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Startups get hyper… thermia

Forget your bikini-clad full moon party bitcoin events, because it doesn’t get any cooler than the annual Polar Bear Pitching in Oulu, Finland.


The event is run by an NGO that helps startups, and has entrepreneurs competing for funding and prizes by pitching to investors. Last month it was from an ice hole. 

Though ArtiSun, which produces LED lights that optimize plant growth, won the pitching event, it was Cotio, which helps you get back items confiscated at airports, that spent the most time in the water, despite coming second. The latter’s Kimmo Collander spent more than four minutes semi submerged. 

To warm pitchers’ hearts, however, the world champion of air guitar, Markus ‘Black Raven’ Vainionpää, played Finnish metal – although disappointingly only by the ice hole, and not in it. 

The minister of foreign trade and development, Kai Mykkänen, however, was more of a sport. He took a dip to talk about how the startup environment has developed.

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