October 23 was a banner day for start-ups in Liepaja. Kurzemes biznesa inkubators, Accelerace Life, and the Green Technology Cluster hosted the first ever Baltic TURN8 Innov-a-thon.
October 23 was a banner day for start-ups in Liepaja. Kurzemes biznesa inkubators, Accelerace Life, and the Green Technology Cluster hosted the first ever Baltic TURN8 Innov-a-thon. Eight ideas were pitched and two were pre-selected to enter a due diligence process to enter the TURN8 accelerator in January of 2016. In addition to working in the accelerator for 6 months, the preselected teams will get $30 – 60 thousand in equity finance.
The day started with an introduction to TURN8, its expectations and accomplishments. TURN8 is the brainchild of Kamal Hassan, who is the Managing Director of TURN8 and brings more than 20 years of high tech and venture experience to the table. Teams who enter TURN8 get not only world class space and services, but access to university facilities, top level mentoring and deep entry into the regional and international TURN8 network.
After introductions, the teams had their first round of pitching. Each team got fast feedback from Tom Schmit (Accelerace Life), Salvis Roga (Kurzemes biznesa ink.) and Kamal. After a quick lunch break, all teams did work on creating a laser focused value proposition in a work shop led by Tom.
After the workshop, the teams got more mentoring and feedback. They then worked for an hour on their final pitches.
The final pitches really reflected the teams’ thinking about the feedback that they had received.
Following the pitches, the jury spent a few minutes talking before awarding pre-selection to Focusd (new shooting sports tool), and Boards Unlimited (a new entry to the boarding market). Kamal was also so impressed with Artis Daugins’ (BlueShock Bike) Avatar Tree, that he will work toward personally investing in them.
Focusd is a team that started work in the RTU Student incubator and is coached by RBS RTU faculty Tom Schmit.
Boards Unlimited is a Liepaja team and has been active in boarding and extreme sports for many years.
Kamal and TURN8 then went on to Tartu, where they would have the second in their Baltic Roadshow on Sunday Oct. 25.