A lump of rejection emails were sent just before the five Uutisraivaaja-finalists were announced. Those emails were sent to a lot of applications with potential and to some that we didn’t see potential in, but that might have it.

Picking winners is extremely hard: here’s a list of just one Venture Capital firm’s missed opportunities. Bear in mind: these are the guys that pick winners for living.

If you didn’t get picked, it’s your chance to become one.

Jyri Engeström coached our Scoopinion team when we got in to Uutisraivaaja finals. Here’s a few awakening pieces of advice we got:

1. Don’t apply for a competition only. You should be working on a project that you love doing. If you get turned down doing something you love, you don’t really loose anything.

2. Use your time wisely. We took the whole team of 4 to meet him and his response was: two of you should be building and two of you should be getting advice and promoting. I see this too much anyways.

3. Hack your way. While building Jaiku, Jyri & co. taped an “out of use”-sign on university’s computer room to gain more time building the service.

Bootstrap and build something that people love. Whether it’s business that pays for the service or people that use it a lot.

Apply for other grants, incubators and seed money: we took Beatroot to Matter.vc, which is probably one of the best places on planet for media startups. Ask me for reference if you’d like to apply. Knight news challenge is another great option.

Close it down. It’s best to focus your energy to things that you really want to do. If your current project isn’t it, move on to the next one.

Real winners are picked by customers and users. Everyone is still on that game.

Mikko “Kobra” Koskinen
Author is an entrepreneur coaching the Uutisraivaaja 2015 finalists.

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