Oxygen2050 celebrated its 2nd anniversary with an online event on December 4th. At the event, we heard inspirational stories from our own entrepreneurs Anna Juusela and Sampsa Fabritius, who have gained their knowledge and experienced personal growth with Oxygen on their side. If you missed the event, here is a short summary of what Anna and Sampsa talked about.
Anna Juusela told us her story of growth with her organization “We Encourage” and how a passionate idea led to founding an organization and the challenges she has faced along the way. Anna shared how at the beginning, she had many doubts about starting the organization due to many factors, one being her lack of experience in the field of NGOs. However her passion for the cause was bigger than her fears and that’s how the story of We Encourage began.
We Encourage is an impact start-up developing a completely new digital solutionto prevent child and forced marriages and to empower women. We Encourage acts as a fundraising agent for NGOs and Small-Scale Fundraisers whose causes are aimed for helping women and girls. To accompany their fundraising solution, a conversational AI tool called AINO was recently created to help victims of domestic violence. Anna is currently working on making AINO available in Finland and Tanzania.
Anna has faced many challenges with her fundraising platform due to strict Finnish fundraising laws and their restrictions. She continues to work to secure funding for womens’ education and building the We Encourage platform further from the prototype.
In her speech, Anna stated that an important thing she has learned during this process is that everything doesn’t have to happen right now and that things happen at their own pace. Therefore she has had to learn to find a balance between taking action and letting go.
To learn more about We Encourage, visit their website: https://encourage.fi/
Afterwards, Sampsa Fabritius shared his story of building his start-up called Kieku and what he learned from the setbacks that he faced along the way. After working in tech his whole life, Sampsa wanted to somehow venture for a better society with the help of technology. He started Kieku to create a voice media for genuine conversations.
An idea of a more personal and shorter version of a podcast that could be recorded at any place and time was launched. The so-called Minicast had early traction but in the end it was not enough for a series A round that the start-up needed. The cap table was also too complex to receive any more seed funding and the company’s US investor dropped out after completing due diligence. At the time the media industry was also focused on core business and taking small steps instead of risks. All of these factors led to Kieku going bankrupt.
Sampsa shared the many things that this experience taught him. He stated that a challenger needs a viral product and/or solid founder-market investor fit to create a fundable fear of missing out momentum for a leap of faith. Kieku’s bankruptcy was a moment of realisation for him and he realised two main things: it is really difficult to create things with a good cause and he is only at the beginning of his journey and not the end of it.