Uskalla Yrittää 2018

The Uskalla Yrittää final, organized by Junior Achievement Finland (JA Finland for short, or Nuori Yrittäjyys in Finnish), is an annual competition that “gathers together the most entrepreneurial students in Finland to compete for the Finnish championship and for the places in the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition (secondary education) and JA Europe Enterprise Challenge (higher education).” As a Finnish Game Development Student enrolled at the Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, I personally ended up in the Uskalla Yrittää 2018 in Helsinki through the NY Start Up course offered for KAMK students in Kajaani.

During the course of the NY Start Up course, the participating students will come up with a business idea and set up their own company. In the ideal case, the business idea will materialize into a real-world company. A good example of this is The Great Escape, which won the NY finals in 2016 and set up a real-world escape room in Kajaani. Fast-forward to 2018, the company of our multidisciplinary team of five students at the NY finals was Kamukamu. In a nutshell, Kamukamu is an online platform for local hobbyists networking: You create a user profile, mark all your hobbies, and find people with similar interests – in your own neighborhood.

The final weeks preceding the competition in Helsinki were indeed busy. We had to design and order roll-ups, hoodies and fliers for the trade fair, practise our company presentation, pitch and the judges’ questionnaire, plus work on the product itself! However, during the weekend before the final, we were covered by the local newspaper, Kainuun Sanomat, which gave as a boost of energy for the coming week. Uskalla Yrittää 2018 took place on April 18th and 19th in Kamppi, Helsinki. On the 17th, a bus took us, the students and their teaches from three levels of education, from Kajaani to Sokos Hotel Presidentti, where we arrived in the evening.

Gallery

The pictures can now be found on my Instagram profile.

The Finals

The first day of Uskalla Yrittää 2018 commenced with the opening ceremony in Tennispalatsi, after which we gave the long-awaited business presentations to the jury. The presentation went much smoother than excpected, especially when taking into account the acute food poisoning I had managed to contract somewhere along the way! In the afternoon, we set up our stand at the trade fair in the Kamppi center, which houses one of the busiest public transport hubs in the Nordic countries. The trade fair was visited by cabinet ministers, members of the Parliament, the jury and other people, from whom we received a great deal of good feedback and advice with our project.

The second day began with the ten minute jury interviews, after which there was a couple of hours to dress up before the checkout. The last event of Uskalla Yrittää 2018 was the two and a half hour award ceremony in the afternoon. FitBeast from Kajaani won the award for the best business presentation in higher education, while award for the best NY company in higher education went to Bulletin.ai – an AI-powered rating tool for bulletins and press releases. Our company, Kamukamu, did not in the end win any awards. However, during the course of the finals we won many friends, acquaintances a great deal of good ideas, which I think is good enough!