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Cool Startups Pitched in Icy Waters

Cool Startups Pitched in Icy Waters

Oulu, Finland — The Arctic startup event, Polar Bear Pitching, marked its live return after a hiatus of four years. A sizable crowd gathered at Oulu Market Square, while online viewers from around the globe tuned in to witness ten selected startups take the plunge into the Avanto (Finnish for ice hole), each aiming to impress the panel of judges with their business concepts.

This distinctive startup event was initially conceived and organized in Oulu in 2014. Currently managed by BusinessOulu, the international event attracted startups from diverse fields and nationalities to Oulu, competing for investor attention and a prize of €10,000 to support their business endeavors.

The pool of competing startups was notably international, with teams representing countries such as Japan, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Norway, and, naturally, Finland. Many of this year’s innovations focused on sustainability, environmental conservation, the circular economy, and artificial intelligence. Eight of the teams participating in the main event were chosen by an expert panel at BusinessOulu, while two teams earned their spots by winning pitching competitions at satellite events in Hokkaido, Japan, and Kirkenes, Norway.

Among the pitches presented, the judges selected the top three contenders, ultimately announcing the winner. The audience, numbering in the hundreds, responded with enthusiasm as Natal Mind emerged victorious. This Finnish startup aims to expand Nordic maternity care into global markets, offering enhanced perinatal care for expecting mothers and families.

Currently operating as a Research to Business project at Aalto University, Natal Mind aims to establish itself as an independent startup in 2024. The team’s pitch, delivered by Medical Lead Aura Pyykönen, exuded confidence and composure, even amidst the icy setting, reflecting their dedication to revolutionizing maternal healthcare.

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Polar Bear Pitching will return again next year.

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