Outcomes of the first-ever HXRC Accelerator program

Jun 7, 2023

The HXRC Accelerator program delivered substantial value to the participants, equipping them with practical knowledge, peer support, and personalized guidance.

Coaches of HXRC Accelerator, Oki Tåg and Pouria Kay, are discussing at the last accelerator day. They are sitting on chairs in front of a big red table.

HXRC Accelerator coaches Oki Tåg and Pouria Kay. (Picture: Saija Heinonen)

Helsinki XR Center (HXRC) introduced its first-ever accelerator program, the HXRC Accelerator, in the spring of 2023. The primary objective of the accelerator was to provide Finnish XR startups with an opportunity to overcome their business targets and advance towards the go-to-market stage. The program specifically targeted XR/Metaverse SMEs, offering assistance in areas such as business development, customer acquisition, sales, and marketing practices. With an emphasis on mentoring, the program offered the best practices to learn and build, tailored for each team. Taking place from March 1st to May 10th, this program spanned a duration of 9 weeks.

In this article, we provide you with some insights into how the accelerator managed to support the growth and development of Finnish XR startups.

HXRC Accelerator in short

The HXRC Accelerator was run by startup experts Oki Tåg & Pouria Kay from Trainshare Universal. Trainshare designed and managed the program in whole, and Helsinki XR Center provided workspace and additional support. Vaikuttavat Hankinnat Oy was brought in to source lead lists of potential partners and clients.

HXRC Accelerator offered a comprehensive range of best practices and tailored learning experiences for each team involved. In whole, the accelerator program focused on several key themes: human interactions, self awareness, team awareness, business strategy, and sales strategy.

The program included mentoring, 1-to-1 sessions and high-rated workshops and inspiring events to different teams at various stages of their development.

HXRC Accelerator, growth for Finnish XR startups

Throughout the accelerator program, the aim was to equip teams with the knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to thrive in the XR industry while fostering meaningful human interactions, promoting self-awareness, and enhancing team dynamics.

Mentoring at the core

The coaches, Oki & Pouria, implemented a comprehensive mentoring approach during the accelerator, which proved instrumental in the growth and success of the participating teams. The coaches emphasized one-to-one discussions in guiding the teams, allowing for deep dives into the psychological aspects behind their challenges. By facilitating introspection and asking insightful questions, the coaches helped the teams uncover the answers within themselves.

Their personalized and hands-on mentorship empowered entrepreneurs to overcome challenges by identifying bottlenecks, establishing trust, and creating a safe space for decision-making. Through close collaboration and strategic thinking, the coaches helped participants develop roadmaps for success, connect with potential leads, and accelerate their growth. This one-to-one approach was highly successful in the program.

“We focus on people before business. Our job is to dive into the cloud of fog inside their heads and help the startups to find clarity, to find their focus again. They have it always inside of them. Once they know what they need to focus on, we take next steps and help them, for example, what actions to take and who to contact.”

– Pouria Kay

Immense help from the HXRC Accelerator

The outcomes of the HXRC Accelerator program were marked by significant progress and development across the participating teams. Here is some of the outcomes achieved:

  • More clarity and focus: The teams gained a clearer understanding of their target markets and areas of concentration. The program facilitated improved goal setting and focus, allowing teams to prioritize their efforts and achieve better outcomes.
  • Sales success & shift in sales strategy: Multiple sales deals were closed, demonstrating the effectiveness of the program in driving revenue generation. The teams gained more confidence in their sales efforts, utilizing metrics and understanding customer needs to drive successful outcomes.
  • Acquisition of quality leads: The teams acquired high-quality leads, expanding their potential customer base.
  • Validation and discovery: Teams acknowledged the importance of validation and discovery before building new features or expanding their product offerings.
  • Awareness of team resources and weaknesses: Teams gained a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in sales and operations, allowing them to make informed decisions and allocate resources accordingly. This fostered better commitment and communication.
  • Strategic alignment: Sales and product strategies were aligned, ensuring a cohesive approach to market positioning and customer needs.


Overall, the HXRC Accelerator program resulted in significant positive outcomes for the participating teams, including increased sales, improved team dynamics, and strategic alignment.

Following the completion of the program, the teams were assigned post-program actions to further advance their business growth. These post-program actions aimed to guide the teams in their continued growth and success, addressing various aspects of their business operations, sales strategies, team dynamics, and long-term planning.

“Very valuable treasure trove of information and practical knowledge.”

– Participant comment

Pouria Kay lecturing at the HXRC Accelerator kick-off day.

Pouria Kay presenting at the HXRC Accelerator kick-off session. (Picture: Saija Heinonen)

A few of the HXRC Accelerator participants talking together with Oki and Pouria.

Program participants reflecting their experience on the accelerator journey at the last meeting. (Picture: Saija Heinonen)

Stories & highlights

  • Imposter syndrome busting: One of the participants came out of their imposter syndrome closet during the program. Only after that they had the ability to make changes in their actions, and this helped their company to finally take steps in the right direction.
  • Expanding markets: One company took their first steps to international markets with the help of this program.
  • Clearer product strategy: One team was thinking too far ahead and were creating answers to problems that didn’t exist yet. During this program, they managed to take a few steps back and create a new, better product strategy.
  • Sales realizations: One had low self-esteem in sales situations and they weren’t able to take control of the sales discussion in a positive way and guide the customer to choose their products instead of others’. They said that this accelerator helped them to be more positively aggressive in sales situations.
  • Team-spirit was found: One team said that they are finally looking at the same direction and talking more productively to each other, thanks to this program.
  • Mindset shifting: One team started to understand the market in a more positive way: it’s a sea of opportunities instead of a sea of challenges.
  • Gaining focus: Every team lacked focus in the beginning of the program, but all of the teams had found more clarity by the end of it.

Participant feedback

“Active participation in this (accelerator or something similar) makes a lot of difference for the company.”

“It was beneficial to share experiences with others (peer support), to hear that there are others in the same situation and experiencing similar things. Support was received from mentors, but also from other teams.

“Valuable insights were gained from the program, particularly in terms of customer orientation, adaptability in the company’s operations, and long-term planning. Our business is now more solid.”


The HXRC Accelerator program proved to be a highly valuable experience for the participating teams, as reflected in their feedback. Participants described it as a valuable source of information and knowledge that empowered them to approach sales situations more confidently and positively. The opportunity to share experiences with peers and receive support from mentors and other teams created a supportive environment, highlighting the importance of peer support in their entrepreneurial journey.

After the program, the coaches emphasized the importance of tailoring support as the teams grow, acknowledging that the needs of startups evolve over time. Additionally, they highlighted the significance of founder participation in future programs, as founder bias is very common in startups in this stage.

Overall, the HXRC Accelerator program delivered substantial value to the participants, equipping them with practical knowledge, peer support, and personalized guidance.

As a result of its success, Helsinki XR Center hopes to continue arranging accelerator programs in the future, ensuring ongoing support for XR startups in their growth journey. When this happens, we’ll let you know.

This XR accelerator program was organized by Helsinki XR Center, run by Trainshare Universal (directed by Pouria Kay and Oki Tåg), and funded by AXE4 – Assisting XR Entrepreneurs Forward -project (European Regional Development Fund & Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council).

Find more of our news in the News section.

Follow us on social media for more posts: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Share this news