“The most challenging part of getting something out of startup ecosystems is getting into one, and that is 100 percent dependent on you,” said Antti Hammainen from Finland, who gave a keynote speech at this year’s Global Innovator Festa held last week in Daegu.
“I mean, you just have to pick yourself up and go there. No one will come and ask you to. Start from little. If you are a young student, like I was three years ago, start from basic stuff. If you already own a startup, go out there and see what could be beneficial, and what you could contribute towards. You’ll never know what you’re missing out on if you don’t find out.”
Hammainen is a 22 year-old student at Aalto University who was previously head of global operations at Junction and head of program at Kiuas Accelerator, a 10-week startup accelerator program. He was the youngest keynote speaker to date at GIF, which was in its fifth year.
Antti Hammainen delivers a keynote speech during the Global Innovator Festa at Exco Convention Center in Daegu. (Global Innovator Festa)
More than 400 people attended the event, and 46 teams were awarded for their innovative startup ideas and products, according to Daegu Metropolitan City, which organized the event.
The contest consisted of four parts, with the first being the “Make-a-thon” encompassing innovative devices and software. The second part was the “Idea-thon,” in which contestants presented business ideas and plans. The third was the “Startup Audition,” where participants pitched startup ideas and business models. Lastly, there was the Rookie Camp, an information and communication technology contest for middle and high school students.
The organizers said they selected 614 in the preliminary race out of 2,218 contestants from seven countries, including France, China and Indonesia,
The prizes included funding and sponsored visits to Silicon Valley and to attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The finalists will get a chance to participate in this year’s SLUSH conference in Finland, and the Mobile World Congress in Spain.
By Kim Ji-hyun