October 2022 Joensuu Draft call results and tips for future applicants

Out of the seven teams selected for the first phase, six teams are led by women with diverse backgrounds and work experience.

Heikki Immonen, Karelia University of Applied Sciences

A total of 17 teams applied – many of the applicants are seeking to implement their entrepreneurial dreams.

In October, the third 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 17 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.

Among the applications, teams that are implementing a career pivot or pursuing their entrepreneurial dream from a side job stand out in particular. Among these, a group that stands out is made up of women who have made a career in working for someone else. out of the seven teams selected for the first stage, no less than six teams belong to this group! Two of the teams that applied for the next stage already had cash flow, and the teams of the two applicants had strengthened significantly after the first stage of the Draft.

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 Tuesday, October 4, 2022, seven teams were selected for the first phase of the Draft Program:

  • Handcraft materials store, team led by Sini Hulkkonen
  • Ilomo Oy, team led by Annika Abelenbe
  • Jewelry brand, team led by Johanna Suhonen
  • Saimaan Mesi Tmi., team led by Katri Tavi
  • Bakery products, team led by Kirsi Varis
  • Work machine, team led by Onni Jalonen
  • Online store application, team led by Nea Hyttinen-Kiira

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, Taito Pohjois-Karjala ry.). The following teams were selected:

  • Ukonharju Oy, team led by Johannes Lasaroff
  • Game development studio, team led by Hannutapio Härkönen

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.

  • Passion for the subject. Especially when it comes to those who are in paid work or full-time studies, your own business idea will not progress unless you are motivated by a deep interest in the subject. When developing any business idea, you should ask yourself: Is this business idea really an idea that I feel deeply interested in?
  • Clarity. One way to fail in applying for funding is to leave the listener in a state of confusion. The selected teams managed to clearly and simply tell what their business is all about. Subconsciously, clarity is a signal to the listener that the narrator understands what he is talking about (Pentland, 2008).

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 January-February call.


Pentland, A., & Heibeck, T. (2008). Honest signals. MIT press.