Coaching startups: The Startup Sauna Experience

We spent the last two Wednesdays coaching 13 (out of 14) ambitious startups from the Nordics, Eastern Europe and Russia who are taking part in a 2-month long Accelerator Program at the Finnish Startup Sauna. We are one of the partner companies helping out the teams and we did this through brand clinics – a 20 minute intensive workshop concentrating on brand and user experience.

Like we did in the Accelerator Program last fall, we went through the brand of each team from four perspectives:

1. Tone & voice
Brand extends to the way you choose to communicate with your audience. Finding the appropriate tone, that reinforces your company’s stance and promise, is essential.

2. Brand elements Names, logos, icons, brandmarks, bylines, mission statements, brand guidelines, mascots, trademarks, colours, typography, etc. These are the tangible elements used to help cultivate a brand.

3. Coherence How well do all the brand elements work together to paint a unified image in support of your company’s bigger picture? This extends to all platforms where your brand is present (e.g. social media).

4. Overall brand experience What is the feeling a person is left after encountering your brand? Is this inline with what your story and vision is?

PIXELS team at the Startup Sauna


On the first Wednesday we met nine inspiring startups. They are all enthusiastic about their business ideas and we can see ourselves using some of their products, but lets first focus on a few that can at least influence, if not change the everyday life of an average World citizen.


Mission: to end the World hunger

How to achieve it: by selling shipping container system that mass produces crickets in urban and rural settings anywhere in the world. Crickets are nutritious, they don’t need much water, they reproduce quickly and, believe it or not, they are delicious!

Trust us, we all tasted them!

Eating crickets

Words U by Echelon Creative

Mission: to expand the English vocabulary of its users

How to achieve it: by a messaging application that swaps the random words from your text message with exam-level English words in correct context and idiom.

Coterie booncon is utilizing it and they feel wiser every day. (coterie = team, switched by the app).

PIXELS team and Words U having fun

Mission: to help businesses understand how their projects perform and estimate and manage projects better.

How to achieve it: by offering them an all-in-one project and portfolio management software that can be integrated with your existing systems. There are many project management tools out there, but the leader in the category UX is for sure

We highly recommend you to try it!


Mission: to make CE marking easy and cheap

How to achieve it: by simplifying the process so that anyone can complete it – without any prior knowledge on CE markings.

On average their clients save 3 months and 6.000 eur, not bad huh?


Mission: to make Instagram shoppable

How to achieve it: by creating a website where users can easily establish their own online stores using only a smartphone and the Instagram app. This is a perfect solution for small and micro business owners, aspiring online sellers, indie designers and crafters seeking to capture the opportunities provided by social selling.

See #inselly on Instagram 😉


Mission: to help app developers and owners make better business decisions by assisting them to listen, understand and act correctly

How to achieve it: by providing detailed insights from app reviews data and to increase retention by improving communication with users. There are a bunch of reviews written every day but only a fraction of them get answered. InsightsForce collects all the reviews around the internet, categorize them and notifies the right people about any found issues.

So, if you’re an app company, check this solution out!

Second Wednesday

We only met four startups on the second day of brand clinics. Let us present you our favourites 🙂


Mission: to turn companies browsing your website into your valuable leads

How to achieve it: by providing an online tool that shows you which companies visited your website and what they did there. Leadfeeder is an online sales lead generation tool for B2B companies.

Try it, the first month is for free! 😉

Leadfeeder guys


Mission: to enable all passionate cooks to open a restaurant at their home + to offer a possibilty for travellers to try great food prepared by locals

How to achieve it: by offering people who love to cook a network where they can post their offers and where potential guests can browse through them. PlateCulture is not just about local food. You can try Japanese dish in Thailand, Italian lasagna in Brasil or Mediterranean cuisine in New York City.

We are definitely trying this on our next travels, it’s like airbnb for food 🙂

Want to know the rest of the teams?

On 4th of June 2015 you can see them all pitch at the Startup Sauna Demo day, but before that you can check them here.