The 2nd floor of the Platform6 startup house has an open-plan office space for resident startups, and also an “incubation area” reserved to provide support and services for startup teams who are not quite ready to be on their own yet. The first three startup teams moved into the house just a couple of weeks ago, so we asked them about their experience so far.
The startup teams and their concepts
Crowdchupa has a platform for crowdsourcing infrastructure data collection. Users take part in these tasks via Crowdchupa app by simply recording videos from different locations marked on the map with virtual objects that are worth money. After this, the data is analyzed by artificial intelligence and presented to the customer organizations. Crowdchupa did its MVP in August 2020 and has sold projects already to Lempäälä, Helsinki, Tampere, Vaasa, Kuopio, Vihti and Paimio. Many new clients and app features are also coming up, so exciting times are ahead!
Lainappi has an app that enables people to rent household items to each other. They developed their prototype in the summer of 2020. At the moment they are developing their final product, and if all goes well, it will be launched at the end of March 2021.
Ruska Skincare focuses on skincare products made only from natural Finnish ingredients. The products are made “for you and by you” because customers can also make their own skincare products at home with a DIY kit. They started operating in the summer of 2020 and launched their first product already in October of the same year.
Red Brick Accelerator as a gateway to the house
The 2nd floor incubation area is provided for the startup teams free of charge by The City of Tampere for the first six months. All the first three talent teams came to the 2nd floor incubation area through the city’s collaborator: Red Brick Accelerator program. Red Brick offers intensive coaching and mentoring for ideas and early-stage startups.
“We needed help to clarify our business idea, and had not yet been working on our business plan, so we needed some help with that. I Googled and found Red Brick Accelerator, and decided to apply. We have been with Red Brick since the Pre-Accelerator last autumn and are now part of the main program. A while ago the program lead Mirza Sagdati told us there might be a possibility to get a space for us at Platform6, and we were of course very excited about the opportunity!” says Toni Paju, Founder and CEO of Crowdchupa.
Lainappi ended up in Red Brick through mutual friends. “We didn’t actually plan this at all. We didn’t even know these kinds of programs existed”, says Aukusti Eskola, Co-Founder of Lainappi. “Co-Founder Kimi Siefen’s girlfriend is an intern at Tribe Tampere, which is the community operator at Platform6, and she persuaded us to go to this afterwork event last autumn. There we met the Red Brick Team for the first time and they told us about Red Brick. That caught our interest and the deadline was already in a few days, so we decided to apply and got in!”
Ruska Skincare Founder and CEO Rahel Beil moved to Tampere about a year ago. She was already involved with the international community here, and knew about Tribe Tampere and had been to some of their events and learned about Red Brick as well. “I was unfortunately late for the application period for Red Brick in spring 2020, so I started Ruska Skincare by myself. I talked with Mirza last autumn at a Mix and Match networking event, and after that applied to RBA.”
The value of networks and access to services
The City wants to offer support and resources to high-potential startups, and create employment and innovation in the area. That is why the first six months are offered for the startup teams for free. After that there is a possibility to continue for another six months if needed, and of course the teams have also a possibility to become startup members of Platform6 as well.
All the teams are very interested in staying in the house for longer, and also emphasize the importance of the networks Platform6 provides to them. “When you work in a startup you usually don’t have many people in your team. In Platform6 we get to meet so many like-minded people, bounce ideas, get new ideas, and solve problems together”, Kimi Siefen from Lainappi says.
The current batch of the Red Brick Accelerator main program will end 8th of March. “Our job is to support our startups grow. We don’t want that to be put on hold once the program ends. That is why we are working on a post-program package for the startup teams in the house and make their journey continue in months to come. This is the first time we do this kind of post-program support. We are collaborating closely with other house service providers, all supporting 2nd floor startups from different sides,”, says Red Brick program lead Mirza Sagdati.
The City is very eager in creating services and programs for the teams as well. “We want to learn more about the teams’ needs and then we will try to find the proper providers for possible services. Hopefully we can launch some services already this spring, but everything is still in the making”, says Jaakko Pohjolainen, planner at Platform6 startups & coordinating services. “Red Brick Accelerator is a very important partner for us in the process of finding these teams, because they are very good in recognizing the potential of aspiring startups. We will soon also have other channels and partner organisations to get new teams on the 2nd floor.”
If you are interested in being one of the startuo teams of Platform6, you can contact Jaakko Pohjolainen by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also apply to the RBA Pre-Accelerator program by 12.3.