Few years ago the tagline (and the hashtag) for #Arctic15 was #FindTheOne. Nowadays it has evolved to #ActionMatters, and at this years LIVE comeback, it was really in the center of the activities.
Arctic15 happened in the beginning of June in Helsinki, Finland, where the sun was shining, and a decent groups of over 1000 likeminded souls gathered again at the old Cable Factory.
The overall vibes and feelings at this boutique -style startup event were great. The startup at the demo stands were full of confidence, and all the sufferings during and after the pandemic seemed to be forgotten, or put aside, for few days. The ongoing war in Ukraine, the “crypto winter”, the economic depression, or at least the generic downturn were of course discussed, but the deal room was full, deals were made, and the sense of belonging was strong in the air.
As Arctic15 puts it on their main page, “Welcome to Arctic15, the worlds first and only values led matchmaking Startup Conference!” – it really felt like value proposition redeemed.
There was also the Arctic15 Tampere edition the next week after Helsinki, and according to the main organiser Jan Ameri, it was a great experience, also. And there is more to come, the Arctic15 Stockholm is happening again in the spring of 2023, and the 2023 Arctic15 Helsinki is scheduled for June 1-2.
Together with Sakri Wiklund we met, discussed and interviewed dozens of Arctic15 goers, and we will be publishing selected stories over the coming months. But here’s some of the action by Jari Ala-Ruona and Alan Laubsch, as my Arctic15 2022 angle was all about these selected two souls, whose actions do matter, and who had already found each other. And maybe they both will find the one, let’s find out.
Jari Ala-Ruona Aion Sigma inc
The first person I had a pleasure to hang out and go a bit deeper in the discussion was Jari from “Eternity Sum“ (Aion Sigma)
“Great to breath the same air – not masked up” was his first comment on the event vibes continued with overall notes on seeing people, interacting with people, being able to share the space and the feelings amongst likeminded people. The overall summer 2022 vibes were positive, as a lot of negativity has been around us recently, Jari sees ways to turn it all around, finding the purpose, which can clearly be seen here at Arctic15. His comment on impact, going much deeper than sustainability, generating a big movement, the Purpose, was a good way to describe the overall vibes.
So what does Aion Sigma do, how action matters, and what is there to look for at Arctic15
We are a technology enabler, creating fair finance and digital inclusion for everyone. A technology statue that will free enormous capital to entrepreneurs in Africa, that could not get traditional funding for their businesses. In Africa there is an enormous development curve happening, the digitalisation is in the core, people (consumers, business owners) are jumping over PC, straight to mobile (same movement that was happening already in the early 2000). But the ecosystems, such as government, municipalities, service providers, are not following in the same pace. Aion Sigma’s business is to lease mobile devices to entrepreneurs, to be able to grow their business, but also to gain the much needed positive credit score (after successful leasing contract with Aion Sigma).
They are helping Especially the women entrepreneurs, to have access to finance and be able to grow their business from idea to business. Most of the companies in Aion Sigma’s clientele works with handcrafts, agriculture and logistics for efficiency, for example needing tools tor accurate maps and route optimization. But there is so many opportunities in Africa, and currently not many Nordic companies working with the continent.
To change that towards the right action and activities, Jari is looking for an 100.000€ impact bond to be able to lease more devices into Africa and its entrepreneurs. Aion Sigma is ready for it. They are also looking at direct equity based investments for boosting sales, they are ready to find the one, as the platform works, all the R&D is done and they have presence already in several countries and regions.
Jari’s final words for us all were: “Wealth and opportunities in Africa are numerous – I encourage all Nordic startups to look at the market seriously. The time is now. Action Matters!”.It was time to move on, after the inspirational discussion with passionate entrepreneur, it was time to find another angle, to discuss with an investor.
He is Alan Laubsch, an impact investor from Portugal
I had a pleasure to have a deep discussion with Alan at the try Action Matters Arctic15 afterparty at the end of the day 2.
In his own words, it was an inspiring and healing experience to be at Arctic15, 2022, and it really felt like a real community, like a family together. So many people doing good things, sharing things together. There is such a purity in Finland, as a nation – at Arctic15 all of these entrepreneurs coming together, to change the world together, to have all these seeds to be planted together in such a co-operative spirit. As well as a lot of fun, as Finns know how to have fun, in Finland-Funland.
Synergies make impact happening, the actions matter, and while building the second earth with all the ecosystems, totally re-inventing the old, tired standards. People are together creating ambitious ventures, based on the data that we have, going something transformative for the whole planet. Regenerative is the main world for the aim to change the world, make money and have fun are the vital principles for the de-centralized future that is being built at the moment, using technology for the regenerative actions.
Alan is currently backing up a number of Finnish startups, working along these lines. With focus on the healing; healing ourselves along with the planet (Alan’s focus is very much on the nature, looking into protecting regenerative Mangrove trees with the blockchain and natural capital). He came to Finland this time to get boosted of the healing powers of the Finland vibes, with Biohacker Summit, Arctic15 and Oxygen2050 unconference.
His current portfolio includes impact driven companies and regenerative projects such as Treebuddy, Rehaboo!, The Planet Company, Taimi and he has plans to invest in SolarFire in the near future (now it is public:) and few others.
Alan’s take on Action Matters: “Time to act, we have all it takes, now it’s all about putting it together and drive the future, together!”
So, it was time to end the Arctic15 days by going to enjoy the heavenly steams to the Oxygen2050 event’s Sauna session at Uusi Sauna, with the Sauna rituals by Tommi Ullgren, together with Jari and Alan, of course.
Greatest thing, yet not intentional, was the fact that these two beautiful souls knew each other well before. Hoping their discussions will help in creating the impact bond towards the actions in Africa.
Due to many things Alan described about the greatness of Finland; the nature, healing power, Sauna and the community, we feel the Action really mattered. We had an excellent treatment of peat bath, birch whisks and a lot of humming and drumming, along with deep discussions. Hoping that many of us found the one at this year’s Arctic15!
Coming events to look for, and mark up for this year are The Shift in Turku, Finland in August, TechBBQ in Copenhagen, Denmark in September, and eventually The Slush in Helsinki, Finland in November. And there are also several other events in Sweden, Norway, and Iceland, so keep on following our events news and see ya’ll around, before the next Arctic15 in Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland in 2023. The see y’all might also refer to the Nordics going to SXSW 2023, in Austin, Texas together as one #Norcicmade crew. More about that, and others, in the future posts.