2019 – Year of Growth
2019 was a big year for Kiuas: we supported more startups than ever and came up with new initiatives.
In the beginning of 2019, we set two big goals for the upcoming year. We wanted to…
1. Support a larger quantity of startups while increasing the quality
2. Make entrepreneurship more accessible
So what happened during the year?
For the first time in Kiuas’ history, a full-time team was gathered to run the activities. This allowed us to concentrate even better on what matters and land our focus on the two main programs: Kiuas Start & Kiuas Accelerator.
During the spring, we had the first Kiuas program of the year, Kiuas Start Spring 19. Kiuas Start is a program for early-stage startups. One can never be too early for Kiuas Start and that’s how we want to keep it. The program focuses on customer validation, building the first products, iteration, sales and other topics that are fundamental in the early stages of a startup's journey.
We received over 80 applications from which 17 teams were chosen for the program.
“Our team was able to develop our business & product during the 3 weeks more than we had done the preceding 3 months.”
In the beginning of the year, we also partnered with high-profile tech companies to launch Kiuas Toolbox – an exclusive collection of free and discounted services that we provide to our startups. After conversations with Kiuas Startups, we’ve perceived how having some key services free from the start can be a major benefit in terms of money and effort saved.
Approaching summer meant only one thing for us: our flagship program Kiuas Accelerator, organized for the 10th time. We received a record number of 123 applications of which 17 startups were chosen. The accelerator is for a bit more advanced startups. In this year’s batch ~60% were already generating revenue and teams consisted of 4-5 full-time members on avg.
During the 9 weeks, 17 startups were coached by numerous experienced entrepreneurs, industry professionals, and investors. To maximize the value for each startup, we took a new approach and tried to tailor the program to fit everyone's individual needs better.
The program covered themes such as product-market fit, market-entry, growth, team building, and financing
The grande finale of the program, also known as Demo Day, was organized at the end of the summer. We gathered together over 600 people to discover the 17 most prominent startups from hundreds of companies that applied to Kiuas Accelerator.
“Being accepted onto the Kiuas Accelerator is a privilege for any startup”
Throughout the years, Kiuas has often been approached by people looking for either a co-founder for their projects or early-stage projects to join as co-founder. Before, we’ve been unable to effectively help these individuals.
That’s why we came up with Kiuas Inside – an online platform to help people find co-founders & join projects. So far, over 550 people have signed up and over 50 relevant matches have been facilitated. We can’t wait to see what will follow!
To address our second goal of supporting a larger quantity of early-stage startups, we decided to run Kiuas Start twice. For the Fall 19 batch, we received 88 applications and 18 teams got accepted.
83% of the selected Kiuas Start teams this year have continued to work on their startup.
“Kiuas Start is a perfect combination of peer pressure to get shit done and guidance to do that shit smartly.”
One of our goals for the year was making entrepreneurship more accessible. We believe that in the 2020s, launching a startup successfully should not be dependent on who you know.
In Slush, we launched together with Reaktor, Maki.vc, and Aalto Ventures Program an open-access online course Starting Up – to make sure that no idea would go unpursued due to lack of access to basic knowledge.
52 teams supported
25 000+ minutes of mentoring
100+ coaches involved
9,52 average rating from participants
December 12, 2019
Originally published on
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