Rules and prizes

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The winners of competition 2018

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Start Me Up in Finnish

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Start Me Up business idea competition 2018 is over
and the winner has been awarded

A new method for more cost-efficient production of nanocellulose, the super material of the future,
was awarded as the best idea in the Joensuu Science Park´s Start Me Up business idea competition.
Read more about about the winners here.

Thank you for all participants and congratulations to all winners!
Start Me Up Business Idea Competition in Finnish >>

What on earth is Start Me Up?

Ideas are converted into cash in the business idea competition organised by the Joensuu Science Park Business Incubator. We are seeking ideas that might lead to the creation of a new business or enable an existing company to succeed. You can participate in a competition alone, together, or as a company, and on the basis of several ideas. Why not five!


Thank you for participating the business idea competition!

We received 235 ideas. The winners will be announced on 9th May

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Every pitcher is a winner

The judges have the task of deciding whether your idea would be practicable and profitable. Every idea is considered carefully and its potential for conversion into a business is evaluated. The total prize value is around EUR 90,000. Read more about the prizes >>

In addition to prizes, the Start Me Up business idea competition provides every idea with the opportunity to succeed. After the competition, we offer help to all participants in further developing their ideas – if the ‘pitcher’ would like such assistance. Our Business Incubator experts will bring their own expertise, partners and networks to accelerating the development of your idea into a business. Finding the right people will take you far.

Circular economy and agile trials highlighted

The Start Me Up business idea competition is also seeking business ideas for the circular economy. New thinking can be applied to issues such as extending the life cycle of a product, or a product can function as a service or sharing platform. Read about more ideas for the circular economy. >>

In addition to monetary and expert service prizes, the new business idea competition includes agile trials – pilots. These will enable the further development of the business idea into a commercial product or service. Additional information on piloting. >>>


Pitch your idea here.

Participate in the competition - fill in the electronic form

Do you love being in front of the camera? Shoot a video and win a thousand euro!

A video recording of your idea is by no means mandatory, but it is worth doing. In the video, you should summarise your main point in a minute-long speech, which will be presented to the judges alongside your idea. If you like, you can also take part in the "Some Awards" series, where members of the public will vote for the best video and decide who will earn the €1,000 prize.

See the instructions and tips on making a video >>

Important dates

The competition will start on 1 February 2018 and end on 31 March 2018.

Videos in the Some Awards series will be released on 4 April 2018. Voting on the Some Awards series will end at noon on 8 May 2018.

The judges will begin their work on Wednesday 11 April and finish on Wednesday 25 April. The winners will be contacted by week 17 of 2018 at the latest.

The winners of the Start Me Up business idea competition will be announced on 9 May 2018.

Partners make the competition possible

North Karelia is known for its innovative ideas. Our versatile support team and expert panel of judges are evidence of this. A large number of companies, training organisations, development companies and other organisations are funding and sponsoring the competition – they are all burning to see new success stories moving off the drawing board. Click here for information on our partners  and the list of panel members.

Are you still pondering your idea? Let your idea fly!

Participate in the competition now!

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