Last year’s winner’s testimonial

29.11.2018, 15:17

Still wondering whether to apply for Polar Bear Pitching 2019? Check out an inspiring story from our last year’s winner Laava Tech (Artisun at that time):


Laava Tech journey after the Polar Bear Pitching Competition

It has been 9 months since Laava Tech won the PBP competition. It was the boldest decision to apply and to go and pitch there but it was so worth it. The actual value of winning the PBP, I’ve realized not when we got 10,000 euros as a prize and not even when I got to visit Chinese Silicon Valley (which was a part of the prize), but months later. But let’s see where it all started.

Anyone can pitch when you’re in a warm room and you have all the time in the world, but the icy water aspect makes Polar Bear Pitching a totally different animal. I had read that the longest pitch in previous years was close to five minutes, but luckily I had honed my pitch down to two minutes (still was almost 3 minutes during the final). My biggest fear was that I will stop around 40-50 sec and just run to sauna.

I was scheduled to pitch in the semifinal on the first day of the competition.


About Staff:

When I first arrived at the scene, the organizers were quick to welcome me and handed me a cool red woolly hat (that I still have and proudly wear) and a bath rope. Organizers of the Polar Bear Pitching competition is a really great team, who was supporting us through the whole event, who were replying to our facebook messages with literally any questions immediately and they were there for us whenever anyone needed something. It really meant a lot for me as I was alone from our team in Oulu and I’ve appreciated all the support I could get.


About pitching in avanto:

The freezing water was my biggest concern, and of course I forgot a big part of my pitch during the semifinal. Even though the water was not that bad. I mean it was freezing cold and at some point I needed to stop my pitch for a sec as it felt like someone took the air of my lungs. But in overall – I was really proud that I didn’t jump out in the middle of the pitch. Progressing into the final was already a great achievement, but I really wanted more. I knew that all teams are very strong and they all had great ideas, so I was trying just to be happy that I got to the final and consider going to the freezing water twice as one of my personal biggest achievements.


About final day:  

The day of the final was much crazier with a lot of people in the audience, presenters running around asking questions, and of course there were cameras everywhere, not to mention the long line of judges who’d eventually decide the winner. Though for me the hardest part was live streaming as I knew that my team as well as all my friends are watching me and I just wanted to do my best. The second time going into the water was actually harder for me (mentally as I knew what I signed up for), but there wasn’t much I could do except go in. I’m not very modest, so I will say that by the end of all pitches I just had a feeling that our startup will be in top-3 – our startup is working hard and our idea is really good and I’ve put all my passion about ArtiSun (now Laava Tech) into my pitch. But I would never expect getting the 1st place. I was really happy that I presented ArtiSun at it’s best and of course very happy with all the prizes (money will be used for the research and trip to China and is just an amazing opportunity). The rest of the day and evening was crazy with all the interviews and investors wanting to talk to me. I think I ended up with hundreds of new LinkedIn connections, a bag full of business cards, and an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.


About after PBP – what happened:

After the competition, we got a big increase in traffic on our website and ended up in publications and websites around the world. I’ve seen Polar Bear Pitching and our company in the news in for example China, South-Korea, and many others. The highlight for me was an awesome article in You can’t really buy that kind of PR.

In a month Laava Tech got to visit MiniSV in Nanjing, China, which is a Chinese Silicon Valley. We were not visiting alone, the 2d place and 3d place startups were travelling as well. China is a completely different world and it was really interesting to have that experience, but we wanted to validate Laava Tech in European and US markets first, before going to Asia.

So we’ve applied to the Alchemist Accelerator – Forbes recognized it as a best B2B accelerator worldwide. And we got in! I think partly it was due to the fact that Laava Tech was so easy to find in the media thanks to PBP. Also a lot of investors from Silicon Valley have heard about the PBP and it’s way easier to get a meeting with them once they know that I’m “that crazy girl” who went into a freezing water for her startup. Now we have a small office in Silicon Valley and trying to concur US market.

And lately Laava Tech won the University Startup World Cup competition in Copenhagen, Denmark. All the jury members did know about the PBP pitching and I think every participant and organizer watched the video of me pitching from the ice hole. That video is a great networking tool – you impress people straight away and they also become really interested in your startup and do listen to what you say.

I still have long lasting relations with half of the startups who took part in the competition – and that’s the best part. All startups who are brave and crazy enough to take part are the ones you should become friends with. They will understand you and will support even a year after.

The PBP gave me friends, insane media coverage for Laava Tech, also ever-lasting recognition by the startup community. But more than that, it helped me to believe in myself. After I’ve pitched from the icy cold water for my startup I knew that I will do anything to make Laava Tech a success. During the PBP I got international validation for Laava Tech.

Apply to Polar Bear Pitching 2019

Polar Bear Pitching redefines pitching competitions from 12th to 13th of March in Oulu, Finland

15.10.2018, 09:00

The most extreme business event in the world will take place again next March in Oulu, Finland. The theme of the event is Business Unusual, which means that Polar Bear Pitching changes participants and business, challenges everything you hold true and thus, redefines the whole future. Arctic circumstances have always forced people to come up with innovative solutions and this is what Polar Bear Pitching does to the ones who take part in the chilliest pitching competition in the world.

Polar Bear Pitching is a pitching competition born in Oulu. In this event, participants pitch their ideas from an ice hole carved in the frozen Baltic sea. There is no limit for the duration of pitches in this competition, you can pitch from the ice hole as long as you enjoy staying in zero-degree water. Last year, the outside temperature during Polar Bear pitching was around -20 Celsius, which kept the average length of pitches around 2 minutes.

Semi-finals will be held on the 12th of March in Oulu. Start-ups can make their way to finals from there. Wednesday 13thkicks off with a conference and culminates to the adrenaline-pumping finals at Oulu market square. There will be massive festivities around the whole market square during the finals.

Polar Bear Pitching has gathered a huge amount of media interest globally. This year there will be 2 side events. First a separate showcase competition in Leverkusen, Germany on the 6th of December and then another set of semi-finals in Tromsø, Norway on the 19th of January 2019.

The event is made possible by wide cooperation of the biggest entrepreneurial organizations in Oulu Region. For years, it has been one of the forces that make the business ecosystem of Oulu work together for greater common good.

Start-ups can apply for Polar Bear Pitching through the website of the event, The main prize for the winner will be 10 000 euros. All participating start-ups this far have gained a lot of attention among media and investors and in best case, multiplied their revenue immediately after the pitch from the ice hole.

All media representatives are welcome to bear witness of how a pitching competition can have the main characteristics of a sports event.


More information:


Mira Koski                                                                  Mia Kemppaala

041 5444011                                                               040 584 4851

Event Producer                                                         Founder of Polar Bear Pitching                     


Polar Bear Pitching kääntää yritysmaailman katseet Ouluun jälleen 12. – 13.3.2019

15.10.2018, 08:15

Maailman erikoisin businesstapahtuma järjestetään taas ensi vuoden maaliskuussa meren jäällä Oulun torin edustalla. Tapahtuman teemana on Business Unusual. Tämä tarkoittaa sitä, että tapahtuma muuttaa osallistujiansa ja liike-elämää, haastaa yleisen käsityksen todellisuudesta ja sitä kautta määrittelee tulevaisuuden uudelleen. Arktiset olot ovat aina pakottaneet luoviin ratkaisuihin, ja saman muutoksen Polar Bear Pitching haluaa saada aikaan myös tapahtumaan osallistuvissa henkilöissä, yrityksissä ja muissa toimijoissa.

Polar Bear Pitching on oululainen liikeideakilpailu, jossa pitchataan liikeideoita eli pyritään lyhyellä puheella vakuuttamaan sijoittajat, yleisö ja tuomarit oman yritysidean kannattavuudesta. Muista vastaavista kilpailuista poiketen Polar Bear Pitchingissä ei rajoiteta puhumiseen käytettyä aikaa lainkaan. Ainoa sääntö on, että puhe on pidettävä kokonaisuudessaan avannosta. Maaliskuussa Oulussa on huomattavan kylmä, joten merivesi kyllä pitää puheet korkeintaan muutaman minuutin mittaisina.

12.3. järjestetään semifinaali, josta voi vielä päästä mukaan seuraavan päivän finaaliin. Keskiviikko 13.3. alkaa konferenssilla, ja illalla tapahtuma huipentuu finaaleihin. Torilla järjestetään pitchausfinaalin lisäksi myös paljon oheisohjelmaa. Finaalitapahtuma on kaikelle yleisölle avoin ja ilmainen.

Polar Bear Pitching on herättänyt joka vuosi valtavasti kansainvälistä mediahuomiota. Tänä vuonna Oulun päätapahtuman lisäksi järjestetään myös osakilpailu Tromssassa Norjassa 19.1.2019 sekä näytöskilpailu Leverkusenissa 6.12.2018, josta ei kuitenkaan ole suoraa pääsyä Oulun finaaliin.

Tapahtuma järjestämiseen osallistuu laajasti koko Oulun yrittäjyysyhteisö, ja se onkin jo vuodesta toiseen saattanut yhteen kaupungin suurimmat toimijat. Kuka vain voi osallistua vapaaehtoiseksi tapahtumaan ja päästä näyttämään osaamistaan ikimuistoisen tapahtuman rakentamisessa.

Startupit voivat hakea mukaan kilpailuun tapahtuman nettisivujen kautta osoitteessa Kilpailun pääpalkinto on 10 000 euroa. Avannosta puheen pitäneet yritykset ovat aiempina vuosina saaneet valtavasti kansainvälistä huomiota median ja sijoittajien parissa ja parhaimmassa tapauksessa moninkertaistaneet liikevaihtonsa välittömästi noustuaan avannosta.

Kaikki median edustajat ovat tervetulleita seuraamaan, kuinka paljon yhteistä pitchauskilpailulla ja urheilujuhlalla voi olla.



Mira Koski                                                                     Mia Kemppaala

041 5444011                                                                  040 584 4851

Tapahtuman tuottaja                                                  Polar Bear Pitchingin perustaja