*ship is the biggest startup event in South East Finland to be held this year on July 27th and 28th at Vellamo Maritime Center in Kotka, Finland. This July, you better be at *ship 2016. Here’s why:

1. A great opportunity to get access to high profile mentors and coaches.

Here we disclose names of some of the mentors who have confirmed to facilitate you at *ship: Bruce Oreck, Fabian Sepulveda, Topi Järvinen, Alan Barrell. These mentors and coaches are definitely professional at not only entrepreneurship and startups but also mentoring and coaching people that are eager to start their business. And it would never be easy to meet all of them at once. Therefore, *ship is an awesome opportunity to take further steps in your startup process with helpful mentoring.

2. Amazing venue: Vellamo Maritime Centre

Are you impressed by the unique Finnish architecture and design? Would you like to experience it in a harbour setting? Definitely, Vellamo Maritime Centre will make your wish come true. Here, you are invited to time travel to the old-age Finnish seaports at the Maritime Museum of Finland and the Museum of Kymenlaakso. Stories of the seaside are told in a variety of ways incorporating the senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Vellamo significantly contributes to making *ship 2016 more than just a startup festival. The summer-by-the-sea atmosphere promises to blow your mind away with further ideas and plans for personal and professional growth.

3. Wide network for future career ambitions

The festival gathers local, national and international investors, mentors and aspiring entrepreneurs. You never know who is standing right next to you and once you do get to know, you would never stop being surprised by who they really are. They could be a helpful mentor or an investor who would like to hear about your business and probably find it interesting to invest their money on. They might be desirable teammates who you have been looking for. You would have access to all of this and much more at *ship. Only one ticket leads you to a wider network. So why not join us?

4. Listen to 40 startup teams pitch their business ideas

Forty teams from the youth-led summer programs in Finland, Russia and beyond are expected to attend *ship this July. Guess what? They compete for €5000 with their own business ideas. The Pitch Captain completion is optimized with regards to stimulating your creative juices with two harsh but interesting rounds of qualification and loads of surprises.

5. A range of inspiring and helpful lectures.

*ship seeks to empower people, especially students, to create new job opportunities while following their passion. The festival provides future entrepreneurs with a variety of workshops, seminars aimed at inspiring them to start a future career of their interest. Besides, this offers them more encouragement to take risks yet be responsible, exercise leadership and gain invaluable skills along the way. Be there, and take inspiration!

6. Share your challenges and get useful advice

We do know that the early stages of starting something new are always full of challenges. Sometimes, the problem we face is not so hard but the point is: we do not know who to ask for advice. If you are going through something similar, *ship is a good chance for you to share the challenges you are facing and you may receive helpful advice and innovative solutions.

7. Inspiring cruise ride and side events

This festival is so much more than just a pitching competition and a workshop and seminar event. The innovative atmosphere will be sensed not merely within the venue place. The *ship crew will take you cruising through Kotka archipelago. Stay tuned!

8. Kotka – a lively harbour city

July 25th-31st is the most happening week of Kotka with a number of summer events going on at the same time. Starting off with Country Dances on July 26th, Park Concerts on July 27th and the Kotka Maritime Festival from July 28th to July 31st, which would definitely be the highlight of your stay in Kotka.

In the Centre island of Kotka, you might find it difficult to decide where to have the perfect picnic; Sapokka Water Garden introduces you to a 20-meter high waterfall and plentiful planting. At Katariina Seaside park, you can chill out admiring a scenic sea view and have a barbecue party. Wherever you go in Kotka, you will find parks and gardens.

9. A great deal of good food

Scandinavian seafood is a must-try and it is easily accessible at many places around Kotka. Go to the shore and look around; restaurants and delicious seafood scent is all around you. For something special, you can hop on a ferry for 10 minutes, and check out the island Varissaari, its restaurant and Fort Elisabeth.

If you are fond of Asian cuisine such as spicy Thai dishes, Japanese sushi or Chinese Beijing duck, check out the Tai Hing restaurant in the center of Kotka. Or would you like to try Indian food? There you go with La Mustang restaurant. In case you are a kebab fan, a list of kebab houses is set for you in Kotka. What else? Go and find Finns with a common interest in sports at Players Sport Bar in the city center.

10. *ship the start-up festival itself

Is there anything greater than participating in a start-up festival enclosing an endless list of surprises? We guess the answer should be “NO!”.