GrowUp Students |

GrowUp Students

Expose your ideas and be creative – think like an entrepreneur

GrowUp Students is a growth competition and coaching process for higher education students' business ideas and operating businesses. Students can participate in the competition alone or as a team, in Finnish or English. Each participating higher education institution (SeAMK, VAMK, ​​TAMK and SAMK) organizes its own preliminary trainings and semifinals. 16 competitors will participate in the final at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences: three business ideas and one operating business from each university.

In the GrowUp Students competition, the jury evaluates the pitching of the competitors as well as the feasibility, potentiality, novelty value, team, scalability and economy of the business idea or operating business. During the competition, the student receives personal coaching from experts to clarify, develop and measure the business idea and business.

Competition Structure

1. Registration

Registration by 31 January 2023 via this link

2. Pre-coaching

The student participates in the pre-coaching organized at their home university. In pre-coaching, the student’s business idea /business is reviewed in more detail and the student gets useful tips to develop it. In addition, the student participates in pitching exercises. After this, the student is ready to participate in the semi-finals.

3. Semifinals

The student participates in GrowUp Students semifinal, which is arranged in their home university. In semifinal, the student pitches their idea for the jury. A total of twelve business ideas and four operating businesses continue from the semifinals to the finals.

SeAMK’s semifinal will be held on February 7, 2023 from 9 am to 12 pm in Y-Zone.

4. Final 14.2.2023

The final will take place on February 14, 2023 from 10 am to 5 pm at SeAMK, in the yellow auditorium (F128). A total of twelve business ideas and four operating businesses will participate in the final. In the final, the contestants give a 3-minute pitch about their business idea or operating business to the jury. After the pitches, the student participates in coaching, where experts give personal guidance to develop a business idea or operating business.

Competition Categories

The GrowUp Students 2023 competition has two categories:

1. Business ideas
As the name suggests, you can start the GrowUp Students business idea -category with just an idea. An idea can be a product or a service – practically anything that could be used to make a business.

2. Operating businesses
You can enter the GrowUp Students operating businesses -category if the company has a  business identity code or the student is actively engaged in business activities, e.g. as a small business owner.


The winner and runner-up of both categories will be awarded a cash prize.

GrowUp Students, Business idea:
First place 1,000€
Second place 500€

GrowUp Students, Operating businesses
First place 1,000€
Second place 500€

In cooperation

GrowUp Students 2023 competition is organized by:

Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
INTO Seinäjoki
South Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce
Seinäjoki Entrepreneurship Society – SeiES


GrowUp Students originates from an SME growth competition Grow Up. Grow Up competition was arranged in South Ostrobothnia for several years and it was very successful. Instead of Finnish SMEs, GrowUp Students competition differs from its predecessor by letting higher education students test their business ideas and businesses.

GrowUp Students -competition was arranged for the first time in 2017 for Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences students. In 2018, Tampere and Vaasa Universities of Applied Sciences joined the competition.

  • 2022 WINNERS

    Business Ideas
    1. Cropcorn
    A platform to discover local producers, small businesses and events
    2. LighthouseOS
    A light and easy-to-use operating system that makes it possible to get inexperienced computer users into the internet age and harness used laptops into working machines again!

    Operating businesses

    1. BrightLife
    Brightlife develops and produces an online operating platform based on the SaaS model (software as a service) that enhances the availability and quality of mental health services, where help-seekers and help-givers (psychotherapists) can easily and safely meet each other. The purpose is to enhance the work of professionals with the help of an internet platform designed for them, through which they can treat their clients more efficiently and monitor the development of their mental health. The platform includes various services that make the work of mental health professionals easier, such as customer appointment booking and homework, secure communication with customers, and an invoicing service for professionals.

    In the future, the purpose is to develop a phone application to support the platform for people suffering from mental health problems. The goal of the application is to increase and lower people’s threshold for using mental health services. Customers can participate in the remote reception of their chosen therapist directly through the application, and therapists can directly assign homework to their clients through the application. Shared homework and the information and data obtained from it would produce real-time feedback for therapists, making it even easier for therapists to monitor the healing process of clients and produce even more individual treatment paths for clients

    2. Kätevä
    Etäterveysasema Kätevä (remote health station) is a private health technology company that develops technology and tools to implement proactive, efficient, affordable and accessible healthcare.

  • 2019 WINNERS

    Belkys Sanders, a student at SeAMK, won the competition’s Business Ideas category with an EZY mobile application that combines light entrepreneurs and their services. The idea for the OWE – Open World Exchange by students Maureen Fontaine, Christian Liefeldt and Mathilde Hermant from Vaasa University of Applied Sciences got the second award. In their community service, especially international students can exchange their experiences and knowledge about life around the world.

    The jury chose SeAMK student Pietari Sillasto’s Reissujuna (Tour Train) as the winner of the Operating Businesses category. The Reissujuna organizes experiential museum train trips to various cultural destinations such as festivals. The working group also includes train expert Juhana Siren, serial entrepreneur Robert Ramstedt, communications student Liisa-Anneli Haavisto and technical expert Antero Alku.

    Second award in the Operating Businesses category was handed to SeAMK’s student Jenny Ekman-Kaivonen for her sports studio in Västervik, Vaasa.

    SeAMK’s students Francisca Gomes and Mubarek Abdillahi received an honourable mention for the best pitch.

  • 2018 WINNERS

    Four competitors or teams from each of the participating universities were selected, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (SeAMK, competition organizer), Vaasa Polytechnic (VAMK) and Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK).

    The winning competitor/team chosen by the jury was Mindi Pekola with her Anouk Studio. The already operating Anouk Studio sells high-quality contemporary art posters from artists’ artwork to the world. The aim of the company is to allow the purchase of art to as many people as interested at an affordable price. The winner of the award was 1500 euros.

    Second place was awarded to Eero Jääskeläinen Oree Oy. Oree Oy produces laundry chemicals for both consumers and businesses. Consumers are directed to the Fure car care product series, which is a trademark owned by Oree Oy. For companies Oree produces private label products and larger quantities for car washes, for example. Second place Eero Jääskeläinen received 1000 euros.

    Thirdly, Robin Bulz, Sonia Smolinskan, Linda Herrmannova, Kasper Kumpulainen, Arttu Koskela-Koivisto and Daan Pladet from VAMK with Cuppa. The group won prize money to the value of 500 euros.

    For the best pitch, the jury selected Adrien Hustache and five other Tampere students in the Journey in HEL concept, which introduces Finland to the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport for flights to and from Helsinki.

  • 2017 WINNERS

    In the 2017 finals, 12 business ideas competed for the main prize, of which the winner was awarded 1000 euros with second and third receiving 500 euros.

    The competition was won by Elmeri Aukeala, a student of mechanical engineering at the beginning of the year, with a business idea related to the management of green spaces. Shared second place was Jonna Leppäharju Unidenhja, a social student, and a nurse student Jaakko Ilin in the social and healthcare sector with auxiliary business idea.

    The best pitching was awarded to International Business students Sadi Hasanov (SeAMK) and Daria Khaskina (JAMK).

    GrowUp Students -kilpailun voittajat.
    Kuvassa vasemmalta oikealle: Jonna Leppäharju, Elmeri Aukeala, Jaakko Ilin, Sadi Hasanov ja Daria Khaskina.

Further information

SeAMK placeholder kuva

Merja Juppo