Isosaari

CEO

aaro@kiuas.com

Kiuas coaches

FAQ

In which areas can Kiuas help?

We support startups in pretty much any areas where they need help and guidance.

Whether it is validating your idea, developing your product, gaining traction, market entry, scaling your business, or specific topics like legal, fundraising, hiring, marketing, design, or tech, our coaches got you covered.

How does Kiuas differ from other accelerators?

- We take zero equity and our programs are free of charge.

- We embrace the "from founder to founder" -mentality. We make sure that the people helping our startups have actually built successful companies themselves.

- We are well-connected. Our broad network consists of entrepreneurs, investors, clients, talent, and all the relevant players within the Finnish startup ecosystem.

- We have a unique position in the scene. Unlike most VCs and other accelerators, Kiuas supports founders in their earliest stages, and in all industries.

- The level of the programs is always aiming for the stars. We carefully pick all our coaches and partners, and the programs are constantly developed.

- Kiuas is founded and ran by students.

Do startups receive funding from Kiuas?

Not directly from us - however, Kiuas has a broad network of both VCs and angel investors that our startups can easily get to meet during the programs.

We also help our startups with understanding the fundraising fundamentals and preparing for future funding rounds.

How come is this all free?

We believe that in the long run, it is more beneficial for our startups to keep the programs non-equity and free of charge. Our operating is heavily based on "giving back" -mentality - e.g. our coaches are all involved completely pro bono.

We are supported by our partners and various other organizations.

What and who is behind Kiuas?

Kiuas was founded in 2017 on the legacy of Summer of Startups, which has been organized by Aalto Entrepreneurship Society since 2010. In late 2018, Kiuas started operating independently.

Our core team consists of 4 people. The startups are supported by our coaches, some of which are highlighted here.

We are always open to having a chat, so feel free to shoot us a message!

What does Kiuas mean?

Kiuas (in English: a stove) is a central and key part of a Sauna. Kiuas is the furnace that generates the heat. It makes the Sauna hot.

Who can apply to Kiuas programs?

Our programs are meant for any early-stage startups and projects from all industries. Most of our startups are based in Finland but we may occasionally accept foreign startups into the programs as well.

If you have trouble figuring out if you should apply to Kiuas, shoot us a message and let’s have a chat! Even if applying is not relevant for you at the moment, we are always eager to meet new founders and see if we can help in some way.

How does applying to Kiuas work?

Prior to each program, we run a 1-2 month application period during which startups can apply online. After that, we invite around 20% of the applicants for interviews which will determine the ones that get chosen.

Should we apply for Start or Accelerator?

In Start, the focus is on validating your idea, building the early version of your product, and securing your first customers. We don’t require an established company or you being full-time yet. No idea is too early if you’re committed to put in the hours to take it forward!

In Accelerator, the focus is on further topics such as product-market-fit, sales, growth, marketing, scaling up, and fundraising. We also help the startups to gain visibility by utilizing our channels and showcasing them at the Demo Day. The founding team should be working full-time.

Having trouble to decide which is the right program for you? Please shoot us a message and we can together discuss which one suits you better.

Can our startup apply to both of the programs?

Yes! Kiuas Start alumni often proceed to the Accelerator program. However, a normal application procedure is always required.

How many startups are selected?

We select 15-20 teams to each batch of Start and Accelerator.

I’m a single founder, can I apply?

Yes! In that case, make sure you have the capabilities of taking the first steps of your startup yourself (in terms of e.g. building an MVP and interacting with customers).

Where is Kiuas located?

Our programs take place in the Startup Sauna co-working space in Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland. Startup Sauna is open for everyone and you are always welcome to drop by! We share the space with Aaltoes, Junction & Startuplifers and a handful of startups.

You can find more info about the space here.

How does a typical program week look like?

In Start, the sessions take place during evenings and weekends.

In Accelerator, the sessions take place mostly on weekdays and inside normal working hours.

In both programs, we organize coaching sessions on 3-4 days each week, consisting of either 1-on-1 mentoring, workshops, weekly meetings, or other program elements.

In general, the programs are intensive but the focus is heavily on working on your startup.

Is physical attendance required?

Yes. At least one member from the founding team should be attending the sessions.

Do I have enough time to work on my startup during the program?

For sure. Each week consists of max 10 hours of program divided into 3-4 days.

Furthermore, we aim to always tailor-made the program for each startup so that it will fit everyone's specific needs.

Can we use the space after the program?

Yes! You're free to use the Startup Sauna co-working space after the program. We are also able to offer office rooms for startups that have participated in our programs.

What happens after the program?

We support our alumni in various ways. Each startup will have 2-3 check-up meetings with our team during the following 6 months after the program, and we also throw in a couple of alumni-only gatherings annually.

We are eager to help and will stay regularly in touch - whether it’s an intro to a client or an investor, helping with finding talent to join your team, or just wanting to test new ideas with someone!

In which areas can Kiuas help?

We support startups in pretty much any areas where they need help and guidance.

Whether it is validating your idea, developing your product, gaining traction, market entry, scaling your business, or specific topics like legal, fundraising, hiring, marketing, design, or tech, our coaches got you covered.

How does Kiuas differ from other accelerators?

- We take zero equity and our programs are free of charge.

- We embrace the "from founder to founder" -mentality. We make sure that the people helping our startups have actually built successful companies themselves.

- We are well-connected. Our broad network consists of entrepreneurs, investors, clients, talent, and all the relevant players within the Finnish startup ecosystem.

- We have a unique position in the scene. Unlike most VCs and other accelerators, Kiuas supports founders in their earliest stages, and in all industries.

- The level of the programs is always aiming for the stars. We carefully pick all our coaches and partners, and the programs are constantly developed.

- Kiuas is founded and ran by students.

Do startups receive funding from Kiuas?

Not directly from us - however, Kiuas has a broad network of both VCs and angel investors that our startups can easily get to meet during the programs.

We also help our startups with understanding the fundraising fundamentals and preparing for future funding rounds.

How come is this all free?

We believe that in the long run, it is more beneficial for our startups to keep the programs non-equity and free of charge. Our operating is heavily based on "giving back" -mentality - e.g. our coaches are all involved completely pro bono.

We are supported by our partners and various other organizations.

What and who is behind Kiuas?

Kiuas was founded in 2017 on the legacy of Summer of Startups, which has been organized by Aalto Entrepreneurship Society since 2010. In late 2018, Kiuas started operating independently.

Our core team consists of 4 people. The startups are supported by our coaches, some of which are highlighted here.

We are always open to having a chat, so feel free to shoot us a message!

What does Kiuas mean?

Kiuas (in English: a stove) is a central and key part of a Sauna. Kiuas is the furnace that generates the heat. It makes the Sauna hot.

Who can apply to Kiuas programs?

Our programs are meant for any early-stage startups and projects from all industries. Most of our startups are based in Finland but we may occasionally accept foreign startups into the programs as well.

If you have trouble figuring out if you should apply to Kiuas, shoot us a message and let’s have a chat! Even if applying is not relevant for you at the moment, we are always eager to meet new founders and see if we can help in some way.

How does applying to Kiuas work?

Prior to each program, we run a 1-2 month application period during which startups can apply online. After that, we invite around 20% of the applicants for interviews which will determine the ones that get chosen.

Should we apply for Start or Accelerator?

In Start, the focus is on validating your idea, building the early version of your product, and securing your first customers. We don’t require an established company or you being full-time yet. No idea is too early if you’re committed to put in the hours to take it forward!

In Accelerator, the focus is on further topics such as product-market-fit, sales, growth, marketing, scaling up, and fundraising. We also help the startups to gain visibility by utilizing our channels and showcasing them at the Demo Day. The founding team should be working full-time.

Having trouble to decide which is the right program for you? Please shoot us a message and we can together discuss which one suits you better.

Can our startup apply to both of the programs?

Yes! Kiuas Start alumni often proceed to the Accelerator program. However, a normal application procedure is always required.

How many startups are selected?

We select 15-20 teams to each batch of Start and Accelerator.

I’m a single founder, can I apply?

Yes! In that case, make sure you have the capabilities of taking the first steps of your startup yourself (in terms of e.g. building an MVP and interacting with customers).

Where is Kiuas located?

Our programs take place in the Startup Sauna co-working space in Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland. Startup Sauna is open for everyone and you are always welcome to drop by! We share the space with Aaltoes, Junction & Startuplifers and a handful of startups.

You can find more info about the space here.

How does a typical program week look like?

In Start, the sessions take place during evenings and weekends.

In Accelerator, the sessions take place mostly on weekdays and inside normal working hours.

In both programs, we organize coaching sessions on 3-4 days each week, consisting of either 1-on-1 mentoring, workshops, weekly meetings, or other program elements.

In general, the programs are intensive but the focus is heavily on working on your startup.

Is physical attendance required?

Yes. At least one member from the founding team should be attending the sessions.

Do I have enough time to work on my startup during the program?

For sure. Each week consists of max 10 hours of program divided into 3-4 days.

Furthermore, we aim to always tailor-made the program for each startup so that it will fit everyone's specific needs.

Can we use the space after the program?

Yes! You're free to use the Startup Sauna co-working space after the program. We are also able to offer office rooms for startups that have participated in our programs.

What happens after the program?

We support our alumni in various ways. Each startup will have 2-3 check-up meetings with our team during the following 6 months after the program, and we also throw in a couple of alumni-only gatherings annually.

We are eager to help and will stay regularly in touch - whether it’s an intro to a client or an investor, helping with finding talent to join your team, or just wanting to test new ideas with someone!

Want to know who's been part of our programs?

Meet our alumni

Want to know who are coaching the startups?

Kiuas coaches

Curious about what we've been up to lately?

Discover our blog