Super happy and proud today to be part of bringing POLAR BEAR PITCHING to China. The very exciting event for startups – and for much more, was historically brought to China. A small scale beautiful kickstart, and a weekend of part of the Global Game Jam in Hangzhou.
It’s never easy to do foreign-based events in China, but here it was very much done LOCALLY by the Chinese community – not by bringing a big bunch of people from Finland to create the event. And it had a lot of local flavours – but still I felt was true to the spirit of Finnish craziness, perseverance and unique ideas. The “Oulu spirit” was also well present, by people, but also with the style and the way how event was created.
How can you do a Nordic Frozen startup event in South China, in a place, which often have 40+’C degrees warmth? Despite the doubts and worries, we thought that we should move forward with it and make it happen. In a very short time in 2-3 weeks creating the event with super fantastic local teams, mainly locally, but also strongly supported our own Oulu-inspired Finnish team in Hangzhou, and of course the Oulu main partners, with the city and the PBP Finnish team, it was beautifully driven forward.
Lauri, come on, in China, you need a sign from the sky, if you do big new things. For today I woke up in Hangzhou with a historical SNOWFALL, the first big one in 10 years! We needed to take the Polar Bear Pitching to China, in order to get some ice and snow with us for the day.
Jade’s Nexus team, especially Anna and Eric, top grads from the media university of Hangzhou, did great work for so did our team with Kevin, Demi and most of all Olivia, who got very excited about the project and worked as a responsible for many practicalities, planning and liaison to make event reality. I am really happy to be able to give platform for new people to step and grow. By doing concrete, meaningful projects, and reflecting those, you usually learn the best. Learning by doing – awesome.
However after the buzz, videos, and highlights, I still think one of the best moments of the day was, that we all sat down at the “remains of the day” in a distant place in Hangzhou, with a bunch of awesome China-focused Finns – and discussed about new ideas and stories, feeling almost as if we were at home. The local community hosting us with 有朋自远方来不亦乐乎, attitude, good dinner and great genuine sharing. In the spirit and place of trust the enriching interaction may come up – which usually leads into great innovations too, such as today.
While sitting there, I thought, that today we didn’t receive only the buzz and limelight of a supercool international and “global” Polar Bear Pitching event (which something like 20 million Japanese follow btw), but also the down-to-earth and genuine spirit from Oulu, which made us all relax, both Chinese and foreigners, and interact in a very genuine and trusted way. Today besides Kevin and Olivia, a big hand also especially for Pasi (and Petteri) for bringing that spirit with our local friends.
Sometimes the true things are not how many pictures are taken, but how people look into their eyes and how much connection and trust is in those moments.
In China everything may be challenging, but everything is definitely possible.
Today besides the snow I also saw some real slush for the first time in the pathways in Hangzhou. That was a very meaningful reminder.
Looking forward to bringing the Sino-European feelings of Polar Bear Pitching back to Oulu and Finland.
I truly believe there’s a very interesting space for development for Polar Bear Pitching, and all of the organisations and the spirit it represents, here in China. It’s a good start. Walking on the water is very easy – especially if the water is frozen, like in Finland. Everything is always possible, if you look into it for long enough of time.
One more blessed day in China in the middle of supporting Finland to be better present and better connecting with China. We created a true “ Magic Mingle “, enriching interaction, this time – really happy to be there catalysing that.
After Slush and Polar Bear Pitching, I think we could start welcoming also other players – how ‘bout Boost Turku?
If Oulu stays committed to their promising and very interesting sister city friendship with Hangzhou, and China buzz, I believe also PBP will in the coming years grow really big and meaningful here in Hangzhou and China.