A panel of experts assesses the potential of all business ideas and rewards the most mind-blowing ones. The competition serves as a starting point for your business idea, tests it, and inspires it further. After the competition, all participants can continue to refine their ideas together with the Business Joensuu experts.

The competition starts on 01/02/2022 and ends on 31/03/2022.
The panel will commence its duties on 01/04/2022 and finish by 30/04/2022.
The winners will be contacted at the latest during week 18/2022
The winners will be published on 18/05/2022

How to participate:

Read the competition information carefully, fill in the electronic application form  and send it. You may also attach a one-minute video to your electronic application.

Competition info


The objective of the Start Me Up business idea competition is to discover and reward people or companies, whose business idea can be used to promote North Karelian entrepreneurship and which can be implemented in North Karelia.


Main prize total over EUR 40,000:

  • EUR 30,000 Cash
  • Facilities provided by Tiedepuisto for one year, worth EUR 5,600 (Address: Länsikatu 15, Joensuu)
  • Expert awards, worth EUR 7,400:
    • Strong patent application worth €4,900, sponsored by Leitzinger Oy
    • Legal services worth €1,500, sponsored by Attorneys at Law Surakka Oy
    • Bank Services for 1. operating year, worth €1,000, Sponsored by Oma Savings Bank

Kitee -prize EUR 5,000

Student prize EUR 9,000

Monetary awards are taxable income for private individuals. A business ID is a prerequisite for receiving the first prize. The first prize should be used to further develop the business idea in North Karelia. Payment of the main prize is subject to the participant having a plan approved by the organiser on how to spend the prize money on business development.

The winners will be announced on 18/05/2022.



Business Joensuu Oy



Participation takes place through www.startmeup.fi

Send the prototypes / demos and other attachments related to your business idea to Business Joensuu’s Lobby Services. Please add correct postage and mark your consignment with “Start Me Up 2022”. Address: Länsikatu 15, 80110 Joensuu.



01/02 – 31/03/2022



– Janita Ylitalo, Director of Business Services, Business Joensuu Oy ( Chair of panel )
– Pekka Lemettinen, Chairman of the board at Finnish P&C Insurance
– Antti Vikman, COO, Nolwenture Oy
– Aija Bärlund, Interim Managing Director, FiBAN
– Johanna Ahtiainen, Training & Development Manager, FiBAN
– Antti Viitanen, Deal Flow Manager, FiBAN
– Jyrki Saarinen, Professori, UEF
– Sanna Lappalainen, Lecturer, Riveria
– Heikki Immonen, Principal Lecturer, Karelia AMK



Business ideas will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Feasibility
  • Innovation potential
  • Business growth potential
  • Internationalisation potential



Business ideas are treated as confidential. Participants are responsible for protecting any intellectual property rights associated with their business idea.

Details of the winning business ideas will be made public. If the participant wants to restrict publicity, they must make this clear in their application form.



Results of the competition will be published and the prizes will be presented to the winners in Joensuu on 13/05/2020. Where decisions have been made, prizes for the pilot projects will also be published on 18/05/2022.



  • One entrant can participate in the competition with several ideas.
  • You can participate in the competition alone or as a team.
  • Members of the judging panel or their family members may not participate in the competition. In the case of ideas sent in by employees of a company, the competition participants declare that they act in accordance with the Employee Invention Act.
  • Regarding the facilities prize, the maximum size of the office is 14m2.
  • Business idea attachments (prototypes/demos) will only be returned upon request after the competition results have been made public.
  • The winner of the Student Prize must be a student of the University of Eastern Finland, Karelia University of Applied Sciences or Riveria.
  • If you wish, you may upload a one-minute video as an attachment to your business idea to showcase your idea to the competition judges.
  • Participation in the competition always requires the completion of the application form.
  • By submitting your business idea to the competition, you accept the competition rules.
  • The decisions of the judging panel are final and cannot be appealed.
  • The organiser of the competition will not accept any liability if a participant infringes on someone else’s intellectual property rights.

Click here to access the application form!


Business Coach Janne Pakarinen
Tel. 050 575 8859

Fund Manager & Growth Coach Kari Pulkkinen
Tel. +358 50 406 8716