On Thursday 22 April 2021, the IDEARACE final competition brought together 10 teams that pitched their business ideas to the jury and, via YouTube, to a live audience. The event was organized by Lutes and Business Mill together.
The winner of Forward - Wiredo
The winner of the Forward category, which is for the students of LUT University and LAB University of Applied Sciences, was Wiredo. The award, 1700 euros, was provided by TEK and the south karelian's engineering associations: Lappeenrannan Insinöörit ry and Imatran Insinöörit ry.
”Wiredo targets advertising spaces by recognizing passers-by’s demographic factors through machine learning, without identifying individual persons or storing data.
The idea emerged when the team started designing analytic solutions for retail trade in their summer job.”
The winner of Pitch It! - KK Haapaselkä Oy
The winner of the Pitch It! category, which is for businesses and private persons in South Karelia, was KK Haapaselkä Oy. Their business idea was a chemical-free water purification system.
”The system reduces emissions of harmful substances into nature and increases the utilization of industrial side streams”.
The entrepreneur, Kari Kostiainen, comments on the competition: “I got lots of useful advice, this was very educational. The competition left me with a good feeling, brought a fresh breeze and energy to everyday work.”
The jury comprised Liina Lehtonen from Butterfly Ventures, Vesa Härkönen from the LAB UAS Design Unit, Topi Järvinen from PWC Finland, and Timo-Jussi Talsi from Rantalainen Accounting Services.
The jury’s criteria for the winner included impact on the South Karelia region, commercial potential, team structure, novelty value, and realisticness.
Also, cooperation partners awarded teams. The Regional Council of South Karelia gave recognition prizes to Function App Oy and the “English Theatre” idea. When deciding on the winner, The Council emphasized social, cultural, and wellbeing issues that have arisen in the pandemic situation.
”Function App Oy. The product has usability and an established demand among consumers. A key point is that it offers added value to burdened social welfare and healthcare professionals and help to persons with special needs.
English Theatre. This enthusiasm – delivered even online - and potential mutual benefit to enrich local culture with theatres and community houses. Pandemic has caused “suppressed” demand, which may benefit new launches.”
-Laura Peuhkuri, Manager of Regional Development at the Regional Council of South Karelia
Breezy ,Creative Agency from Lappeenranta awarded the Norland Dynamics team with a marketing video production. Rantalainen gave a financial administration package (value 4000 euros) to KK Haapaselkä Oy. Assi Group Oy offered all finalists a 6-month free use of their new CoWorking space in Lappeenranta. In addition, Design Venture -projectproject chose CLC-Kennot Oy to be part of their design programme commencing in the autumn.
The event's hosts were Saku Tihveräinen and Walid O El. Cheikh.
Thank you all, the teams, jury, partners, presenters, and everyone involved in the arrangements! The next competition will take place in spring 2022!
You can watch the final competition event on the Lutes’ YouTube channel.