Futuclass won the first icehole pitching competition in Estonia
A unique pitching competition took place in Startup Day, where the participants had to win the favor of investors in an ice pit. Among the seven start-ups that entered the competition, Futuclass emerged as the winner, receiving 1,000 euros in prize money and direct entry into the TOP 40 of Ajujaht.
According to Erik Ehasoo, the moderator of the event, the original idea of pitching in an ice hole comes from our northern neighbors, where an event called “Polar bear pitching” was organized until 2020. For start-ups, this means sharpening your message to perfection, because there is no time for excess words in the ice pit. On the other hand, it helps to train both the body and the mind to cope with the difficult circumstances that start-ups inevitably encounter.
Two hot tubs were brought to the event, one of which was filled with 150 kilograms of ice and cold water for the start-ups, and in the other tub, the judges could enjoy the show in hot water.
“A hot tub filled with hot water symbolizes a hot investor climate, i.e. investors consider investing more carefully than before. The barrel filled with ice, however, is that it has become more difficult for start-ups to raise money in today’s economic environment,” said Ehasoo.
First place went to Futuclass, which has created an educational game for learning chemistry and physics in grades 7-9. Harri Tallinn, the evaluator of start-ups and the program manager of Ajujaht, said that the contestants were first evaluated to see if they have the potential to participate in the Ajujaht accelerator program, i.e. whether the company has a product or service to show, as well as the first test users, and how Ajujaht can help teams grow faster. “The fact that Futuclass has already managed to get 10% of Estonian schools as its customers is quite impressive. In addition, the winner made a very strong pitch and we are looking forward to see how far the company will reach in Ajujaht,” said Tallinn and added that surprisingly all the contestants were able to stay in the ice bath for more than a minute. Finnish start-up Treebuddy was able to last the longest in the icy conditions, staying in the water for 3.5 minutes.
The group of investors included Kristel Kruustük (Testlio), Reima Linnanvirta (Trinid VC), Raimond Tamm (City of Tartu), Harri Tallinn (Ajujaht) and Kristina Lillo (SEB).
All applicants can apply for this year’s Ajujaht programme until March 26.