Back to news


Norwegian company Bookis has won Polar Bear Pitching competition 2019. Their idea is focused on buying and selling second-hand books. We were lucky to get to interview the company representatives Lasse Brurok and Arne-Morten Willumsen both in Tuesday’s semifinals and after their victory. Bookis won the semifinals in Norway, which secured them a place straight in the finals.


We know you’ve already taken part in the championships in Norway, so you have some experience about pitching from an ice hole. After the semifinals, what are your expectations for tomorrow?

We have big expectations as it was a really good show in Norway and there were a lot of good companies. It was our first pitching contest ever and it was a great networking opportunity. We got to know many Finnish people, so now we’re just running around and hugging, meeting old and new friends! It’s a great event, but now we’re just not looking forward to jumping into the water tomorrow, so lucky we are going straight to the finals! We are spreading the word about PBP to a lot of start-ups, because it’s not only about going on stage, but also building a team with other entrepreneurs and suffering together. It is also an awesome event for the crowd, because it’s spectacular and attracts a lot of audience and investors.

What are your tips to stay calm and focus in the cold water?

We have a slogan: “Druus or lose”. It’s half Norwegian and half English and it means that we don’t care, we ‘just do it’. You just have to adjust and breathe slowly, and then start talking, not vice versa. That’s how you can stay in water for a long time.

Finals: After the victory

Did your experience meet your expectations here in Oulu?

Somewhat yes. We knew there will be so many good companies, but when we saw the other pitches, we were like “wow, okay, this is going to be really hard.” You really have to put your mind to it.

But it seems like your slogan and “just do it” attitude did the trick!

Yes, it did!

What would you like to say to the future participants or someone who is considering the competition but afraid?

Lasse: I would say that just to be here is winning because it’s this great program, it’s a lot of great people. When it comes to the bathing, it sucks. That’s how it is. You just have to do it.

Arne-Morten: And it’s the same for everyone. I think it’s a great opportunity to anyone who wants to come here: networking, and also just to getting your name out there. It’s a cool way to do it, because the concept of Polar Bear Pitching, ice water and all, it’s just awesome.

So from the whole Polar Bear Pitching team, congratulations Bookis! We hope that we will hear about your success story and see you again in Oulu!