Is this what I want to do for the next 10 years?
Does my partner understand the workload I'm getting myself into?
Am I willing to be on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week?
Do I have expertise in the market?
Why now? Why haven't anyone built it earlier?
It is important for you to understand our vision and how we view startups. This helps you determine if we are a right fit for you and remove any miscommunication that might arise in the future.
We are looking for builders. Builders that possess the necessary skills to create a product or service. Salesmanship and other corporate skills you can learn as you go. If you have a great idea and are planning to hire the necessary skill to accomplish your idea we usually won't fund you. But if you are a non-technical founder you should try to find a good friend that can complement you with the necessary skills.
That being said, we look more at the potential business model around the future product or service and we usually won't fund inventions or gadgets.
Our vision is to help the people who consider entrepreneurship as their chosen career path in life. We are looking for people who are in the game for the long haul. The people who understand that it takes 10 years to build a company.
We want to find people that are very determined and focused on just one field or market. People who have chosen their field and are willing to work on some or other aspect in that market in their lifetime. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't possess other skills and knowledge, it just means that you probably are more capable of producing something that is harder to copy or replicate and understand if its technically feasible.
We are not planning to fund single founders. If you have a great idea, you first need to convince one or two friends to join you on your adventure. This is usually a founders first test. Is your idea good enough that others will abandon their plans to pursue your vision? If yes, then finding co-founders should go quickly.
If you get accepted we will expect you not to go on a hiring-frenzy with all your resources. We want you to understand the merits of minimal burn rates on the company cash. The later you hire people the better. In fact, you should be impressed with how few employees you have and how much you can accomplish with them! This way you will minimise your cash burn-rate and leave lots of place for mistakes and changes to your new business model. Also, if you are not able to find funding, you need to be able to survive long enough for your company to start earning enough revenue to pay your costs.
We are also very people-focused. It is important that you know your co-founders for a while before you decide to start a company together. This way you know if you can work together and quickly resolve any personal issues when they arise.
We expect all accepted founders to have contact with Finland. We do not accept teams working remotely or from different locations. There are some things that just cannot be communicated through Skype or similar services. You might think you are different. But you are not. For the duration of the startup period, remote teams do not work.
We also expect accepted founders to sign vesting agreements with their startups. This means that any founder who leaves too early will loose some of their equity stake. This is common praxis with employee equity programs and we expect you to lead your company by example.
We want people who understand and concentrate on execution. There is a rather glamorous picture of entrepreneurship in media and we want people who understand that creating a startup is hard work. Most days are spent on the phone, cold-calling potential customers and working on the product. It's that simple. Being too focused on newspaper articles or networking takes the eye of the ball. That doesn't mean that you can't have fun! Usually its the little things that relive stress and create a positive work environment.
We believe in personal responsibility. That means that you can never blame someone else for a mistake they did. You are solely responsible for your choices in life. If you chose to trust someone it is your mistake for not verifying that they are capable. There are no excuses.
We love to do business and we are always interested in any deal or field you might want to present. We want to understand your business and learn with you. At the moment we have not chosen a focus market but that might change as things progress.
We are not perfect and we do not demand perfection. We are no machines. We want to find people who continuously learn, teach others and try to improve themselves. Remember that you are in this for the long haul. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
So what do you think? If all of this sounds reasonable you can apply here. If you have any questions you can e-mail us at: