Ohita valikko
Start Me Up 2023 business idea competition
Make the idea light bulbs glow and you have the chance to win a €130,000 prize!

Competition jury

Competition jury's work

The members of the competition jury of the Start Me Up business idea competition are experienced experts in the education, business and financial world. The members of the jury will explore the preselected competition proposals in the competition system. During the jury working days, the Business Joensuu Start Me Up working group will present the business ideas to the jury. The jury may also decide to use external experts for the assessment if necessary.

The 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.

Participation instructions

Competition jury members in the business idea competition in 2023

  • Chair Tomi Haring, CEO, Business Joensuu

  • Jyrki Saarinen, Professor, University of Eastern Finland (photonics)

  • Heikki Immonen, Dr., Principal Lecturer of Entrepreneurship, Karelia University of Applied Sciences

  • Sanna Lappalainen, Project Specialist, Riveria

  • Antti Vikman, COO, Nolwenture Ltd

  • Pekka Lemettinen, CEO/Board Professional/Investor

  • Kaj Hagros, North Karelia Growth Fund, Managing Partner, Redstone Nordics

  • Antti Pölönen, Head of Accounting, Northern Karelia Cooperative Society

Award Gala May 24, 2023

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, meeting room Temple of Challenge (building 3A, 4th floor).

Register for the Start Me Up Award Gala by May 17, 2023

Start Me Up Award Gala programme

9.00–9.30 Coffee
9:30–9:40 Opening of the day – Janne Pakarinen, Business Joensuu
9:40-11:30 Best Pitch competition: the pitches of the ten finalists to the jury and the audience
11.30–12.30 Lunch (own expense)
12:30–13:00 Keynote speech: VTT's expertise and role in encouraging and commercializing business ideas - Antti Vasara, CEO, VTT
13.00–13.15 Background of the Start Me Up and further development opportunities for participants in the competition - Janne Pakarinen and Kirsi Svärd, Business Joensuu
13:15–13:30 Start Me Up business idea competition 2022 winner announcement - UCOT
13:30–14:00 Coffee break
14:00–14:10 Announcing and awarding the winner of the Best Pitch competition
14.10–15.10 Announcing and awarding the winners of the Start Me Up business idea competition 2023

  • Winners of the student category: University of Eastern Finland, Karelia University of Applied Sciences and Riveria
  • Winner of the Business for Kitee category
  • Winner of the Business for Liperi category
  • Winner of the Modern Karelian trade and service at Marketplace Joensuu category (PKO)
  • Winner of the Research-based business idea category
  • Winner and Main prize of the Start Me Up competition

15.10–15.15 Closing the event - Tomi Haring, Business Joensuu

The registration period for the Best pitch competition ended on May 10, 2023.

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. 

In the Best Pitch series, the most convincing sales pitch is sought and rewarded with €1,000. The Business Joensuu Start Me Up working group will preselect the top 10 pre-registered participants for the final pitching competition. At the award gala, finalists present their pitches to the jury and the audience. The pitch can last 3 minutes, after which the jury has the opportunity to ask further questions for 5 minutes. Participation in the Best Pitch competition is open until May 10, 2023. We will confirm the participants shortlisted for the final pitching competition by email by May 17, 2023.

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.