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Willi Idea 2016 competition 130 participants - finalists chosen

Willi Idea –competition attracted a record number of ideas in South Karelia. A total of 130 ideas entered the competition during the period from September 5 to October 9, 2016. Five ideas advanced to the final 16.11., where the winner will be awarded development funds of EUR 10 000.

Willi Idea competition ended on October 9th, collecting a record number of ideas. Business Idea Competition continues to grow in popularity among South Karelia people. Altogether 130 ideas from companies, researchers, students and private individuals participated the competition. Majority of the finalists focus on wellness and health technology solutions. The finalists are:

  • Hy-Per Cleanse, health technology
  • Ermes, security
  • DreamZone, wellness
  • Husky Hearing, health technology
  • Ajoklinikka –ohjelmisto, health service for professionals

The evaluation team was pleased with the increased number of participants, which communicates the South Karelian wealth of ideas. Evaluation team consisted of six Wirma Lappeenranta Oy’s and Imatra Region Development Company’s business development experts. Mikko Ojapelto, a member of the preliminary jury, sees the increase in participants as a sign of the innovativeness in the region. – The popularity of Willi Idea competition highlights the potential of South Karelia. There were also various good business ideas that did not fit into the final. Ojapelto says.

Ojapelto notes, that digitalization has a strong presence among the participating ideas. Digitalization was taken into account in many ideas, making them accessible to anyone anywhere. In addition, the degree of readiness of ideas ranged from an existing implementation to very early stage ideas. – It was not an easy task to get to the final. In the final, each team has five minutes to convince the professional jury of the excellence of their ideas. The winner is decided based on this five-minute pitch. Ojapelto says.

Willi Idea competition final will take place at Lappeenranta University of Technology Student House auditorium on 16th of November. A high-level jury will select the winner of the competition in the final event. In addition, the presentations from Finland's Young Entrepreneur 2015 Valtteri Lindholm from Varusteleka and stand-up comedian Ali Jahangiri mark the culmination of the event. The event is open to all and mainly in English.

The winner of Willi Idea will receive development funds worth of 10 000 euros. In addition, Team Finland, Tamora Legal Oy and OCTO3 Oy award special prizes. Further information about the competition and the final event is found at www.startupmill.fi. The competition is organized by Wirma Lappeenranta Oy, Imatra Region Development Company and Lappeenranta University of Technology as part of the activities of StartupMill project 2014-2016.

Further information: Mikko Ojapelto, Wirma Lappeenranta Oy, Director, Business services, mikko.ojapelto@wirma.fi, 050 5121 853. Laura Peuhkuri, Imatra Region Development Company, Innovation Specialist, laura.peuhkuri@kehy.fi, 044 760 7266.

Willi Idea is a competition for people in South Karelia. The competition looks for new high competence and international potential business ideas, which are implementable in South Karelia.

Wirma Lappeenranta Oy is a non-profit development company owned by the city of Lappeenranta and surrounding municipalities: Lemi, Luumäki, Savitaipale and Taipalsaari. Wirma helps future entrepreneurs to establish a company and local entrepreneurs to develop a business and become global. Wirma’s services include advice and support to startup companies and persons wishing to start a business as well as operating companies. Wirma also helps and supports companies wishing to relocate to Lappeenranta region.