The University of Eastern Finland has plenty of courses and services that can help you get familiar with entrepreneurship and map out your own interests, skills and opportunities to work as an entrepreneur. Support is available from basic entrepreneurship courses to starting a company and financing business ideas.
For students: We offer courses, services and guidance for students who are interested in entrepreneurship and exploring opportunities for commercializing their own skills, for example in the form of implementing their own business idea.
For researchers: We offer help in research commercialization processes (e.g., R2B-projects and other Business Finland funding options, statutory invention disclosures and intellectual property rights) as well as in exploring the commercial potential of research, for example as a student collaboration or in collaboration with companies and UEF’s research groups. We can also help you in head hunting for e.g., business lead for commercialization of research.
Minor in entrepreneurship
The University of Eastern Finland offers about 15 courses related to entrepreneurship, starting a company and commercializing one’s own expertise. The courses are open to everyone, regardless of discipline. Available courses differ slightly between Kuopio and Joensuu campuses. Some of the courses are administered by Savonia UAS in Kuopio and Karelia UAS in Joensuu. The code of the minor is X5215200K (Kuopio) and X5215200J (Joensuu).
UEF’s faculty-specific entrepreneurship instructors are listed below. The instructors act as the faculties’ primary low-threshold contact regarding entrepreneurship. You can ask them about being an entrepreneur or talk to them confidentially about your own product, service or business idea. If necessary, they will direct you forward to the right contact regarding further actions.
Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics, Department of Economics:
Entrepreneurship and commercialization support services
Draft Program is a program where you can get funding of 1000-4000 euros for your own business idea.
The process is simple: participating teams prepare a business plan with a ready-made A4 template (see the template here), based on which pre-qualification is done. Those who make it to the next stage pitch their business idea to the Draft jury, and the jury decides which ideas get to the program and receive funding. On the first round you can get funding of 1000 euros, and in the follow-up round 3000 euros. In addition, you get to join group sparring sessions.
• The team must have at least two (2) people
• At least one member of the team must be either a student, alumni or staff member of UEF, Savonia, Karelia, Sakky or Riveria.
• The team must not already have a company with turnover for their Draft idea
• The goal should be to establish your own company (and not, e.g., to sell a service to a ready-made company and get employed).
See below the video about Kimmo Rautiainen (Butterfly Brick), who participated in the Draft Program:
Draft Program is organized three times a year: in January, May and September.
Business Center North Savo is a service network that offers help to entrepreneurs, developers of business ideas and those interested in entrepreneurship. The services are free for UEF students, alumni and staff.
Business Center North Savo operates as a collaboration between UEF, Savonia, Sakky and the cities of Kuopio, Iisalmi and Varkaus. Each entity has committed human resources to the activity.
Services include e.g.,
• Guidance in setting up a company
• Help in finding out the potential of a business idea
• Personal follow-up advice for entrepreneurs
• Workshops, e.g., Havuja#!@%&! -accelerator program
Business Center Pohjois-Savo contact person at the University of Eastern Finland:
Havuja#!@%&! is a business accelerator program organized by Business Center North Savo. The program has three levels: Havuja Bootcamp, Havuja Accelerator and Havuja Leap.
Havuja Bootcamp focuses on the development of early-stage business ideas from four perspectives: chrystallization of the idea, market research, project planning and pitching. Those who pass the Bootcamp can continue to the Accelerator phase.
Participation in Havuja Bootcamp is free and open to everyone. UEF students receive two (2) credits for completing the Bootcamp. The bootcamp can also be combined to course yPolku 1: “Liiketoimintamahdollisuuden tunnistaminen” (in Finnish), consisting of five (5) ECTS credits.
Havuja Bootcamp is organized three times a year: in September, January, and May. The Bootcamp in September and May is in English. The implementation is remotely via Zoom.
Start Me Up is a national business idea competition organized by Business Joensuu. The competition is held annually in the Spring season. About 180 participants apply for the competition every year, of which about half get to the next stage and pitch to the jury. The application is typically open until the end of March and the winner(s) of the competition will be announced in May. The value of the main prize is more than 40,000 euros.
UEF’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Services aim to support and promote the commercialization of scientific research and know-how created at the University of Eastern Finland.
The university offers its researchers comprehensive support services for research commercialization and exploring commercialization opportunities. Services include e.g., Business Finland funding, statutory invention disclosure process, matters related to intellectual property rights such as the protection process, and measures related to technology transfer.
Matti Höytö, Senior Innovation Specialist (Kuopio)
Business Joensuu’s experts help researchers interested in commercialization as well as students developing new businesses to refine and test their ideas in order to start a business. They also provide help with growth and internationalization. In addition, Business Joensuu offers services for investments and location in the area, as well as the Joensuu Science Park’s space, community and event services.
Business Kuopio brings together all the services, expert help and networks intended for companies in the city of Kuopio. The service helps companies of all sizes develop and internationalize. https://www.businesskuopio.fi/
SPARK Finland – mentoring program
SPARK Finland is a globally networked program and organization that supports the development of the health technology and life science industry.
The aim of the program is to educate and train medical and natural science researchers, students and clinicians in finding and developing therapeutic and diagnostic solutions. The program is aimed at researchers, clinicians and students of universities, universities of applied sciences and university hospitals that are part of the SPARK Finland program. The University of Eastern Finland has been involved in the program since 2020.
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