Venturing Research Challenge

Students, Entrepreneurs and Researchers

Sowing the Seeds of High-Tech Startups

Venturing Research Challenge provides a pathway for commercializing research by bringing together researchers and entrepreneurial minds in a fast-track business bootcamp. Students, researchers, and entrepreneurs work together to build new solutions and products, and the best ones can continue on to be a part of successful high-tech startups if they find a suitable team.

CHT & Business Kitchen

Venturing Research Challenge

World-class research, tight collaboration between different fields combined with brave entrepreneurial minds is the foundation to new success stories, and Oulu has all the ingredients for it.

Entrepreneurial minds: Students, Researchers and Entrepreneurs

We are looking for fearless changemakers; Researchers, Entrepreneurs, Students and anyone who is willing to break the status quo in this 3-day event at the University of Oulu. We offer the coworking space, mentoring, networking, inspiration and the chance to showcase your talents and food to keep you nourished. We will also offer coaching sessions for researchers that want to pitch their ideas.

For best results we provide great mentors helping to facilitate idea development and use business models for innovating. A prize will be awarded to the best team to take their idea to the next level.

A chance to quickly test new commercialization opportunities for your research. Also you can find people who can help you turn your research into products and a business. Winning team gets great prizes and participation in VRC helps improve funding applications.

Chance to find a fantastic business opportunity and team to build something new with. Learn entrepreneurial skills and get great new contacts. Winning team gets great prizes to keep pursuing their venture.

In a nutshell

What: Venturing Research Challenge for turning research into business

When: 08.11. - 10.11.2017 starting at 13:00

Where: University of Oulu, Tellus Innovation Arena

Why: Amazing chance to build novel solutions based on cutting edge research and discover something new, learn new skills and get useful connections. If all goes well, join a new startup. Also great prizes for the best team!

To whom: Researchers, students from different fields, entrepreneurs and all innovative people who want to make a change are welcome.

Cost: free

Join: Fill in here

Additionally: This program is part of the Avanto Accelerator program. Continuing with the program means you can get 5 ECTS.

For more information: and


Event Schedule

Wed 08.11.2017

13:00 Welcome & Introduction by Anne Sorvari

13:05 Keynote by Christian Schuss

13:15 Researchers' Pitches

14:00 Coffee & Snacks

14:20 Stands to meet with researchers

14:50 Team formation

15:00 Roadmap for VRC - what to do next

15:30 Teams working independently

Thu 09.11.2017

11:00 Check-in with all teams

11:15 Validation workshop

12:00 Lunch provided by Business Kitchen

13:00-15:00 Mentor meetings part 1

15:00-17:00 Mentor meetings part 2

Fri 10.11.2017

9:00 Pitching workshop with Karita Kasurinen

9:30 Practise pitches

12:00 Lunch provided by Business Kitchen

13:00 FINALS begin

13:15 Final Pitches (5min each)


1500 Euros from Universitas
Winning team will get 1500eur in cash to pursue their idea further. This prize is offered by OYY & Universitas.

2 coaching sessions from Butterfly Ventures
Get private coaching to develop your idea further from Butterfly Ventures, the leading venture capital firm of the Oulu region.

Business Intelligence Service
Get support from Frost & Sullivan and BusinessOulu's business intelligence units to help pursue your new startup further. Frost & Sullivan is a growth partnership company focusing on market research analysis, consulting and techonology analysis.

Research Cases

"An exoskeleton is a powerful tool in the right hands. We have expertise in building them and for our next step we want to aim higher. We are looking for help in finding applications where the capabilities of the exoskeleton can be utilized intelligently and purposefully."

Baby rescue cocktail
Alcohol abuse by mother during pregnancy causes several defects for the unborn baby. In this investigation we get deeper in the physiological functions and interactions, and evaluate the possibilities and social questions of a rescue mixture to prevent the defects or at least minimize the damages.

Shortcut from farm to the table - Luonnonvarakeskus
Getting food from small farms to table requires improved logistics, since that has been the bottleneck up until now for. Natural Resources Institute Finland has developed a new optimizing model for getting food from nearby farms more efficiently to stores and restaurants.

ICEMET is a new method to measure the essential properties of cloud droplets. This new method makes possible to determine the ice accumulation on structures on the basis of weather condition information. When this unique droplet information is combined to basic meteorological observation, simulations of the quantity and quality of the accumulated ice load to structures are enabled. The method can be used in weather modeling, ice formation prediction and monitoring in wind power production, aviation, road transportation & safety and in fixed structures such as masts, bridges and power lines.

And many more!

Mentors and Judges

Ari Takanen

Infosec Specialist & Startup Advisor

Kaisa Pappila

CEO of Polar Bear Pitching

Juho Risku


Janne Haverinen

Founder of Indoor Atlas

Maritta Perälä-Heape

Director of CHT

Sakari Sipola

Post Doc Startup Expert

Karita Kasurinen

Pitching Guru

Simo Kekäläinen

Pitching and Commercialization guru

Sami Niemelä

Business developer

Veera Virta


Anne Sorvari

Organiser & Facilitator

Anastasia Shiverskikh


Sami Halonen

Business developer

Mia Kemppaala

Weaver of Opportunities

Maarit Jokela

Innovation Expert

Jukka Majava

Commercialisation expert

Pekka Räsänen

Innovation Expert

Our Partners