15 higher education students from Sweden and Finland gathered together at NY Challenge #swefin2015 competition on March 2–3 to innovate a new mobile app that would ease collaboration between Finnish and Swedish businesses. The students developed their ideas in mixed teams using Microsoft technology and various brainstorming methods and collaboration tools.
The winner group presenting their app to Queen Silvia and Mrs Jenni Haukio. Photo © Paula Ojansuu.
The competition was organised at Microsoft Store in Helsinki in cooperation by Microsoft Oy and Nuori Yrittäjyys ry – JA Finland. ”We believe in the limitless potential that young people have, and wish to encourage them to invest in the success of their own and that of their home country right now”, Virpi Utriainen, CEO for JA Finland summarized the purpose of the event.
At the end of the two-day long event, the students presented their ideas to a jury consisting of 4 members: Mari Berglund, CEO at Handelsbanken Mutual Funds Finland; Max Mickelsson, Government Programs senior Manager, Microsoft Oy; Kjell Skoglund, Managing Director of the Finnish-Swedish Chamber of Commerce; and Virpi Utriainen from Nuori yrittäjyys ry – JA Finland.
Two teams got to present their ideas also to Queen Silvia and Mrs Jenni Haukio, the spouse of the President of Finland, who visited the event on Tuesday, March 3. The visit was part of the state visit by the King and Queen of Sweden. The honorable guests were greeted by Pekka Horo, CEO for Microsoft Oy.
The event met the expectations of both the organisers and the participants. ”It was great to see students from various backgrounds form the teams, take on the challenge and present their ideas…and to do it all in 12 hours”, Drazen Dodik, Senior Tech Evangelist for Windows Phone, praised the competitors.
”It was exiting to get an insight into the newest technologies. Meeting the Queen was also cool! She was very interested in mobile apps and even gave us ideas on how to further develop our app”, Johanna Lundgren and Ludwig Händel from the winning team say.
Queen Silvia handing the diplomas to the winners. Photo: Hanasaari – The Swedish Finnish Cultural Centre.
The winning idea for a mobile app, ”BIZPartner”, brings together Swedish and Finnish companies looking for growth and cooperation. The members of the winning team were Ludwig Händel from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Annette Kemppi from University of Helsinki, and Johanna Lundgren from Stockholm School of Economics. The winners were awarded by Queen Silvia at Hanasaari, the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre.
Annette Kemppi from University of Helsinki thinks it was the combination of different skills that brought the team the first position in the competition: “I learned true cooperation skills at the competition. One of our team members studies technology, the other economics and third one pedagogy, so we had different views on developing an app. We won by combining our strengths.”
The event received a lot of media attention, as well. MTV, the main commercial TV channel in Finland, even made a live broadcast of the event.
MTV3 Katsomo: Kuningatar Silvia ja rouva Jenni Haukio vierailevat Microsoftilla
MTV3 Katsomo: Kuningatar Silvia tutustuu sovelluskilpailuun
MTV3 Katsomo: Seitsemän Uutiset
Online articles in Finnish and Swedish online media:
MTV3: Kuningatar Silvialla ja Jenni Haukiolla lämpimät välit – naurua riitti
MTV3: Jenni Haukio ja kuningatar Silvia yritysvierailulla
Yle: Kuningashuoneella vakaa asema Ruotsissa
Iltalehti: Kuningatar Silvia vitsaili ja ideoi sloganin!
SVT: Kuningaspari Suomessa
Seiska: Kuningatar Silvia ja Jenni Haukio Aleksanterinkadun liikkeessä!
Kouvolan Sanomat: Kaarle Kustaan ja Silvian vilkutus keräsi kansaa Kauppatorille
Svenska Yle: Kungaparet anländer med finporslin och dukar
Svenska Damtidning: Kungaparet har anlänt till Helsingfors
Ung Företagsamhet Sverige: Alumner utvecklar appar under statsbesök
Press releases by Nuori Yrittäjyys ry – JA Finland and Microsoft Oy
NY Microsoft Challenge competitions are part of cooperation between Microsoft Oy and Nuori Yrittäjyys ry – JA Finland. Microsoft Oy supports close to 10 000 young people yearly through Nuori Yrittäjyys ry which is Microsoft’s main YouthSpark partner in Finland. The aim is to support young people in gaining work life and entrepreneurial skills and give them a chance to use ICT as a tool for innovation. Through the partnership Microsoft also aims to support new start-ups and innovation in Finland, and to boost the position of Nordic countries as a global ICT hub.