Turku students triumph at JA Start Up Program’s finals with a mobile sports app

6.5.2015 2015

The JA Start Up Company of the year was elected at the Yritystä Stadiin! event in Helsinki today. The fresh winner of the university-level JA Start Up Program and Finland’s representative-to-be at the European Enterprise Challenge is Activer NY from Turku, who developed a mobile application for finding partners for sports.


Activer NY consists of Jesse Kaislavuo, Tommi Ketola, Vesa Fagerlund, Ville Salonen and Julia Innilä. Photo © Jaana Tihtonen.

In the JA Start Up Program university and polytechnic students get to give entrepreneurship a spin as a part of their studies. The student will run a real company for one academic year in interdisciplinary teams while learning practical working and entrepreneurship skills. Many of the participating students will continue as entrepreneurs after their JA year.

Double victory with a mobile app for finding sports partners

The jury consisting of business experts elected Activer NY – whose team is made up of Jesse Kaislavuo, Tommi Ketola, Julia Innilä, Vesa Fagerlund, and Ville Salonen – as the winner of both the Start Up Program and the Hyundai Brilliant Young Entrepreneur Award. All team members are students at three different Turku universities. The jury asserted that out of all finalists, Activer had the greatest growth potential, which will be supported by the 15,000 € Hyundai investment. Activer NY also gets to represent Finland at the JA European Enterprise Challenge in Lisbon, Portugal, in July.

Activer is a next-generation mobile application, which helps sportsmen find like-minded company for jogging, tennis courts, and any other sports. It also makes finding and enrolling for various sports events easier.

“Activer is of unique value for sportsmen. They have a finished product, first-class knowhow, and a real hunger for developing their activities,” Hyundai Motor Finland’s Birger Blomberg and the Federation of Finnish Enterprises’ Mika Tuuliainen said.

Choosing the Best JA Start Up Company was not an easy task as the level among the top competitors was high. Consequently, the jury decided to award distinctions to the mobile cafe by Kaffillari NY and online art store NAU. art NY. The award for best business presentation was also given to Kafillari NY.

Annika Hotti, Eetu Korhonen and Toivo Vuorela were awarded a distinction for their Kaffillari NY. Photo © Jaana Tihtonen.

Entrepreneurship spreads to universities as academic unemployment soars 

Degree-holders have traditionally been able to rely on guaranteed employment after graduation, and entrepreneurship has been something for those less educated. This is no longer the case, however. As university graduates’ unemployment rate keeps climbing higher, more and more university students see entrepreneurship as an inviting path to working life. The start up boom is in full speed, but practical entrepreneurship education is not offered in the universities’ course catalogs.

“JA Finland provides the schools with a solution to this problems with the JA Start Up Program, where students get to apply their university education in practice while racking up study credits. There is much demand for the program. Next academic year the number of JA Start Up students is set to triple as the program expands to ten new universities all over Finland in cooperation with the Sitra public development fund,” says JA Start Up Program’s head of development Petri Katajarinne.

NAU.art_webNAU. art NY’s Noora Taavitsainen, Oona Virtanen and Anna Tolppa were also awarded a distinction.

Learn more about the top three JA Start Up companies and about the JA Start Up program:

Activer.net & Activer on Facebook
Kaffillari on Facebook
NAUart.fiNAU. art on Facebook


Have a nice summer!