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May 2022 Joensuu Draft call results and tips for future applicants

A total of 20 teams applied – all new selected teams have experience relevant to the business idea

In May, the second Draft call in Joensuu in 2022 was held. This time the call did not have a specific theme, but the call was open to all kinds of business ideas. A total of 20 teams applied for the first € 1,000 phase and the € 3,000 follow-up phase of the Draft Program. The applicant teams included a wide range of students, staff or alumni from Karelia, Riveria and UEF.

The level of applications was high and among the applicants were e.g. a lot of people who already had work experience in the field of their business idea. Several of the applicants already had a company registered even though the business was not yet developed. Four of the teams applying for the next stage were developing a service business while one team focused on technology development.

Teams selected for the Draft program

The selections for the first phase of the Draft Program was handled by the Draft Entrepreneurship Coaches from Karelia, Riveria and UEF’s. As a result of the application day held on Monday, May 23, 2022, eight teams were selected for the first phase of the Draft Program:

  • Karelian Paju Oy, team led by Erkki Kukkonen
  • Digital Study-counselling service, team led by Susanna Toikka
  • Restaurant and accommodation service, team led by Ritva Mikkonen
  • Digital Game, team led by Hannutapio Härkönen
  • Vesiurheilukeskus Laituri Oy, team led by Eppu Niemi
  • Tourism and wellbeing service, team led by Piia Soininen
  • A product or childcare professionals , team led by Siiri Mäkelä
  • Wellbeing service, team led by Miia Kettunen

There was a very tough competition over the available two places in the next phase of the Draft. The selection was made by the partners of the Draft Program, which include e.g. representatives of various funding organizations (eg. Otsakorpi Foundation, Joensuu area Leader association), private investors and business advisors (eg. Business Joensuu). The following teams were selected:

  • Materialisting Oy, team led by Sakari Tolppanen
  • New way to cut and process wood, team led by Reijo Pankka

Congratulations to the selected teams!

What can others learn from the selected teams?

When we look at the selected Teams, a few issues emerge that contributed to their selection for the program. These tips can be useful for future applicants as well.

• Most teams had experience and expertise in a production of a product or service similar to the product or service related to their business idea, as well as a clear understanding or experience of their customer needs. It is therefore worth expanding your team if necessary.

• The teams had already taken a variety of measures to implement and further develop their business idea, which is an indication of the team’s own motivation and ability to take action.

• The teams managed to present their business ideas clearly right from the first slide, so that it was not unclear to the audience what kind of product or service they had. Clarity tells you that the team itself has a good grasp of the business idea themselves.

What happens next in the Draft Program?

The work for the new teams will begin with a kickoff event next week. In the kickoff, the teams get to know each other and the entrepreneurship coaches. The event will also reveal each team’s own entrepreneurship coaches.

After Kickoff, each team will start working with their own Draft Entrepreneurship Coaches and participate in a joint workshop for all teams during the spring.

Teams selected for the first phase will have the opportunity to apply for a € 3,000 next stage in the September-October call.

This publication was written by Heikki Immonen, Karelia University of Applied Sciences

Publication date 24.5.2022