The course taught start-up evaluation and roasting – list of the most promising companies revealed in the EnegyVaasa webinar
For the students, the course is a dive into the world of start-ups. They learn how start-ups are evaluated and which criteria are important for potential investors and stakeholders.
− This is very interesting for me as a student, who has not been in touch with start-ups that much until now. Also, there was lots of valuable information provided on where you can get support in case you want to start your own business, says one of the students, Johanna Panknin.
Panknin says that she enjoyed particularly the start-up roasting session on the course.
− My personal highlight was the start-up roast, as this is a fun event to participate in as a student and a special learning experience.
Also, student Thuy Tien Nguyen tells that the start-up roasting was the perfect opportunity to valuate companies.
− The greatest benefit of the course was to learn the investors’ perspective. It was very insightful to talk to managers about real projects and innovation in the energy sector, Thuy Tien Nguyen says.
The course had over 60 students this winter. The course, now organised for the seventh time, won the award for the most innovative course of 2019 at the University of Vaasa.
− By the end of the course, students have an in-depth understanding of start-ups and their valuation, but also more knowledge of the disruption in the energy sector and risk financing. The course supports the development of students´ skills in the area of critical and analytical thinking, the ability for a proactive approach, team work and presentation skills, summarises Jorma Larimo, professor of international marketing, who has developd the course from the beginning.
Start-up valuation & Market Analysis course has been organised by the university in cooperation with EnergySpin and Vaasa Entrepreneurship Society VES .
Course Coordinator Oskar Śniegowski says that the evaluation process also benefits companies.
− Companies get feedback during the roasting event and have a chance to practice their pitching skills in front of all the students and face any hard question in this safe environment of our course. Plus, the TOP30 gives them information about their competitors both locally and internationally.
The students evaluated over 200 start-ups in total, and during an intensive, final evaluation weekend, concluded on the 30 most promising ones.
− During this round of the course, the students have done extensive research and put an incredible amount of work into the valuation and shortlisting process, Śniegowski praises.
Johanna Panknin says that the evaluation work was difficult at first.
− Sometimes the outcomes was surprising. For example, a start-up with promising technology would maybe score lower than another, whose technology is not that outstanding but is far ahead in their development process.
Innovation requires cooperation
The speakers at the EnergyVaasa Talk webinar were entrepreneur Peter Vesterbacka, HR Coordinator Tiia-Maria Kinnula from Wärtsilä and Communication Specialist Matina Mitsobonou, Key Account Manager Marko Kuokkanen and Founder Marko J Koski from EnergySpin. From the University of Vaasa, Professor Jorma Larimo and Course Coordinator Oskar Śniegowski presented the course and the start-up list together with the students.
According to entrepreneur Peter Vesterbacka, it is important that different actors, such as companies, business accelerators and universities, are brought together in innovation and development work.
− Only together we can tackle big problems such as climate change. The best way to predict the future is to do it, Vesterbacka stressed.
Innovation and development work requires speed but also sometimes time to plan.
− A good recipe is: We are not in a rush, but we want to move fast.
You can find the list of the TOP 30 Most Promising Energy Start-ups in Europe here.
Text: Tiina Rantakoski