The best companies of the year in Start Up Programme were announced on Tuesday in Helsinki.
At the program finals held at Hanken Schoold of Economics the two main awards went both to multidisciplinary student companies from University of Turku, Turku University of Applied Sciences and Humak.
Fashion Flash Finland NY from University of Turku was elected as the Best Student Company of the Year. The company was founded by students Maria Maunula (UTU), Karoliina Helkkula (Humak), Elina Vuorila (UTU) ja Juha Sainio (UTU). They developed an online service which exhibits Finnish fashion and fashion designers, and also provides designers with marketing and communications services. Their victory means that Fashion Flash Finland NY will travel to Belgium in July to represent Finland in the Europe Enterprise Challenge organized by JA-YE Europe.
Another award handed out this year at the JA-YE Start Up finals was the Hyundai Young Entrepreneur award with 15,000 euros to a student company with the best business plan and which was the most qualified to succeed as a company. Like the Best Student Company of the Year, the recipient of the much desired Hyundai award also hails from Turku. The prize was handed to JULJA NY. The triumphant company founded a women’s fashion brand. The clothes are designed by Nora Peltoniemi (TUAS), who is aided in running the company by Inka Kiuru (Humak) and Johanna Hakala (TUAS).
The 15,000€ prize is intended to be used on developing the company and it is handed out in three batches.
”The prize is not only a monetary aid. Hyundai also offers mentoring and encouragement, and the funds are used for starting and expanding the company. This is a direct investment in supporting and developing Finnish entrepreneurship. Additionally, the prize and the growth potential that comes with it encourages students to learn entrepreneurship already during their studies,” says JA-YE Finland’s CEO Virpi Utriainen.
Students employ themselves
JA-YE Start Up Programme provides an environment which has been prepared for creativity, innovation, and trying out business ideas in practice. It gives students’ an idea of what working in a small private company is like.
”After the JA-YE Start Up Programme college students are prepared to create a business based on their own skills. Seven out of the eight student companies in the finals have decided to continue their business, and the eighth is considering it,” Utrainen says.
As an example, RikuCo NY, elected last month as the best secondary education-level student company of 2013, became a limited liability company in April. The company was founded by the 17-year-old Riku Korhonen, who studies in Helsinki Business College.
Best company of the year: Fashion Flash Finland NY. From the left is Elina Vuorila, Juha Sainio and Karoliina Helkkula. Missing from the photo is Maria Maunula.
Hyundai Young Entrepreneur award with 15,000 euros went to JULJA NY. From left is Johanna Hakala, Nora Peltoniemi and Inka Kiuru.
See all the photos from the final at JA-YE’s Google+ photo album!
JULJA NY:s website: www.juljafinland.com and blog: juljafinland.blogspot.fi
JULJA NY won also the ’Best web presence’ competition earlier this year. Read more
The finals for student companies in primary and secondary education were held in April in Lohja. Read more about the competition.