Host My Pet takes a LEAP to the Nordics!

Our startup, Host My Pet, first came across Helsinki Think Company last year when we participated in Helsinki Think Company’s summer accelerator program. Since then we launched our petsitter service in Fall 2016, grew our community and now in Spring 2017 our team is eager to take the LEAP to the Nordics.

The Helsinki Bootcamp part of LEAP was extremely educational. From how to deliver a quality pitch to how to make an impact with business, day one was packed with ahaa experiences. The main take-away for our team was how to add storytelling and a personal element to our sales pitch.
After learning more of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises’ network over lunch, we dove deep into the etymology of “impact” with Ville Luukkanen from Impact Iglu. Somewhat surprisingly the conversation delved into the company culture as we had to list on paper both the entertaining things and taboos in our company culture and communications.

Futurice’s workshop focused on how to build digital solutions people love. Futurice itself has not only grown to a multinational company, but also has been voted as the best place to work in Europe twice. So company culture and customer-focus were on focus: “As a manager you should focus on three strong values: transparency, trust and resposibility within the organization”, was the message. We learned a lot of the various tools for business development that Futurice has collected. If you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to develop your concept, don’t underestimate the value of completing the Lean Service Creation canvases by Futurice. They’re free and open to use for anyone!

Having the chance to talk to angel investors and learn from them is invaluable to an early-stage startup. Pontus Stråhlman, vice president from Finnish Business Angel Network, helped us identify Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) when going global. “Every start-up should have at least one KPI which they measure”, he said. In the evening’s HOP event everybody gave their 3-minute pitches and we got valuable feedback for our presentation. The networking event session offered a chance for fun and for building valuable connections!

When a startup like ours is looking to scale abroad, countless legal questions come to mind. From collaboration with international partners to intellectual property rights, we really needed some support. Luckily we had Marja Hohti and Mikko Järvinen from Mäkitalo Rantanen to help us with legal advice.

It’s been really inspiring and helpful to work alongside the other two teams for the past three days. The psychology students from Pänttää have been offering insights into how different businesses could benefit more from their field’s expertise. The entrepreneurs making have been inspiring us with setting up many meetings with potential partners at an early stage. 

The LEAP startups wrapped up the Helsinki program by hopping on a boat to Stockholm. One bootcamp is over, two bootcamps are still to come. In Stockholm and Copenhagen we are going to attend all the expert workshops and also talk and network with local pet owners to conduct some validation on our idea. We can’t wait for all the amazing valuable learning opportunities LEAP program is still going to offer us!