HELSEED is a startup entrepreneurship programme for students, which aims to encourage them to develop their ideas towards startup companies. The competition entails a pitching competition, in which the creators of the best business plans present their ideas to a jury and an audience. Early stage funding is offered for the most promising ideas. Behind the programme are the University of Helsinki and Helsinki Think Company.
In the HELSEED programme, the students create a written business plan based on their idea. The Helsinki Think Company team gives support in this creative process. A team of University of Helsinki Funds representatives review the business plans and gives feedback on them. The creators of the best business plans are invited to present their idea orally to a jury and an audience at Think Corner during the Slush week in November 2020. Early stage funding of 10,000–50,000 euros is offered for the most promising ideas. The conditions of the possible funding are negotiated separately.
Students who want to participate in the program are warmly welcomed to work on their idea and presentation at the Helsinki Think Company coworking spaces, when they are open. Helsinki Think Company is located at all campuses of the University of Helsinki. Since the corona virus epidemic has closed spaces, please check the opening times on the Helsinki Think Company website.
The programme starts on 2 April 2020
The business plans must be sent no later than 30 September 2020 at 23:59.
During October 2020, the jury of the programme will review and give feedback on the pitch decks.
HELSEED Pitch Showcase: During the Slush week in November 2020 at Think Corner.
Workshops in the spring were held as Zoom meetings. More information on the Helsinki Think Company Facebook page.
Wednesday 15.4. 17–20 HELSEED workshop: Crystallising your idea
Thursday 23.4. 17–20 HELSEED workshop: Assembling your pitch deck
During the summer of 2020, Helsinki Think Company gives support on preparing business plans (Tiedekulma, Yliopistonkatu 4, 2nd floor)
Workshops in the fall at Helsinki Think Company (Tiedekulma, Yliopistonkatu 4, 2nd floor)
Thursday 10.9. 17–20 HELSEED workshop: Crystallising your idea
Tuesday 15.9. 17–20 HELSEED workshop: Assembling your pitch deck
More information on the workshops will be found on the Helsinki Think Company Facebook page.
- The programme is open for all teams of 1–5 persons, of which at least one is attending as a basic degree or postgraduate student at the University of Helsinki.
- The business plan should be sent as a pdf file by email to email@example.com. Both the message and the business plan should contain the information (name, email address, phone number, and possible University of Helsinki student number) of every team member. The contact person, who submits the pitch deck, should be an attending basic degree or postgraduate student at the University of Helsinki.
- The business plan must be no more than 10 pages long and written in Finnish, Swedish or English.
- The HELSEED team gives feedback on all submitted business plans. The plans are assessed based on the following criteria: The significance of the problem, the solution and its benefits over competitors, the business model, the implementation plan and other factors.
- Based on the business plans, the best teams are invited to pitch their idea to a jury and an audience in an open event in Finnish, Swedish or English.
Can I participate alone?
- You can participate alone, but we recommend that you recruit another excited participant to your team. Founding a startup company alone is strenuous.
I will finish my studies before September. Can I participate anyway?
- If you are an attending student of the University of Helsinki at the time you send us your business plan, you can participate in the programme.
Does participating cost something?
- The programme is free to the participants.
I am an exchange student at the University of Helsinki. Can I participate?
- If you are an attending student of the University of Helsinki at the time you send us your business plan, you can participate in the programme. Note that in line with its principles for responsible investment activities, the university as a rule invests only in startup companies registered in Finland.
What things do I need to participate in the programme?
- You need a business idea and eagerness to actualise it. Otherwise, there are no universal requirements for the programme.
Is there an age limit for the programme?
- The programme has no age limit.
Can I participate in the programme even though I cannot participate in the workshops?
- Participation in the workshops is voluntary but recommended.
How can Helsinki Think Company help me?
- Helsinki Think Company organises the workshops mentioned in the timetable of the programme. When the state of emergency related to the corona virus outbreak ends, Think Company will also offer co-working spaces in which teams can polish their ideas and write their business plans. Additionally, it is possible to find good sparring opportunities through Think Company, both with other teams and with Think Company staff.
With what kind of ideas can one participate in the program?
- Any idea, which is suitable for a startup business, is suitable for the programme. Even though startup companies usually focus on technology, we are convinced that successful startups can be built on other kinds of ideas too.