SeAMK offered a unique opportunity to its degree students

By EcoAction at September 15th, 2023

Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences offered three of SeAMK degree students the opportunity to participate in the European Innovation Academy camp in Porto, Portugal, from July 16 to August 4, 2023. SeAMK supports students financially by paying the participation fee and travel expenses. SeAMK chose its own participants by applications.

Jere Männikkö, a third-year business student from SeAMK tells his journey to the European Innovation Academy. 

“I applied to the course because entrepreneurship has fascinated me for a long time, which is why I applied to Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences in 2021. I already knew that the school is quite entrepreneurial. I like to challenge myself by putting myself in a discomfort zone and I feel I am performing quite well under pressure. I read the info about the Innovation Academy and its content and immediately became interested. The decision to apply for the course was made easier by the fact that I have been abroad a few times before in shorter exchanges, so working with people from different backgrounds was familiar to me.”

During three weeks, students solve start-up ideas in teams. Student can form a team either around own or other student`s idea. During the three weeks, students can also participate in top lectures. Männikkö`s group began to design a new application that dealt with mental health problems, loneliness and lifestyles: how to encourage people to move around and spend time together so that people stay motivated and gain valuable benefits by using the app.

“In the first week, we set out to find out in various ways what kind of people belong to our target group and to find out from potential customers whether there could be demand for such a product in the market and at what price and manner the product would be sold to the customer. We listed features for the product, interviewed our target group in the city and listened to their problems, based on which we made changes to our business idea.

In the second week, we focused on the market and marketing, as well as brand creation. The marketing plan and campaign had to be ready before the Startup Expo, which presented everything that had been achieved by then to other student colleagues, mentors, investors and the public. 

In the third and final week, we made calculations of how much it could cost to make a application, with all the expenses involved, and how much money we will need from potential investors for future years of investment. We also calculated the size of the realistically attainable market and what kind of growth we are going to seek for our company. “

The final week in European Innovation Academy also prepared teams for a performance for investors by practicing the pitching and completing the presentation. In the last day of the academy Männikkö`s team presented their case to the investors. Despite a great performance, they didn't make the top ten.

After all, Männikkö is happy to have taken part in the academy.

“The academy really was as unique as it was advertised. We had a lot of fun and I got a lot of new friends from all over the world as well as from Finland. Special thanks to the team and other Finns for the effortless cooperation throughout the weeks, it was great to spend the whole academy with you!”