The Start Me Up business idea competition organised by Business Joensuu is now open for entries. Start Me Up is looking for mind-blowing ideas which can grow into new North Karelian success stories. The main prize in the competition is EUR 20,000 and use of facilities provided by Business Joensuu for one year. The total value of prizes is EUR 60,000.

Organised for the 19th time, the Start Me Up business idea competition has been a springboard for several companies. Last year’s prize-winning ideas are already developing rapidly.

XHome, winner of the best company-oriented award, specialises in mould destruction and has grown enormously over the year. XHome’s network of entrepreneurs has spread around Finland and the company is looking for more growth in the funding round that is about to start.

– We wouldn’t have reached this point if we didn’t take part in the competition. The goal is to grow nationally and in the long term also internationally says Emma Nykyri, XHome’s Account Manager.

The PillarHall research project focusing on 3D analysis of silicon chip thin films won the main prize in last year’s competition. After the competition, it has turned into a real business, as a company called Chipmetrics Oy has been established to implement the idea.

– The sales have really kicked off, and we’re now trading internationally, says Managing Director Mikko Utriainen.

Utriainen and Nykyri give special thanks to Business Joensuu’s Business Accelerator services.

– This has given us an enormous incentive for developing our own business, Nykyri summarises.

The Start Me Up business idea competition is open to everyone. Last year, 253 new business ideas were submitted in the competition. This year, the target has been set at 300 ideas.

– We particularly hope that the students and companies in the region will participate in the competition. There are 20,000 students and 8,000 companies in the Joensuu region. They are bound to have quite a few mind-blowing ideas, says Business Joensuu’s Business Coach Janne Pakarinen.

The Start Me Up business idea competition is open for entries until 31 March. The competition winners will be announced on 13 May. Instructions for participation can be found at startmeup.fi.

More information:

Business Joensuu, Business Coach Janne Pakarinen, tel. +358 50 575 8859, janne.pakarinen@businessjoensuu.fi

Business Joensuu, Business Coach Kari Pulkkinen, tel. +358 50 406 8716, kari.pulkkinen@businessjoensuu.fi