Week after the Sauna

It has now been one week since the demoday of Startup Sauna. That was quite an event. Indeed, it was the biggest demoday in whole Europe – a sign of the progress of startup scene in Finland. Some 500 people attended. Having attended Founder’s Showcase in the Valley, I can safely that our standards were definitely at Silicon Valley level. We had interesting stuff at the booths, the founders were extremely enthusiastic and the pitches rocked.

The day started with investor meetings at the Garage. Seven of teams were chosen for the meetings. Lokus Digital met with dPixel, Open Ocean Capital, Sunstone Capital and MTVP. This was very exciting as we had not had investor meetings before apart from the group meetings during the program. It turned out that the meetings were quite relaxed and nice. Thank you for that!

We talked about our ideas on the direction of taking our games and the idea of building the technology and story for the bigger game incrementally. Also, the idea of targeting core gamers got support from the investors. At this point, we were not really looking for money but feedback and getting on the radar. When we have the big beta out and the numbers are right, we need to expand fast and that is the point we need the money for.

Working hard through the last night we got our first game, Nuke Commander on Android Market for the morning. As Apple has their revision period, the iOS version could not make it. But this meant that we could demo our first game on our booth with both Android and iOS. And tell people to buy it. From what we heard from people, we reached the right feelings. That is militaristic, 80s retro and historical. With that small sample our assumptions seemed to be confirming. More downloads should give more assurance – or trash the idea.

During the program we were told that we are the rock stars of today. It was easy to live up to that image presenting your idea at Nosturi. There were professional light and sound technicians available, sold-out event… and a backstage with sponsored Ron de Jeremy rum. Everyone had been working like crazy to get their presentations up for the challenge. And everyone did.

The pitch was three minutes on the stage and some questions. Compared to the first pitch training session the difference was enormous. As it should be. Wavesum was chosen to have the best pitch. And they did. If everyone else was LIKE a rock star have WAS a rock star. 90 second rock song and a comment that they are not looking for funding 😀

In the end – I mean before after and after-after party – the winners of the program were announced. They were QMinder, Maxygen and Zonear – teams who definitely earned the honors. They had been running all the time – and fast.
Now, it is back to real life. That of an entrepreneur, that is. Next in line is some polishing for Nuke Commander plus ad version for Android and iOS verison. And now, there are more games to make!

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