Think your elevator pitch is ready? Try making it from an ice hole
Proof that entrepreneurs will do almost anything for funding: In early February, representatives of 20 startups from around the world traveled to Finland as finalists in Polar Bear Pitching, one of two annual competitions run by Midnight Pitch Fest, a nonprofit event organizer. Each finalist jumped into an ice hole and, submerged in frigid water, presented to a jury of potential investors. “My adrenaline was running so high, I totally forgot the icy water,” says Tuija Kauppinen of health-food company Arctic Warriors. Norway’s Flowmotion Technologies won the €10,000 ($11,000) top prize for its Gopro stabilizer.
2. ① The “J-bear”—the word for polar bear in Finnish is “jääkarhu”—is the event mascot
② Among the spectators were former engineers at Nokia, whose mobile phone division once called Oulu home
4. ③ Charles Adams Jr., U.S. ambassador to Finland, joined Canada’s ambassador (not pictured) to open the show
⑤ Kauppinen spent more than two minutes in the water for her pitch
5. ④ Omodara Gbotemi of Fineria Energy, which designed a sustainable generator