Draft Program® Annual Report 2022

The Annual Report shares the details of the 78 applicant teams, 41 selected participants and the 18 new launched businesses. This year in 2023 there are even more opportunities to apply and join the program.


Heikki Immonen, Karelia University of Applied Sciences

Harri Holopainen, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Number of applicants and the teams selected in to the program

In the three open calls in 2022, total of 78 teams applied to the Draft Program®. 52 teams were from Joensuu-area and 26 from Kuopio-area. Number of applicant teams to the first round of Draft was 55, while for the next round there were 23 applicant teams.

Total of 41 teams were selected to either stage of the program, which is 52 % of all applicants.

Detailed look at the applicants

Some interesting details stand out when we look at all the applicants in 2022. Applicants from Joensuu-area had quite evenly connections to Karelia, Riveria or UEF, while the applicants from Kuopio-area where mostly connected with Savonia and UEF. There will be conscious effort in 2023 to get more applicants from Savo Vocational College to apply.

  • Draft was such an important boost for us. We would have not been able to find motivation to start implementing our idea, without applying to the program. – A comment by a new online-store entrepreneur who participated in the Program in 2022.

A new and growing group of applicant teams are so called student-run ventures or student startups.  Student-run ventures are not real companies, as they “borrow” the business identity code from their school. Business identity code is needed to legally send and receive payments. In 2022 eight applicant teams were so-called student-run ventures in the form of JA Companies. These teams have the advantage of having tested some aspects of their business idea already via their student-run ventures.

The average size of applicant team was 2,7 members. Interestingly, a total of 38 applicant teams had members that where either Draft partner school staff (15 %) or faculty members or alumni (33 %). Alumni have been able to apply to the Program since 2019.

New businesses started in 2022

In 2022 new business operations were started by a total of 18 companies, which had participated in the Draft Program in 2022 or earlier.

Here are some of these companies:

Mention-worthy achievements

Karelian Paju Oy and Butterfly Brick Oy won the 3000 € Star Me Up business idea competition’s best student-based idea award as representatives of Karelia UAS and UEF. Butterfly Brick also received an award in Tahko Ski Lift Pitch 2022.

The carrot-ginger jam of Nokiakka Oy won gold medal in the national artisanal food competition in Lappeenranta. Nokiakka competed in the “Plant and mushroom products” category. You can go and check out how Nokiakka is doing today here: www.nokiakka.com

Freesie Plant & Planning Oy opened their Freesie PUOTI design store in Joensuu. Check out the look and feel of the store at: https://www.instagram.com/freesiepuoti/

What happens in year 2023?

The new year will bring even more opportunities to apply and join the Draft Program. There will be normal application times in January, May and October. Also, three special themed calls are already booked: Photonics themed call, Event business themed call, and a call targeting the students of Savo Vocational College.