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The Start Me Up 2022 business idea competition winner is in for a jackpot


Joensuu is seeking for the most potential business idea of the year as the Start Me Up business idea competition led by Business Joensuu starts again. The most potential idea presented to the jury wins the main prize of over 40,000 euros. In addition, students will be rewarded with 9,000 euros. There is a new prize this year: the City of Kitee's Kitee prize, worth 5,000 euros.

With the Start Me Up business idea competition, new potential growth companies have been identified in North Karelia for over 20 years. The competition has established itself as one of Finland’s largest business idea competitions. Between 2000 and 2021, a total of 2,630 ideas have been submitted to the competition, many of which have progressed into successful business operations. In 2021, the number of ideas was 192, and this year’s competition aims for more than 200 ideas.

– The competition is meant for everyone from private individuals to businesses. This is a business idea competition, which means that nothing concrete needs to be ready about the idea. We offer a great opportunity to bring forth ideas. After the competition, all participants will receive sparring for their ideas from experts at Business Joensuu, even if they do not end up with prizes. In addition to the North Karelia region, ideas across Finland and internationally are welcome, says Janne Pakarinen, the competition leader and Business Coach of Business Joensuu.

The competition boosts product development

There is movement from one sector to another, business ideas are created, and these are shown positively in the number of companies established. In 2021, Business Joensuu was coaching 109 start-up companies.

– Global phenomena have always contributed to the creation of new innovations; the pandemic has witnessed changes in operating methods, regardless of the sector, or there is a shortage of raw materials or component availability in companies, says Janita Ylitalo, Director of Business Services at Business Joensuu.

– The Start Me Up business idea competition is an important channel for testing your business idea. For companies already in business, the competition also offers good funding for, for example, an innovative product development project, Janita Ylitalo continues.

In co-operation with:

  • Asianajotoimisto Surakka Oy
  • Itä-Suomen Yliopisto
  • Joensuun kaupunki
  • Karelia-ammattikorkeakoulu
  • Kiteen kaupunki
  • Keski-Karjalan Kehitysyhtiö Oy
  • Leitzinger Oy
  • Oma Säästöpankki Oyj
  • Pohjois-Karjalan kauppakamari
  • Pohjois-Karjalan Maakuntaliitto
  • Pohjois-Karjalan Yrittäjät
  • Riveria

The main prize includes 30,000 euros of money, the biggest financier being the City of Joensuu, and 7,400 euros worth expert services from Business Joensuu’s partners, and facilities for a year from Joensuu Science Park, worth 5,600 euros. The Start Me Up business idea competition starts on 1 February 2022. Business ideas can be submitted until 31 March 2022. The winners will be announced on 18 May 2022. Instructions for participation:

Further information:

Business Joensuu
Janne Pakarinen, Business Coach
tel. +358 (0)50 575 8859

Business Joensuu
Kari Pulkkinen, Fund Manager & Growth Coach
Tel. +358 (0)50 406 8716

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