Our competition would be nothing without top-level entrepreneurship and the group of bodies supporting the contest. This year, a broad range of companies large and small, organisations of various kinds, and associations and development companies are making the Start Me Up business idea competition possible. They are united by a strong desire to support new success stories and watch companies grow – particularly in North Karelia.

Arcusys – triumphing over adversity

Arcusys Oy was established by four unemployed coders in 2003. Arcusys, a North Karelian growth company which has become an international leader in the digitalisation of learning, aims to promote Finland’s digital expertise. The Arcusys Valamis learning environment is being used by NASA's Epic Challenge programme, for example, and the company has offices in five countries.
"The Start Me Up business idea competition is definitely one of the best ways to show Finland and world what we can do here in North Karelia, particularly in terms of promoting digitalisation. It's great to be a competition sponsor and, together with new growth companies, to share our expertise, experience and love for the development of our home region."

- says Arcusys Oy's CEO Jussi Hurskainen

Asianajotoimisto Surakka

Attorneys-at-law, Surakka, have been operating in Joensuu for over 70 years. Our practice is well-known for its expertise in business law, but we also handle the full range of legal issues for both businesses and private individuals. Thanks to our wide corporate customer base, we have a vantage point on the business sector across the country, as well as in the local region. Joensuu Science Park Ltd and its Business Incubator are our long-term partners. We have teamed up to help numerous companies from the launch stage onwards. That is why the Start Me Up business competition is close to our hearts. We want to be involved in developing good business ideas into successful companies.

An expert in financing and an accelerator of growth

Privanet and FundedByMe arrange funding for both start-ups and companies already achieving steady results. Our experience of financing provides us with the ideal basis to act as an expert in the Start Me Up competition. We share our thoughts and ideas with growth companies seeking a boost to their business. We have been presented with countless business ideas, each more interesting than the last, since we began operating. We believe that we have an excellent grasp of the growth potential of companies participating in the competition, and how they can enter a growth path. By participating in the competition, companies seeking growth will gain a clear picture of their possible development steps, and tangible ways of achieving them.

Tell us about your ideas!

As a regional business and business developer, JOSEK is involved in promoting new business ideas and solutions that enable success stories. The business idea competition is a wonderful opportunity to further develop ideas that matter. All ideas, whether large or small, are important. We need your ideas, so that we can make things possible together. Our panel of experts will spar and support you every step of the way, to make big and small business stories come true.

Realise your idea and dreams in the Joensuu region. Achieving business success together!

The Karelia University of Applied Sciences supports students on their journey towards entrepreneurship

A bright future is built on skills and expertise. The University is involved in building such a future by training skilled professionals to meet the future needs of working life. Karelia also finds it important to promote entrepreneurial opportunities for young people and students. Start Me Up helps to discover entrepreneurial youths, so that they can take an important step towards developing their own business idea. For young teams of entrepreneurs who have already received support from the University for their project, Start Me Up is also a channel for taking the next step towards entering the business incubator.

Photo: Jussi Ratilainen

Expert assistance of up to €10,000 for regional pilots

Now is the time to enter the regional business idea competition: in addition to the competition prizes, this spring a total of €10,000 in expert services for regional pilots will be available in Central Karelia. 

"We want to help you get started with your good business ideas and are offering expert help worth up to €10,000," says Risto Hiltunen, CEO of KETI Oy. – If we believe that the proposed idea is good and feasible, we can quickly help to get a pilot up and running. Several ideas may be worth supporting. We will not give a regional cash prize this year, but will provide support, in the form of expert services, for pilots.

Strong protection is the foundation of a successful business

Careful IPR management can provide a competitive edge, ensure freedom of action, and strengthen a brand image. However good your idea is, building a successful business around it will be difficult or impossible without attending to copyright protection. Leitzinger's goal is that no business idea is left languishing in a bottom drawer, or that innovation efforts benefit competitors, just because no help is available with product protection. So it is easy to see why we want to be part of the Start Me Up competition and champion Finnish innovation. Boxers never go into the ring with their guard down, so why should your business idea be unprotected?

New flame for entrepreneurship in Lieksa!

Lieksa is busy on a number of fronts – companies are investing and hiring, more urban construction is going on than in decades, more tourists are visiting Koli than ever, the city has restructured its operations, and a new development company has started up. However, now is the time to accelerate development and notch up another success – more start ups, new business ideas and entrepreneurship are needed. On the other hand, we have the Start Me Up business idea competition and Lieksan Kehitys Oy LieKe – get in touch and we will help you to get started!

That’s why the headline mentions flames (‘lieke’ in Finnish). It also means electricity: the Finnish philologist Elias Lönnrot once wanted to use the word to mean electricity. So a new flame is burning, or power is surging, within entrepreneurship in Lieksa!

Ideas and vitality!

The North Karelian Chamber of Commerce and Start Me Up have the same mindset: To get results, we need the courage to have a go. Bring your idea to the business idea competition and we at the Chamber of Commerce will spur you on your way, while keeping the doors to the world open!

Do you have an inner ‘Kim’?

"I remember a friend from my student days at the University of Joensuu, who was overflowing with unusual business ideas. He had the energy to create and innovate.
I was quieter and became a public servant, which was enough of an achievement.
At times, I wondered what had become of this chap, who built castles in the air. He was called Kim. Kim Väisänen."
PS: the world's Kims are a strong reason why we, in the Regional Council, are burning to support the Start Me Up competition.
Rauno Jussila, Communications Manager
Regional Council of North Karelia

Be bold!

Whether your business idea is small or large, simple or multifaceted, inventive or simple, be bold and take part in the Start Me Up! business idea competition. Pohjois-Karjalan Yrittäjät (North Karelia Entrepreneurs) have been a partner of the business competition for many years, because it supports the growth of our entire region and creates vitality.

Riveria - the courage to make a vision real

Riveria has the task of maintaining the flow of skilled employees, and keeping working life in the region a step ahead. We achieve this by making use of our multidisciplinary skills and networks on multiple fronts, as well as awarding degrees. We maintain open dialogue with our students, working life and stakeholders. Developing knowledge of working life is one of the cornerstones of our business. We bring expertise to realising this throughout the region. Cooperation and partnerships are bringing the envisaged future a step closer!

The business idea competition is an opportunity to make our future vision real. Riveria represents hands-on, practical skills – new creators with a purpose who not only glimpse the future, but make it happen. We encourage everyone to create their own future, rather than just adapting. We also encourage students to participate in the business idea competition. The best job may be the one you created.

Your opportunity now beckons!

From research to business idea

The University of Eastern Finland is the country’s most multidisciplinary university. We have 15,000 undergraduate students, who are future experts in a range of fields. We engage in important research in numerous subjects.

The students and researchers at our university generate a large number of innovations each year. Our teaching and research inspires the invaluable business ideas of the future. The Start Me Up business idea competition enables the transformation of these visions into businesses. It also offers an excellent opportunity to highlight research and know-how, and to bring together suitable partners. Will the next success story be found in the University of Eastern Finland?

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Participate in the competition!

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Expert panel of judges

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