The signaling start-up culture that is Finland

by on February 7, 2018 at 11:43 am in Economics, Sports | Permalink

Intrepid entrepreneurs have plunged into icy Finnish water in an eccentric contest to win funding for their business ideas.

Polar Bear Pitching allows start-up firms to put forward their projects to investors for as long as they can stand in the freezing temperatures.

The final of the Dragon’s Den-style competition will see a dozen companies put their plans under the noses of investors.

The winner of the two-day contest — which takes place in frozen sea near Oulu on February 6 and 7 — will receive €10,000.

Start-ups who have secured funding say standing in such cold water helps convince investors they are serious.

Here is the article and photo, via Danica Porobic.

1 CPP February 7, 2018 at 11:54 am

Did the Arabs get to wear a wet suit?


2 j February 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Trial by ordeal worked well in the Middle Ages, so why not apply that proven method to select start-up entrepreneurs? or coders? or just employees?


3 rayward February 7, 2018 at 12:21 pm

What start-ups in America have started doing is hiring a celebrity as the pitchman. Who would you believe: the celebrity or the guy in the freezing water? After all, if a reality tv celebrity can convince Americans to elect him president, why can’t a celebrity athlete, actor, or whatever convince investors to fund a start-up.


4 Transnational Pants Machine February 7, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Sure sounds like Polar Bear Pitching knows how to do marketing.

Their contestants, I am not so sure about.


5 Tony February 7, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Excellent idea. I belong to a motorcycle club that has greatly improved our meetings through use of the “speaking clip”. This is a small, toothed hair clip that you must wear on your nose if you wish to speak during a meeting. The first 60 seconds of speech isn’t too bad, but the pain increases greatly over time. The guy wearing the clip suffers a good bit too.


6 Viking February 7, 2018 at 12:46 pm

+1, also:

Homebrewing: Love the sound of the blurp-blurp! Also the sound of the beer fermenting is nice.


7 Borjigid February 7, 2018 at 12:45 pm

No reason to think cold water gives any better investment advice than the shoeshine boy.


8 Viking February 7, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Ice-tank > Shark-tank?


9 P Burgos February 7, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Shark tank needs to up their game, and invest in a real tank with real sharks, and make contestants pitch their business while literally swimming with sharks. Eventually they can add lasers to the sharks.


10 Ari February 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Hah this was in my town. I think some of my friends did that kind of pitching. 🙂


11 Serge Nuffler February 7, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Well, the Finns used to organize the “World Sauna Championships” for a few years until, surprise surprise, a competitor suffered such severe burn injuries he died, in the “finals” no less…
Any bookies out there who’d like to quote odds on this event ending in a hypothermia-induced death pitch?


12 Anonymous February 7, 2018 at 2:02 pm

For $10k, it sounds less like investment and more like paying for entertainment.


13 Transnational Pants Machine February 7, 2018 at 2:39 pm

The fact that they charge $150/ticket for people to watch this happen is also a clue.


14 Roy February 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Four possiblities:

1. Finns are becoming weak

2. Finns that are weak are bad investments

3. Some Finns have become fearful that they are losing essential national characteristics.

4. This is a well designed True Finn plot to keep Finnish Swedes from winning.

Most seem to be subscribing to 2, but I say primarily 4 with some of 2 & 3. The tip-off is that it takes place in Oulu, not a place that a non assimilated Finnish-Swede would ever want to visit.


15 Mark Thorson February 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm

When did walking across hot coals go out of style?


16 mkt42 February 7, 2018 at 9:21 pm

REM addressed this in “Exhuming McCarthy”:

Look who bought the myth by jingo buy America

It’s a sign of the times
It’s a sign of the times

You’re sharpening stones, walking on coals
To improve your business acumen.


17 Careless February 7, 2018 at 10:27 pm

While you can walk across them, you cannot stand on them


18 Mulp February 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Trump’s version is creating immigration hurdles for startup entrepreneurs.

Elon Musk would have been excluded if Trump had his way.

He was a refugee from racist South Africa – he didn’t want to serve in the white supremacy miitary.

He had no money, no credentials, no certified skills, no job.

He basically lied his way into the US, claiming to be a student, when he wasn’t intending to be a student.

He depended on chain migration to work illegally in the US to start businesses.

He twice married foreigners who he brought to the US.

With his first wife he had five anchor babies.

Curiously, Trump considers him more American than Obama, apparently because Trump sees all white people as American.


19 Viking February 7, 2018 at 5:02 pm

That’s terrible Mulp. Why didn’t you warn our people before we elected Trump???

I hold you responsible for the votes of the deplorables!


20 Careless February 7, 2018 at 10:30 pm

you have multiple mutually exclusive theories here, you mulp


21 Per Kurowski February 7, 2018 at 6:11 pm

The risk weighted capital requirements for banks that force banks to hold more capital when lending to “risky” entrepreneurs, signify that credit waters have been frozen by the regulators.


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