Our beautiful home town Turku seems to be on fire lately!
Last week me and Mikko attended SHIFT Business Festival that was held the second time ever this year. We went there to see what it's all about, feel the atmosphere, check out cool new startups and pitch some ideas. We also wanted to check out some sessions and meet new people.
In the festival area a couple of companies caught our eye, one of which was Smooth it, which offers unique smoothies for different kinds of events. It's great to see local students here in Turku bursting with enthusiasm and starting up new businesses! We'll definitely need to get smoothies for one of our events in the future!
Another company we noticed was Wallscape. They basically have a huge inkjet printer for printing graphics on a wall. It would have been really nice to order a wall print for our office from them. We just installed a cool sticker but this could have been even nicer! Next office iteration then! :)
Mikko had also prepared a mobile demo for Teknologiakiinteistöt / Werstas Turku. The idea came purely from our needs and experience when reserving meeting rooms at Werstas. Right now there's no native app for making the reservations, and you have to remember a personal code when reserving through a mobile web page.
We had the idea of helping Teknologiakiinteistöt boost up the meeting room usage with an app that makes booking a room as simple as possible.
From the actual sessions we got nice takeaways and reminders for pitching. One key thing we noticed was the importance of always keeping your pitch understandable. Even when something you've built isn't simple or it hasn't been easy for you, avoid painting the problem and solution with big words. Instead try to present your idea so everyone can understand and get excited about it.
One of the board challenge events also brought up great insights related to scaling your business abroad. Many good points but to mention some:
"Don't go to countries or regions. Go to cities."
"Think about your customers - not only the product you are building / selling."
"You or someone from your company needs to hit the road. You can't only hire new people in a new location."
"Remember that it's about people and culture."
Of course we didn't forget the Kakola after party on the first Shift day. Nice to see how an old prison can be transformed to such a unique event place.
They also had a unique way to get to the actual event venue. You had to basically pass through lockups without getting caught by prisoners. Of course we ended up in one of the cells.
All in all it's great to have these kinds of events (festivals!) in our home town Turku!
Thanks to The Shift Crew and all the volunteers!
See you again next year!