Nordic Startup School Partner Day 2022 Recap: Productive, Fun, and Bonding

Nordic Startup School Partner Day 2022 Recap: Productive, Fun, and Bonding Last weekend, we held our Partner Day 2022 at the beautiful premises of Iloranta, Hauho. Partner Day is an annual event to celebrate the NSS Partners who have believed in and accompanied us throughout this whole journey of accelerating startups and founders. This was also a chance for us to take a look back at what we have accomplished and more importantly, what needs improving in our operations.

What a weekend it was! More than 20 Partners showed up for the two days that were packed with lots of activities.

Day 1: Warm-up

We arrived on Friday at the resort to check-in and set up the conference room. We received a warm welcome from our host Pia Ryöppy, who later on gave a brief presentation on the history and story of this long-standing farm. We can’t let this pass without mentioning the most special “receptionists”, the overwhelmingly cute animals who greeted us with nothing but love and affection.

In the afternoon, the first official program began.

Tomi Terentjeff gave a welcoming speech and briefed about the weekend activities, which were promised to be both fun and intense (spoiler alert: it was true). Pasi Pohjala then briefly reported the company status update, financial situation, and operating plan. We have had two successful batches since the last Partner Day. There were some changes in our personnel but overall they didn’t stop the company from running smoothly. We have also welcome aboard many new and trusted Mentors & Partners over the past year.

Based on the feedback from all stakeholders, especially our alumni, we have decided to introduce a brand new program called “0-To-1 Program” for super early-stage startups, which will be piloted in a few weeks. Check out for more details here. The new program is a part of the company’s vision to become a Growth Academy with multiple programs tailored to every stage of a startup life cycle. This was also the main theme of the discussion Saturday.

After being all well-fed in the evening with good food and a little bit of champagne, we got a surprise gift from Tomi, a bizarre, mystical, yet therapeutic sound healing session led by the one and only Hale Heikkilä.

Even though the setting was the same for everyone: loose clothes, comfy yoga mats, incredible music & sound, dim lighting, etc., the experience varies among the practitioners. Some felt relaxed and calm, some got caught up in the long-lost memories, while others went through the feeling of chaotic uncertainty. No matter what, it was definitely a worthwhile experience. We hope our Partners feel the same way.

Day 2: Acceleration

We kicked off day 2 with the pitches from each topic operator: NSS Fund (led by Aki Luukkainen), NSS Mentor Track (led by Laurent Notin), NSS Program (Led by Enrique Montaño), and NSS Marketing (led by Loi Nguyen & Dan Palmer) to “recruit” those who are the best in their field and interested in contributing to these aspects.

Our goal was to pick their brain to come up with a roadmap for the NSS in the upcoming years that also synthesizes all of the above-mentioned operational activities to achieve our vision.

We realized there were many flaws in the system but none was unfixable. A lot of ideas were put on the table for careful evaluation. At the end of the day, we finally agreed on more refined and structured frameworks in each area that we can’t wait for our next NSS startups to see and experience.

A few had to leave after the main working session, but those who stayed got to enjoy a lovely coffee break by the frozen lake. Holding a warm cup of coffee, having a chat with the person next to you, and soaking in the sunlight in a chilling afternoon was the best combination anyone could’ve asked for.

Once the work is done, we went for a few drinks in the smoke sauna. Some were brave enough to even dip into the ice hole. What could be more Finnish than that right? We ended the long day with, surprise surprise, more drinks, and games. And for what it’s worth, whatever happened in Ilonranta, stayed in Ilonrant :D

All in all, we had a remarkably productive but even more fun weekend with our Partners. We shared lots of talks and laughs together. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

It’s awesome we got to see each other in person, for some of us, for the first time ever.

The NSS team wants to send our sincerest thank you to each and every one of our Partners and Mentors for joining us for the event, and more importantly, for having contributed tremendously to the success of our programs throughout the years. We couldn’t have done it without you. We look forward to continuing this growth together in the years to come.

See you at the next Partners Day!

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