Kiuas Accelerator



The application period has ended

kiuas calendar

Program dates

1.3. - 6.5.2022


Contact us

Take your startup to the next level

Are you working on a startup with the ambition of becoming the world best at what you do?

‍Kiuas Accelerator provides you with the resources you need to succeed as a founder, whether that is educational content, a larger network, or peer support.
Our programs are fully tailored for your needs. At Kiuas Accelerator, the workshops you attend and the coaches you meet always depend on what are the key areas for Your growth.

We will speed your progress - whether towards a failure or a story for the ages.
More about the program β†’


10 weeks




March - May 2022

# of startups



1% of equity




Alumni founders


AVG rating from participants


Would recommend to a friend

Demanding but an excellent program for startups. Amazing networking possibilities.

Tommi Vesala

Co-founder, Feelbie

Kiuas Accelerator exceeded our expectations: mindset to aim high, pitching to 600 people, and the founder community.

PΓ€ivi KangasmΓ€ki


Being accepted onto the Kiuas Accelerator is a privilege for any startup – especially those trying to ensure product-market fit.

Richard von Kaufmann

Founder, Pricetap

Very good program and we should have participated already last year.

Marc-Johann Kavantsaari

Founder, GuardianX

Who can apply?

Each startup is different, which is why we look at your application from multiple perspectives to know how much we are able to help you.


What is the root problem you are solving?

How big is the problem/market?

How well do you know your customers?

Why hasn't this been solved before?

What are you competing against?


Is the team committed to the startup?

If all the founders are not yet full-time, when could they be?

What track record does the team have?

Why is this team working on this problem?

Does the team have the core competencies in place?


Are the founders able to attend most of the sessions? (See Program)

Can we help you?

Are you incorporated?

Are you solving a problem related to SDGs?


Kiuas Start spring '21

Application period is now open.

Apply now β†’

The program

Kiuas Accelerator is the result of years of experience and feedback from both our coaches and startups. The sessions will be held during Tue-Fri EETΒ working hours (12:00-18:00), and usually one day involves 1-2h of sessions.

Weeks 1-3

Customers & product

The fundamentals of customer development, USP, metrics, and more. Push your startup on the right track to build something customers love.

Weeks 4-6

Operations & team

Deep dive into go-to-market strategy, operations, sales, and teamwork. Bring more clarity and structure to your day-to-day work.

Weeks 7-9

Growth & expansion

The essentials of scaling, internationalization, fundraising, and hiring. Learn all the hidden knowledge to set yourself up for a high-growth future.


1-on-1 discussions with experienced founders, investors, and industry experts.


Interactive, hands-on sessions on various fundamental topics.


Regular reflective group meetings encompassing discussions on previous founders' learnings, challenges, and goals.

Deep Dives

In-depth sessions targeting specific problem areas facilitated by experts in a 1-on-1 setting.

Round Tables

Interactive dialogue sessions exploring startup-related themes delivered by various hosts.

Investor Pitching

Personalised feedback sessions, aimed at creating firsthand connections with investment professionals.

Weekly structure

We know how busy you are, and that's why a typical week will only consist of the most essential sessions to support your growth. In addition to the common sessions on Mondays and Thursdays, each startup can attend ad-hoc coaching on topics where they need help.



Weekly meeting with your group


Founders talk / Workshop


Morning / afternoon

Tailored coaching (optional)


Morning / afternoon

Tailored coaching (optional)



Mentoring sessions / Roundtable discussions / Workshop


Free of program

Coaching 🀝

Best support out there

100+ top entrepreneurs, investors, and experts from around the world to guide your startup on any challenges you may be facing.

Meet our coaches β†’

Startup sauna πŸ“

Free working space - 24/7

1500mΒ² of reservable office spaces, meeting rooms, phone booths, and an event space to use during the program and forever after that.

Explore the space β†’

Tools πŸ› 

$350k of free services

Numerous cloud, analytics, and marketing tools along with online and offline services from the top providers – exclusively only for Kiuas startups.

Kiuas Toolbox β†’

Networks 🌐

Invaluable connections

Access to potential partners, investors, and talent - with the help of the community support of over 400 Kiuas alumni.

Meet our alumni β†’

How does the coronavirus affect Kiuas programs?

All our future programs will be organized regardless of the COVID-19 situation.

Kiuas programs in 2020 and 2021 have all been fully virtual, and the feedback has been superb. We will continue to organize our programs remotely until further notice.



In which areas can Kiuas help?


We support startups in pretty much all areas related to founding a company. Although the programs are built around topics that are common for any startup, our coaches can help on industry-specific matters as well.

Here's a list of some of the topics from the past few programs:

  • Idea validation
  • Product development
  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Launching
  • Pricing
  • Sales
  • Scaling
  • Fundraising
  • Legal
  • Growth hacking
  • Marketing
  • Branding & design
  • Hiring
  • IPR
  • Internationalization

Why is Kiuas Start not arranged anymore?


In the summer of 2021 we decided to focus on only one program. We believe that in this way, we can put more time and resources to making it consistently better and optimized. The new Accelerator program will also be more tailored to fit the individual needs of founders and startups on different stages, rather than trying to give everything to everyone. Read more at


How does Kiuas differ from other accelerators?


  • We embrace the "from founder to founder" -mentality. We make sure that the people helping our startups have actually built successful companies themselves.
  • Content-wise, we aim to stick to topics that truly move the startups forward. Instead of perfecting your pitch and making you look like you succeed, we want you to actually succeed by focusing intensively on customers and product.
  • We have a pretty unique position in the scene. Unlike VCs and commercial accelerators, our success is not based on the financial success of the startups accepted, thus we can help founders in their earliest stages. It really doesn't matter how early you are.
  • We are well-connected. Our broad network consists of entrepreneurs, investors, clients, talent, and all the relevant players within the Finnish startup ecosystem and the world.
  • Our participants constantly give the programs an average rating of >9.5/10.
  • We tailor each program to the needs of the batch and select only teams which we believe can make an impact to the world.

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 and our alumni are also happy to help with understanding the fundraising fundamentals and different sources of public funding.


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. Nowadays, Kiuas is operated as an independent non-profit organization.

Our employed core team consists of five people. The startups are supported by our 100+ coaches, some of which are highlighted here.


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.


Why does the program cost 1%?


As a participation fee, we ask for a small stake in your company. This commits us to help you even long after the program ends, as our financial incentives are aligned: we benefit only from the companies that make it. We are happy to sell our stake in any future funding round, or exit, whichever is most convenient for the founders.

We've settled on 1% for now, as it is enough to cover our expenses, yet small enough that we don't mess up your captable or investability in the eyes of investors. One percent is not much, but it keeps us helping startups like you in the future as well.



Who can apply to Kiuas programs?


See the application criteria from We accept startups from all over the world.

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 2-3 month application period during which startups can apply online.

After the application period, we typically invite a part of the applicants for interviews in order to hear more.


How many startups are selected?


We select 20-30 teams to each batch.


I’m working on my startup alone, can I apply?


Please do!

However, in that case, make sure you're capable of building/creating the first solution (prototype/MVP) of your idea yourself (and not lacking a developer, for example).

You can also use our online platform Kiuas Inside to look for co-founders for your project!


What if I'm not able to attend a session? Can I still apply?


Sure. Not a big deal if you let us know well ahead.


What does a typical program week look like?


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

We organize coaching sessions on 3-4 days each week, consisting of either 1-on-1 mentoring, workshops, talks, weekly meetings, or other program.

Overall, the programs are intensive but the focus should be on working on your startup.


Is attendance required?


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

Kiuas programs are 100% virtual for now.


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


For sure. Each week typically consists of a total of 7-8 hours of program, divided into 3-4 days.

Furthermore, we aim to always tailor as much of the program as possible for each startup individually, so that it will fit everyone's specific needs.


What happens after the program?


We typically meet with each startup 1-2 times during the following months to discuss any help needs and reflect back on the program. Also, you keep the access of the services and software of the Toolbox.

Furthermore, our alumni get invited to our Kiuas Slack community which they can then use to get in touch with over 400 other Kiuas alumni founders.

In general, we are eager to help with anything - 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!


How are all the sessions organized during a virtual program?


  • All common sessions – talks, workshops, and roundtables – are organized via interactive Zoom webinars.
  • 1-on-1 mentorings and weekly meetings with the other startups are organized via regular video meetings via Zoom & Google Hangouts.

Is a virtual program less beneficial than a normal one?


Based on our experiences with the programs of 2020 and 2021, it really isn't. Since all sessions and perks can be arranged virtually, no major benefits of the program will be lost.

Of course, the social aspect of the program – meeting the other startups face-to-face – is reduced, but we compensate this with increased virtual meetings between the other startups in the batch.


Will the perks change in the case of a virtual program?


No – all the same benefits will be offered regardless of whether the program takes place physically or virtually.

Coaching – All mentorings talks, and workshops during the program are arranged via interactive video meetings and webinars.

Working Space – As soon as the Startup Sauna working space opens again, the access will granted to those startups that wish to have it.

Alumni Community – Apart from a couple of alumni gatherings, all other activities and our alumniΒ Slack community remain unchanged.

Tools – The entire $350k worth of tools in Kiuas Toolbox can be accessed normally.



Nea Harjanne


Magret Jokela

Head of Program

Kiuas Start spring '21

Application period is now open.

Apply now β†’