First week of the Kiuas Accelerator - what is it actually about?
After the exciting first week of the Kiuas Accelerator Fall 2022 program, the second week is already on its way! As many of you have been wondering what actually takes place during the program, here is a recap of the first week.
We kicked off the program officially last Monday with maybe the most essential topic for startups: product-market-fit. The session was hosted by the previous CEO of Kiuas, Patrik Holopainen who is currently working on his own startup. As a veteran of product-market-fit discovery processes, Patrik did a brief high-level presentation and then took questions. In fact, the majority of the session time was questions and conversations by the startup teams. And that’s what the Kiuas Accelerator program is all about. Not only informative sessions but also conversations, insights, and new perspectives.
On Tuesday we dived into the art of running lean and setting goals. Kiuas CEO Nea highlighted how important it is to see the forest for the trees and focus on the things that matter and move you forward. It is essential to set up goals that keep you on the right track. Equally important is to hold yourself accountable for these goals. That’s what the Accelerator program is also teaching. Often the most important learnings are not about the substance, but more about the mindset.
In our schedule, Wednesdays are for mentoring. This time the teams met their coaches for the first time to discuss their business in detail. As the Kiuas Accelerator program is always tailored to the companies’ and founders’ needs, we hand-pick coaches for the teams based on their expertise and background. The goal is to offer advice on how to break through the bottlenecks that are holding the companies back.
On Thursdays, it’s time for a more informal program. Last Thursday started with a weekly community breakfast that gathered the founders together in Startup Sauna and on Zoom. We aim to keep the conversations casual but apparently when a bunch of entrepreneurs come together the conversation just swerves into business… Overall, we’re keen to promote any conversations and random encounters as networks are crucial for startup entrepreneurs.
At Kiuas, Fridays are not just ordinary Fridays. We call them Founder’s Fridays and host sessions where successful founders share their stories. Last week we had Kristo Ovaska, founder of Smartly.io, sharing their growth story. The enthusiasm and questions from the audience created plenty of follow-up conversations. These sessions transfer learnings from a previous generation of founders to new entrepreneurs. After all, nobody else knows what it’s like to be a founder, than another founder.
In the world of startups, one week probably equals one year in the “ordinary mortals world”. In just a few days our teams have evolved and some may have even found new co-founders. Furthermore, it’s inevitable that at the stage where these startups are, their solutions will go through changes.
Overall, the first week had its ups and downs. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. Great companies were never built without serious struggles along the way. Luckily, when successful entrepreneurs look back on their journey, the biggest struggles are often seen as the turning points that provided the crucial learnings that got them on the track to success.
Let’s keep on learning and fighting together!