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#ActionMatters 2024 edition – Arctic15

#ActionMatters 2024 edition – Arctic15

Arctic15_2024

Another warm beginning of the warm Finnish summer – and another warm welcome to the old Cable Factory for the annual Arctic15 startup-investor conference.

This story is the annual “vibes collection” from the Arctic15 floor, backstage, DealRoom meetings, official afterparties, unofficial gatherings and most importantly about HI, maybe with some added AI. (Got carried away with the HI, so wrote a separate story of Human Intelligence and Hunome.

Verge Motorcycles revisited (who wrote about them as a startup company first?

Let’s go as Pekka Pärnänen of Verge Motorcycles has been saying for the past months while building the Verge showrooms up in Cali, first opened last week in L.A., another one opened on the 1at day of Arctic15, in San Francisco. Unfortunately Pekka, the usual Arctic15 suspect was not around this time, but many others from Verge were. And their startup’s product draws attention like cold (free) beer at startup events, Lauri Laukkanen told me a bit about the global retail rollout with the UK and USA already opened, and Germany (Hallo Oberhausen) about to open this summer (and we also spoke a lot about Germany being the current biggest market).

Verge, that is virtually Reinventing the wheel, span out of University innovation, disrupting the traditional motorcycle architecture, and re-imaging how electric motorcycles can and will be built. With their TS Pro model, that has become the sandbox that allows Verge to develop their own proprietary technologies, expect to be some new developments to be rolled out.

(Don’t know the Verge Motorcycles yet – find out more from our story on their Slush 2022 launch (that’s 1,5 years ago!) and from multiple other news out there, like the recent KTLA 5’s Rich on Tech episode.

Was great to open the Arctic15 community experience with Lauri and the Verge, and that experience continued throughout the 2 days, 2 nights of startup “chocolate shop” action. As the main organizer Jan Ameri put it well on the first official day 1 afterparty: “This is a community that has been building for years. Built in Finland, locally, by local crew for the local startup community (also in other places Arctic15 is organized), bringing international investors as the main crowd. Mission has been to build the best and most efficient Startup Conference in the Nordics & Baltics, and based on the comments both offline at the event, and online in social media, the mission has been accomplished!

SaaS, especially B2B SaaS was a lot talked about subject, both on the investment angle and also on the service providers’ angle, and as the investment angle there was an interesting line from Martin Ericsson of Eight Roads Ventures “The IPO market will reopen” (investing in B2B SaaS Innovation panel – really wanted to do a clickbait out of this quote:)

But on with the story, there were so many interesting things on the stage, but even more in the various networking opportunities (aka everywhere) so I am again focusing on people of Arctic15 – and for sure many of the stage activities can be followed for example from Arctic Startup’s YouTube channel.  So, as at many other events, I had a chat with the usual suspects, as well as quite a few new Arctic15 attendees (welcome to the community). I handpicked some comments and quotes that perfectly matched the vibes. There were also some awesome community members, like Janne Saarikko and Kustaa Valtonen, whom had so much and so important things to say that I just linked to their LinkedIn posts of their Arctic15 stories:)

So, the setting, or “question” for this piece, was open and wide, yet narrow to the context: “In your own words, please tell me how you (why) feel at this year’s Arctic15 event and reflect that into your own business or task what it might be. Or something like that. These discussions were held at all over the event locations and times, and the surroundings for sure had an effect on the answers, here’s few of the comments:

Roaming around the venue and events, chatting with humans (and just a littlebit with AI),  starting with the usual suspects:

Tommi Ullgrenmy dear mentor and advisor to me & my company, whom I actually originally “connected” (beyond meeting;) at Arctic15 quite a time ago, is also the well known “Saunapoppamies”, aka “Sauna Wizard” or more precisely “Sauna MedicineMan” was thrilled about Arctic15, and at some point of the event’s linear time it was overheard that Arctic15 might be the best event in the whole universe (and Tommi has been travelling the verse back and forth, with few Burning Mans under the drum as well). When not in the Sauna, Tommi is at ATRA Innovations, changing the world, not one but multiple innovative and impactful ideas at a time.

Jaakko Timonenwith whom I’ve been hanging out at events around the world for years, and spent many Arctic15s together, just noted: I love how easy it is to have meaningful conversations and catch up later in the event because the amazing gourmet snack buffet is a great place for impromptu meetings. Jaakko just shut down his old venture and hopped on to Softlandia.fi AI Company, as well as started as growth advisor at Nursebuddy. What a guy, what moves:)

Jarkko Jokirinta, just like Jaakko, been around with me at various events is a true Arctic15 veteran, and describes the current startup world and events as puzzles, without instructive picture. Sometimes the pieces come together, sometimes they don’t, success can be even just participating in the game itself. It’s all about people and trying to find the right connections that help you get one step further towards the goal.  Jarkko was and is looking for money and partnerships for the NectarAMP  disruptive energy startup, and the puzzle is still unfinished (hint to investors:)

Laura Avonius, who’s also been at the SXSW with me, is full of energy and thrive with her new company Audicin. She just secured a funding round, and I found her at the VIP Investor rooftop Sauna bar, with her laptop, answering to customer support mails. Yep, this is the entrepreneurial spirit all of us linked to this story have, and as attitude matters always, Laura’s word for everyone was: “Here in the Nordics we work in this small cubicle, a representative cross-section of the world, which can and needs to be exported around the world! So build global diverse teams, from the beginning, there are no rules saying that you have to start and do pilots in your home market (which might actually kill you). Wise words Laura, and happy to see how you walk the talk in the US!

Then I had a short and to the point chat with Karoliina Partanen from AI Finland, and she had an important message about AI and it’s development within organizations, big or small, but especially in big ones – the AI (as in a strategy and operations) needs to be planned and budgeted, with business cases, because if not, it will be another year without being active in AI.

Between all these meetings of minds, there were the sagging tables, filled with gourmet dishes, as well as a new thing at Arctic15, the art exhibition, where for example artist Aleksandra Mallet had her works on display.

 

                                                                                                                                                       The food. And art. Amazing!

I had some awesome new encounters at the super relevant Arctic15 DealRoom meetings (thousands of efficient 20 minutes meetings during the 2 days), such as:

Pia Rautakorpi booked a meeting with me, and her approach, company and bio seemed worth meeting, and certainly was.  The comment on the vibes were really positive, and the key take awats on the value was, well, valuable: “Well, in the startups and investors are keen on understanding real value – but do we measure the value and competitiveness. Arctic 15, warm, efficient and friendly. Check out her company Arvova.ai for the large scale industry insights, where so ActionMatters, really.”

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Mika Tikkala was another DealRoom discussion partner, and with his company Hirmu, he really sees that building sales driven teams, understanding humans is what really matters (yes, action, again:). “Networking is the core thing, always, at events and especially super valuable for success. Arctic15 dealroom is where the real value is. If you really want to get value out, network, it is like replacing luck, kind of.

Henri Kivioja shared the Business Helsinki Cafe area’s couch with me, as it was clearly the best spot to talk to people – and we also shared his comment on the event vibes, from that very same couch: “warm and inclusive are the two words that makes Arctic15. Meetings and encounters, new and old friends”. Was interesting to learn about his company RAIN, on the actionable insights into networks, something that is not visible to everyone, yet has effect on everyone’s lives.

I also met Rasmus Araviita, who sees also that (startup) business is all about sales – and with his new company Meetit he sees that as ales is always the bottleneck, he knows how to fix that. And as we were all open, compelling, responsive and innovative, the main thing is to crystalize the offering, what and how and hunt (not wait) for sales. “Making products to meet the customer needs is the best investment vehicle, yet investors play an important role.” With this, all we need is to get together for some positive vibes. And we did.

The 2 days was filled with Action. The Arctic15 community delivers, and that is why we all were there, excited, open, happy and ready for the world domination!

And yes, of course, there was the traditional #ActionMatters pitching competition, and the winner for 2024 edition was Noon, that received 150000€ to boost their growth. Congratulations!

This was truly an awesome time again – major hatrise to Jani, Vedat and the whole Arctic Startup crew, especially all the volunteers.

See you next year! #ActionMatters #Arctic15 2024

EDIT: And this just in; the official Flickr of Arctic15 24 pics!

/Peter

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