Second funding call for innovation platform for new start-ups in North-Karelia

Do you have a completely new business idea or are you considering expanding your current business into international markets? Or have you come up with an approach to support female entrepreneurship?



Take part in the W-Power business idea competition and test the functionality of your idea! The competition is organized online. We warmly welcome applications especially from  women entrepreneurs in the North Karelia region. In addition individuals and teams who wish to start a business of their own or  those seeking to promote women entrepreneurship are welcome to apply.  You can win a nest egg to test your business idea, and in addition, you get to participate in business coaching tailored to the winners.

Key information


Date: 28th August – 28th October 2020, funding payments by 30th June 2021

Cost: Free to apply

Focus: Women entrepreneurs or ideas to support women-led business in sparsely populated regions

Amount you can win: A share of the W-POWER development fund maximum of EUR 6,000

Three different themes – choose the one for you!

1) New business ideas

Are you a woman or a team with an idea for a new product, service or business? If yes, W-POWER may help you to test it!

2) Expanding your business globally

Alternatively, do you want to go global with your existing woman-led business? Are you dreaming of international markets? Ideas for going global from all business sectors are welcomed!

3) An idea or operating model that supports female entrepreneurship.

Will your idea help women-run businesses to start or grow in the European Northern Peripheral and Arctic regions? Your region needs new business ideas, which will support women-led businesses to succeed. We are happy to hear more about your idea!

In this funding call, a maximum number of 15 ideas will be pre-selected, by local panel, to go through to the second stage of the funding call. The second stage consists of an online pitching event on 30th November 2020. Successful ideas will be notified of their awarded share of the prize fund. In this funding call, the development fund consists maximum of EUR 6,000 and winning ideas will get a share of this amount (share may vary between ideas). The fund will be allocated to a maximum of 4 ideas and successful applicants will be asked to test their proposed idea/s by the end of March 2021.

The funding call opens on 28th August 2020 and closes on 28th October 2020.

Criteria for applications

  • Teams suggesting the ideas must be based in North Karelia.
  • Teams must consist from one up to five people. Teams can be made up of any individuals with a joint business idea, situating in the North Karelia region.
  • Idea submission should consist of a short description, which should be supplied within our online template and includes the possibility to submit any relevant supporting information such as pictures. The maximum size for the attachment is 40 MB.
  • Only original ideas will be accepted and should not breach any existing intellectual property rights.
  • Successful ideas must add value compared to existing services.
  • Teams must agree to be interviewed by the selection panel during the online pitching event on 30th November 2020.
  • Successful teams must be willing to have W-POWER publicise their participation in this funding call.
  • Any proprietary information will remain confidential.
  • Funding award will be allocated for expenses directly related to the piloting costs of the winning idea and paid based on invoicing.
  • In addition to the funding award, successful teams will benefit from informal support and guidance from W-Power business coaching program.
  • Selected teams will sign a contract with W-POWER / Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland.
  • The decision of the selection panel will be final. Team members must be competent in communicating in Finnish or English.

Application instructions

  1. The online application must be submitted by 28th October 2020 (23:59 EET).
  2. First-stage selection of teams by a W-POWER selection panel. A maximum number of 15 ideas will be pre-selected. All applicants will be notified by 4th December 2020.
  3. Following the first stage selection, finalists will prepare their presentations for the online pitching competition. Online information session and pitching guidance will take place on 11th November 2020.
  4. Online pitching event will take place on 30th November 2020. Approximately 1-4 ideas /teams will be selected for funding, idea implementation and contract signing with W-POWER/Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The number of winning teams is not fixed.
  5. Kick-off event for the winning ideas will take place on 9th December 2020. Teams will meet online for further instructions (offer formulation) and will be matched with local coaches.
  6. Online meeting in March 2021 when the demo services or prototypes of the teams must be ready. Teams are also advised of the next steps.  
  7. Funding payments will be completed by 30th June 2021. 

For more information contact satu.mustonen{at} or helena.puhakka-tarvainen{at}

Important Dates


APPLICATION OPENS 28th August 2020

APPLICATION CLOSES 28th October 2020



PITCHING ONLINE 30th November 2020



TEAMS’ WORK READY 31st March 2021