Demola 2017 1st Quarter Highlights

Hey, so a lot has been going on at Demola over the course of the present year. Here’s a summary of the most notable events of the 1st quarter of 2017.

 

Winner of the Autumn 2016 campaign.

The first Quarter of 2017 saw the ending of the Autumn 2016 campaign. The high point of campaign came in form of the Final Pitching Event, which took place in Mediapolis on Thursday January 12th. A total of 23 teams took over the stage on a day full of wonderful pitches. From furniture design, to regional town development, to VR-glasses applications and even electric cars, the Final Pitching Event had it all.

The overall high quality of the pitches meant that the jury had a difficult task selecting the best project of the campaign. After difficult deliverance the award was given to the team Smart Waste Flow. The team presented a solid demo, which deserves particular praise, especially since the team had to start over from scratch at the half way point of the campaign, following the wishes of the project partner. With great determination and a relentless attitude, the team bounced back and managed to “bring it home”, proving that the unexpected twists and pivots, which are often part of the process, can be overcome with the right mindset.

 

Demola Spring 2017

Innovation does not take a break and neither does Demola, the ending of the Autumn 2016 campaign was quickly followed up by the Spring 2017 campaign. The campaign was kicked off on January 31st with a house full of over a 100 students. More specifically, the spring campaign has a total of 28 different project and 140 students.

This particular campaign differs from the previous ones as it carries a specific theme: Demola goes HealthTech. This means that asides from the typical innovation activities, there is a special focus on HealthTech. To be exact 9 projects (out of the 28) come from project partners active in the health sector, with challenges related to organ donation, pressure measuring garments for skin wounds, physiotherapy and much more.

 

Changes in the Demola Team

The change in campaigns came also with changes in our facilitating staff. Heikki, who was a part of the Demola Tampere team for one campaign moved onto his next adventure, as the time came for him to focus full-time on his startup Memocate. Luckily, he can still be seen around the New Factory every now and then. We wish Heikki the best of success in his entrepreneurial journey.

Filling up Heikki’s shoes was no easy task, but a brave person stepped up to the plate: Tatiana. She is no stranger to Demola, having done 3 Demola projects in the past and being very familiar with the Demola way or working, Tatiana jumped at the opportunity of becoming a facilitator. Having brought her positive attitude and plenty of UX and design expertise, Tatiana has felt at home in Demola, doing a great job alongside her colleagues.

 

Demola Goes HealthTech Goes HealthHUB

All Demola campaigns have milestones designated to guide the teams through the process, ensuring certain checkpoints are met in order to guarantee that the problem given by the project partner is being solved in good measure. As mentioned above, the Spring 2017 has a special focus on HealthTech. On top of the regular activities, the 9 teams from the HealthTech sector had a special milestone: Demola Goes HealthTech Goes HealthHUB, a pitching event aimed for the teams to receive feedback from experts of the field. As the name points out, the event took place in HealthHUB, a co-working space meant for HealthTech startups and companies with the single common purpose of improving the population’s health and well-being.

The evening started with welcoming words from Matti Eskola, the CEO of FinnMedi. In his speech, Matti highlighted some of the most relevant challenges of the health sector nowadays, such as the aging of population, obesity and diabetes. In a few minutes, Matti made very clear how innovations in the health sector are becoming a necessity, with companies needing to reinvent themselves in order to remain in the leading edge of this competitive sector.

After the welcoming words, the teams took over the stage. Each team had 3 minutes to pitch their solution, after which they received feedback from the jury. The jury was composed of:

  • Reijo Itkonen, development director at FinnMedi.
  • Niko Lönn, project manager at FinnMedi.
  • Marco Roth, development manager at FinnMedi.
  • Kari Salomaa, development manager at FinnMedi.

Not only was this event a chance to practice pitching skills – an important part of Demola – but the teams got access to expert opinion, which gave them a boost in their activities. Once the pitching part of the event was over there was time for coffee, but most importantly, one on one talks. The teams had the chance to engage with other attendants of the even as well as with the judges. For the teams it was a unique opportunity to discuss about particular doubts and pain points in their projects and get help from experts, which helped them decide the direction of their projects or provided aid for particular issues.

A special thanks to Marinka Wieru from FinnMedi for her article which was of particular help writing the last section of this article. You can read her full article about Demola Goes HealthTech Goes HealthHub here (in Finnish).

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