Idea competition: How to strengthen students' working life opportunities in Oulu

Are you a student or recent graduate from the University of Oulu? Do you have an idea how students' working life connections can be improved? Apply to the Idea Competition either in Finnish or English, alone or in a team, and get a chance to win one of the prizes.

The population of Oulu is growing, but, at the same time, according to the City of Oulu, there is a migration loss in a particularly significant, 25–39-year-olds, age group. The removal of the highly skilled workforce from the area weakens prospects for development and can lead to a brain drain phenomenon, especially among recent graduates. One way to retain recent graduates is by strengthening students' connections with companies and organizations in Oulu during their studies.  


UNIC CityLabs in collaboration with BusinessOulu is hosting an Idea Competition to address the challenge in spring 2022 from 1.-20.4.2022 at Business Asema. The aim of the competition is to understand what is preventing students from making working life connections during their studies and come up with potential solutions to solve this challenge. With the competition, we are looking to find answers to questions such as:  


  • What could students do to make working life connections already during their studies?  
  • How to strengthen the connection between students and companies/organizations in Oulu? 
  • What can the city of Oulu, Business Oulu, the University of Oulu, and different employers do to keep the graduates in Oulu? 
  • How do students gain work experience while studying? 
  • How could companies approach students more easily? 


Process: 

  • Send your application by 8.4.2022 via this page explaining in detail how the proposed solution addresses the challenge.  

  • All applications are pre-screened by a jury and the top ideas will be selected by 11.4.2022 

  • Coaching sessions will be organized for the top 10 finalists 

  • Pitch your idea during the Idea Competition finals on 20.4.2022, 14:00-17:00, at Business Asema  


Students and recent graduates at the University Oulu are eligible for the prizes: 

 

Winner:  

  • Five personal mentoring meetings with decision-makers from Oulu  

  • 2000€ from BusinessOulu to implement the winning idea*   

  • Featured in MunOulu  

  • Opportunity to network with the jury members which consists of Oulu based companies 

  • Your idea will be presented at UNIC CityLabs Festival on 16.6.2022 where decision-makers are invited to discuss and look for ways to implement the winning ideas in practice.  


1st runner-up  

  • Group meeting with decision-makers from Oulu

  • Career advice by recruitment professionals  

  • Featured in MunOulu  

  • Opportunity to network with the jury members which consists of Oulu based companies 

  • Your idea will be presented at UNIC CityLabs Festival on 16.6.2022.  


2nd runner-up  

  • Group meeting with decision-makers from Oulu

  • Career advice by recruitment professionals  

  • Featured in MunOulu  

  • Opportunity to network with the jury members which consists of Oulu based companies 

  • Your idea will be presented at UNIC CityLabs Festival on 16.6.2022.  

*This is a separate agreement between BusinessOulu and the event organizer and can only be paid to a registered association / organization against an invoice. A party other than the person presenting the idea can also be chosen to implement the idea.


Jury members:

  •  Mikko Polso, Business Area Director, Osuuskauppa Arina 
  •  Hanna Mattila, Liaison Manager Oulu Joint Marketing / BusinessOulu Enterprise
  •  Mikko Ahokas, CEO, Macon Oy
  •  Angela Soursa, Career Services & Employability Specialist, University of Oulu
  •  Laura Piila, Vice President, Optomed Oyj
  •  Pauli Väisänen, Doctoral Researcher, University of Oulu, Board Member, Tieteentekijöiden liitto


Mentors:

  •  Jari Karjalainen, Development Director, Osuuskauppa Arina 
  •  Juha Ala-Mursula, Director, BusinessOulu
  •  Mikko Ahokas, CEO, Macon Oy
  •  Jenna Antinmaa, Sales & Marketing Manager, ChocoSomnia Oy
  •  Anu-Maarit Moilanen, CEO, Oulu City Theatre
  •  Laura Piila, Vice President, Optomed Oyj


The Idea Competition event on 20.4, 14:00-17:00, is open to the public. If you want to join the event, please register through the following link: https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/Finaali_Ideakilpailu_opiskelijoille_9092


Idea Competition event schedule: 

  • Event starts / Opening speech - 14:00
  • Pitches / Q&A / feedback from the jury
  • Final discussions and evaluation amongst the jury
  • Announcing the top 3 winners
  • Networking and mingling 
  • Concluding the event - 17:00


For further information you can contact UNIC Oulu: 

Anca Teodosiu, anca.teodosiu@oulu.fi 

Marian Tumanyan, marian.tumanyan@oulu.fi 

Mia Kemppaala, mia.kemppaala@oulu.fi  



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