Starting today, the Start Me Up business idea competition is looking for new business ideas from North Karelia and the whole country for the 18th time already. Start Me Up is Finland's largest annual idea competition.

This year, the prize pool is greater than ever in the history of the competition: in total, 100 000 euros in cash and expert awards and piloting support will be distributed. The best idea will receive 20 000 euros and facilities for one year.

This year, Business Joensuu Oy is in charge of the competition. Business Joensuu Oy was formed through the merger of Joensuu Science Park Oy and Joensuu Regional Development Company JOSEK Oy on 1 January 2019.

– An important idea behind the Start Up competition has always been that the participants will receive easily accessible support for their idea, and can continue developing their business idea after the competition with our business coaches. The competition is Business Joensuu’s largest and most visible effort for the encouragement of entrepreneurship this year. The new organization provides us with even better conditions to serve both entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, says Business Coach Timo Ruohio.

Start Me Up business idea competition is open to everyone. Awards will be presented in different categories, such as the best student idea, research-focused idea and business-oriented idea. The winners will be selected by an external jury of experts consisting of experienced business professionals.

– By presenting awards to different target groups, we want to encourage everyone to participate, as success stories are often generated from a seemingly insignificant idea which develops into something bigger through correct coaching and support. Both in North Karelia and at national level, it is important to have an open channel for bringing up new ideas and taking them forward, which also supports the development of Finland’s competitiveness.

The previous organiser of Start Me Up, Joensuu Science Park has sieved through more than 2 000 business ideas in its business incubator. Many of these ideas have led to success stories and turned into international businesses. Examples include LashLovers, a well-known brand of lash extensions, Genetta climbing shoes, finding a foothold in the international market of safety equipment, Kelluu Oy, developing a global airship concept, and CareCare Oy, springing into success with non-slip socks which promote the mobility of older people.

Start Me Up business idea competition starts on 1 February and ends on 31 March. The prizes will be presented on 8 May 2019.

Further information:
Business Joensuu Oy
Timo Ruohio
Business Coach
tel. +358 50 597 4330