Ohita valikko
Start Me Up 2023 business idea competition
Had a thought? Tell us your business idea and you have the chance to win a €130,000 prize.

Start Me Up 2023 business idea competition

Bring your ideas to light

Had a thought? Business Joensuu and its partners are looking for the best ideas for the future that can grow into sustainable business activities, both in North Karelia and internationally. The starting point may be a new product, service or operating model concept, or a technology for starting a new business or for growing a current one. Every idea is worth trying! 

The competition begins on February 1, 2023 and you can submit your ideas until March, 31,2023.

We welcome students, researchers, companies and individuals alike to participate in the competition! In addition to the North Karelia region, ideas around Finland, as well as the world, are welcome.

The competition has a record-breaking set of prizes. The value of the grand prize is whopping  €130,000 and the total value of the prizes exceeds €160,000!

All business idea proposals submitted by March 31, 2023 will participate in the pursuit of the main prize and may also be awarded in other competition categories.

The multidisciplinary competition jury assesses the competition proposals and selects the winners, based on the novelty value, feasibility, as well as the growth and internationalisation potential of the business ideas. After the competition, all participants can continue to refine their ideas together with Business Joensuu experts and partners.

The Start Me Up business idea competition, which promotes North Karelian entrepreneurship and future business, has been organised since 2000. It has established itself as one of Finland's most significant business idea competitions.

Roll up your sleeves, and make the idea light bulbs glow! Bring your ideas to light by March 31.
One entrant can participate in the competition with several ideas. You can participate in the competition alone or as a team.

Why should you grow with Start Me Up?

  • Business idea sparring and refining.
  • Business Joensuu and our partners support the idea's implementation into a sustainable business.
  • An award that supports the development of a business idea.
  • Channel for fund investments (grand prize).
  • Channel for media visibility.
  • Increase awareness in our networks and create relationships.
  • Above all, it is a long-term growth environment that enables synergies between companies, research activities, financiers and business life.
Participation instructions

Award Gala May 24, 2023

Announcing the winners

The winners of the Start Me Up business idea competition will be announced in the Award gala, on May 24, 2023, at the Joensuu Science Park.

The Award Gala programme will be announced in April. 


Best pitch

An open-to-all Best Pitch competition will be organised, on May 24, 2023, as part of the award gala of the Start Me Up business idea competition. The winner of the best pitch will be rewarded with a cash prize of €1,000

Further information

EN Co-Funded by the EU_Business_Joensuu

This material has been produced as a part of the Joensuu city's innovation ecosystem agreement (EAKR) activities, which are co-funded by the European Union and the City of Joensuu.