Finnish initiative for Startup Sauna Shanghai

Startup Sauna, a Finnish initiative that has helped launch entrepreneurs in northern Europe, the Baltic states and Russia by helping to raise $10 million in seed capital, has been taking applications for Startup Sauna Shanghai. The deadline is Feb 10, and up to 20 applicants will be notified on Feb 15 that they are invited to make a formal pitch in Shanghai on Feb 21.

“Startup Sauna seeks to position Shanghai as equal to Silicon Valley for European startups,” the Finnish embassy says on its website.

The Finnish company, with funding support from Aalto University in Helsinki, is looking for startups that can speak and work in English, have at least a scalable business idea, a prototype or a ready product, a good team (more than one person) and “are looking for advice and are eager to learn”.

Selected applicants can expect a one-day coaching event, aimed at entrepreneurs who want to “go global”, with plenty of one-on-one feedback. Peter Vesterbacka, chief marketing officer of Rovio, the Finnish creator of Angry Birds mobile-phone games, will be a keynote speaker. After each applicant makes its presentation the winning pitch of the day will receive $1,000.

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