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
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Why is Kiuas Start not arranged anymore?

General

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 kiuas.com/accelerator

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How does Kiuas differ from other accelerators?

General

  • 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.
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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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Who can apply to Kiuas programs?

Applying

See the application criteria from kiuas.com/accelerator. 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.

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How does applying to Kiuas work?

Applying

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.

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How many startups are selected?

Applying

We select 20-30 teams to each batch.

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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!

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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.

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What does a typical program week look like?

Programs

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.

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Is attendance required?

Programs

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

Kiuas programs are 100% virtual for now.

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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.

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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. 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!

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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.
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Is a virtual program less beneficial than a normal one?

COVID-19

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.

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

COVID-19

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.

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Questions?

Magret Jokela

Program and Operations

magret@kiuas.com

Pauliina LΓ€msΓ€

Program

pauliina@kiuas.com

Patrik Holopainen

CEO

patrik@kiuas.com