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Kiuas Accelerator

Application period

14.4. - 20.5.2020

Program dates

1.7. - 28.8.2020

Questions?

Contact us

Take your startup to the next level

Our flagship program Kiuas Accelerator (prev. Summer of Startups) is the go-to-place for your early-stage startup.

The 9-week program provides your team with a unique recipe for product-market fit, customer acquisition, growth, marketing, branding, team building, and scaling.

Kiuas Accelerator is completely free and zero-equity.

Length

9 weeks

Stage

Pre-seed / launch

Focus

Product-market fit & growth

When?

1.7. - 28.8.2020

# of startups

15-20

Cost

Free & zero-equity 🎁

200+

Alumni founders

9,59/10

AVG rating from '18 & '19 participants

100%

Would recommend to a friend

Great set of fellow entrepreneurs and startups. Amazing pumped up atmosphere!

Nitin Nalin

Co-Founder, Andaazle

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

Päivi Kangasmäki

Founder, riskrate.io

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

How does the coronavirus affect Kiuas programs?

All our upcoming Start and Accelerator programs will be organized regardless of the current COVID-19 situation.

In case the circumstances at the time of the program require avoiding social interaction, all of the sessions will take place virtually – just like in Kiuas Start Spring '20.

Coaching 🤝

Best support out there

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

Meet our coaches →

Startup sauna 📍

Free working space - 24/7

1500m² of reservable office spaces, meeting rooms, phone booths, and an event space to use during the program and forever after that.

Explore the space →

Networks 🌐

Invaluable connections

Access to potential partners, investors, and talent - with the help of the community support of over 200 Kiuas alumni founders.

Meet our alumni →

Tools 🛠

$350k of free services

Numerous cloud, analytics, and marketing tools from the top service providers – exclusively only for Kiuas startups.

Kiuas Toolbox →

Mentoring

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

Founders talks

Stories from seasoned entrepreneurs who share their learnings from founding companies.

Workshops

Interactive, hands-on sessions on various fundamental topics.

Weeklies

Regular group meetings with other founders to discuss learnings, challenges, and goals.

Product sprints

Intensive 24-hour sprints. Develop your product or service and get a lot of stuff done at once.

Demo Day

A gathering of over 600 people in Tennispalatsi to witness the Accelerator batch.

FAQ

In which areas can Kiuas help?

General

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
🔗

How does Kiuas differ from other accelerators?

General

  • We take zero equity and the programs are free of charge. How?
  • 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.
  • Our participants constanly give the programs an average rating of >9.5/10.
  • Kiuas is founded and ran by students.
🔗

Do startups receive funding from Kiuas?

General

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.

🔗

How is this all free?

General

The organization behind Kiuas is operating on a not-for-profit basis and is supported by various partners and other organizations. Furthermore, all of our activities are heavily based on "giving back" -mentality; e.g. our coaches are involved completely pro bono.

🔗

What and who is behind Kiuas?

General

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 legal entity.

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

🔗

What does Kiuas mean?

General

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?

Applying

Our programs are meant for any early-stage startups 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?

Applying

Prior to each program, we run a 1-2 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 and meet in person.

🔗

Should our startup apply for Start or Accelerator?

Applying

In Start, the focus is on validating your idea, building the early versions of your product, and securing your first customers. We don’t require a registered company nor a full-time founding team - no idea is too early. However, you can also be more towards the Accelerator-stage (already launched, full-time team etc.) in case you feel the program could bring value to you.

In Accelerator, the focus is on further topics such as product-market-fit, market entry, growth, sales, scaling up, and fundraising. You should have already built a somewhat functional version of your producy, gained some validation, and the majority of the founding team should be working full-time.

Having trouble to decide on 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?

Applying

Yes! Kiuas Start alumni often proceed to the Kiuas Accelerator program. One recent example is Nyxo, which participated in both programs in 2019. However, a normal application procedure is required.

🔗

How many startups are selected?

Applying

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

🔗

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

Applying

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?

Applying

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

🔗

Where do the programs take place?

Programs

Our programs take place in the Startup Sauna co-working space in Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland. We share the space with Aaltoes, Junction & Startuplifers and a handful of startups.

You can find more info about the space here. Feel free to drop by!

🔗

What does a typical program week look like?

Programs

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, talks, weekly meetings, or other program.

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

🔗

Is physical attendance required?

Programs

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

🔗

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

Programs

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.

🔗

Can we use the space after the program?

Programs

Yes! You're free to continue using the Startup Sauna co-working space and keep your 24/7 keycard as well.

We are also able to offer office rooms for alumni startups.

🔗

What happens after the program?

Programs

We typically meet with each startup 1-2 times during the following months to discuss any help needs and reflect back on the program.

Furthermore, our alumni get invited to our Kiuas Slack community which they can then use to get in touch with over 200 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?

COVID-19

  • 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?

COVID-19

Based on our experiences with our first-ever virtual program, Kiuas Start Spring '20, 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 compansate this with increased virtual meetings between the other startups in the batch.

🔗

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

COVID-19

No – all the same benefits will be offered regardless of how 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 alumni Slack community remain unchanged.

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

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Questions?

Rosalie Bergman

Programs & Community

rosalie@kiuas.com

Aaro Isosaari

CEO

aaro@kiuas.com