We had the honor to participate in Kiuas Start, a 3-week program hosted at the beloved Startup Sauna.
During the program, we took part in several lectures & Q&A’s with more later-stage founders and workshops around several topics. The teams also met with Kiuas mentors, founders, investors and industry experts, in speed mentoring style sessions once a week. The weekends were spent working on our own products and projects in short sprints. The Kiuas team was very helpful and on top of the curriculum of the program. They were more than happy to provide help, connections & mentors outside the hours of the program.
For us, the best part was definitely meeting all the participants and get to know the teams taking part of the program and to get to learn from them. The spectrum of problems that the teams were solving was huge. We really hope to the see all of them succeed in their endeavours.
Should I apply?
If you are thinking about applying, please do. Even with the vaguest idea and even if you don’t have a team yet. There were several solo founders at our batch, and one of them even recruited their co-founder during the program. It is all about the attitude, and having a structured environment with weeklies and people you are reporting to on almost daily basis helps you a lot forward, compared to staying at home. It requires a certain level of vulnerability to get out there and to share your ideas and progress, but Kiuas has the softest way of doing so. The mandatory parts of the program were during evenings and weekends, so you can make it work with having a job or school. This is the perfect way to work on your side gig.
However, there is no secret sauce after you get in
There is still one thing that is worth mentioning at this point. These kind of accelerators are not magic that make you succeed instantly. You have to work to make the program work for you. Even though the organisers are doing everything that they can to provide as much help as possible, you have to be very vocal about your wishes and expectations. And other accelerator organisers, hear me out: the Kiuas team made it very easy for themselves to be of help. They met with all of the teams separately several times and were very open and responsive to feedback, both online and face to face.
Thank you, Niklas, Mari, and Aaro for trusting us and helping us during the program. Looking forward to seeing the other team’s progress!
Read more here.