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Start Me Up is the path to the growth of new business ideas

Start Me Up is the longest-running business idea competition in Finland and the most significant competition in terms of the value of the prizes. Each year, it inspires hundreds of participants to submit their own business idea to be evaluated and rewarded by a jury based on their feasibility and growth potential. The competition is a great way to develop a business idea, acquire funding to commercialise the innovation, get visibility in the media and expand partner networks. Over the years, Start Me Up has served as a starting point to growth for many successful business ideas.

With the Start Me Up business idea competition, new potential growth companies have been identified in North Karelia for 22 years. The competition has established itself as one of Finland's most significant business idea competitions. Between 2000 and 2022, a total of about 2,700 ideas have been submitted for the competition, many of which have grown into successful business operations both in Finland and internationally. Significant investments are made in the marketing and communications of the competition in several media and events. The competition is organised by Business Joensuu and its partners, including the Start Up Fund Joensuu, North Karelia Growth Fund, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Riveria vocational school, Oma Säästöpankki and North Karelia Cooperative Society PKO.

The annual application period for the competition is 1 February to 31 March. The winners are announced by mid-May every year.

The significance of the competition

The aim of the Start Me Up business idea competition is to find business ideas with commercialisation and growth potential that promote the competitiveness of business life in North Karelia by moving to and investing in the region and by strengthening networks of business and innovation ecosystems. The competition encourages individuals, researchers and companies to innovation and creativity by rewarding ideas and innovations that can be seen as having commercial potential, promoting North Karelian entrepreneurship and business, and that can be implemented at least partially in North Karelia.

Business idea to a commercial business

The competition serves as a starting point for your business idea, tests it, and inspires it further. Business ideas from around Finland and abroad are welcome to participate in the competition. Individuals and students wishing to become entrepreneurs, start-ups, established companies, spin-offs and research groups and researchers can participate. At its best, the competition is an amazing first step to test, develop and finance product development and growth as well as launching and growing your business.

All participants in the competition can receive long-term support and coaching from Business Joensuu’s Business Services coaches to refine their business idea, even if their idea is not given an award. We share our expertise and networks to enable business operations.

The jury, composed of experts from the education, business and financial world, assesses the novelty value and feasibility of business ideas as well as their opportunities for business growth and internationalisation. The best and most potential business idea that can be commercialised will be rewarded in the main award category and other award categories. The value of the main prize as well as the prizes for winners in other categories is significant to help start the development and growth of your business idea.

Start Me Up business idea competition news

25.05.2023 Business Joensuu news

The Start Me Up 2023 business idea competition culminated yesterday with the announcement of the winners and their awarding at the Award Gala held in Joensuu Science Park. Look at the gala highlights...

Business Joensuu news

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