GrowUp Students | SeAMK

GrowUp Students

Expose your ideas and be creative – think like an entrepreneur

GrowUp Students is a growth competition and a coaching process for higher education students’ business ideas and businesses. During the competition, the student receives personal expert guidance to develop, measure and clarify their business idea/business. Every idea, whether it is a product or service, is worth presenting if you believe in it. If you want to participate with an idea, the competition does not oblige you to establish an actual business but certainly encourages to it.

Students from participating Universities of Applied Sciences are eligible to participate in GrowUp Students 2020 competition – alone or as a team!

Competition Structure

1. Pre-Coaching

First, the student takes part in pre-coaching that is arranged in their home university.

Pre-coahcing consists of four themes: 1) Business Idea 2) Sales and Marketing 3) Pricing and networks 4) Pitching.

2. Semifinals 18.11.20

Student participates in GrowUp Students Semifinal, which is arranged in their home university. In Semifinal, the student pitches their idea for the jury.

Top four business ideas and top two businesses from participating universities are chosen to enter the competition Final (18 finalists altogether).

3. Final 24.11.20

The GrowUp Students Final is arranged at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.

In GrowUp Students Final, the student first pitches their idea for the jury.

After pitching, the student participates in three business coahcing rounds: 1) Business idea 2) Sales and Marketing 3) Pricing and Networks. During the coaching, the student shares information about their business idea/business in more detail and receives personal guidance from the business experts.

The jury will visit the business coaching rounds but does not participate in the actual coaching.

Competition Categories

GrowUp Students 2020 has two categories:

  1. Business Ideas
  2. Operating Businesses

GrowUp Students Business Idea -category requires just an idea. The idea can be a product or service – practically anything that can be turned into business activity.

GrowUp Students Operating Businesses -category requires a registered company or active business operations (e.g. Light Entrepreneurship).


The winner and the first runner-up will be rewarded with cash prices in the GrowUp Students Final:

GrowUp Students Business Idea category
First place 1000€
Second place 500€

GrowUp Students Operating Businesses category
First place 1000€
Second place 500€


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.

  • 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.


GrowUp Students competition can be participated by the students from participating Universities of Applied Sciences. The students can participate alone or as a team, with an idea or existing business, in Finnish or in English. Each university arranges their own pre-coaching and semifinals. Two best business ideas and two best businesses continue to competition finals arranged at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.

As a student you will receive coaching and advice of monetary value, network with business professionals and might even find a future business partner. In addition, you will get experience in performing, a certificate of participation and a chance to win 1000€!


  • SeAMK

    Pre-coaching is arranged online on Moodle. The student/team will receive the link to the course area and the course key at the beginning of autumn semester. The student has time until the end of october to complete the pre-coaching.

    After pre-coaching, the student/team participates in a closed, personal coaching session. During the session, the student/team has the possibility to tell more about the business idea/business. The purpose of the conversation is to see how the idea/business has developed during the pre-coaching. It also offers the student/team the possibility to ask questions and receive further guidance.

    After the coaching sessions, all the teams will participate in pitching practice session. After they have practiced their pitch, they are ready for semifinals.


ECTS Credits

Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences grants 3 ECTS Credits for the students that complete all the required parts before the final of GrowUp Students competition.

Sign up

Registration for SeAMK students begins 1.4.2020. and ends 13.10.2020.

Further Information

GrowUp Students Final

GrowUp Students Final is arranged at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences on 24.11.2020 at 10–17.

During the final, the students present their idea/business for the jury in 3 minutes.

After pitching, the students get to go in more detail with their idea/business during closed coaching rounds. Each team will participate in three coaching conversations in the following three topics: 1) Business idea 2) Sales and Marketing 3) Pricing and Networks. Each conversation takes 20 minutes during which the team gets to tell about their idea/business in that particular theme. The business experts will give the team guidance how to develop the idea/business and take it to the next level.

The winners of each category will be decided on the basis of the pitching and coaching rounds. The jury will publish the winners of both categories and they will be rewarded with cash prices:

1st place 1000€
2nd place 500€

For more information, please contact Petra Sippola.