If you’ve seen one pitching competition, you’ve seen them all. The format is well-worn at this point. A founder takes the stage, fires out some buzzwords within a two or three minute time limit and then dodges difficult questions from the panel. You can set your watch to it.
This is what makes the concept of Polar Bear Pitching in Oulu, Finland sound so strange. The fourth edition of the event, which is co-run by the University of Oulu, the city of Oulu, and several other organisations, takes several startups, chucks them in an ice hole in the Baltic Sea at night, and lets them pitch to a jury.