Food Business Challenge 2021

It is open again: Food Business Challenge competition for students searches new business ideas for the food sector! Participate by 7.3.2021. As a prize of the competition, total amount of 6 000 € will be divided for best ideas! Participation instructions and rules below.

 Idea of the competition

The objective of Food Business Challenge –competition is to boost innovations and new business for the food sector. The competition concerns the whole food value chain “from field to fork”.  Ideas can be new business concepts, products or services to develop food sector. The competition is aimed for students in Finnish Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences, in bachelor, master’s and postgraduate degree studies; and in other competition category for students in Finnish colleges and vocational schools. Participation is possible individually or in teams.

Theme of the competition

The of the competition is sustainable food solutions, which should be considered in the competition entries. The judges appreciate innovativeness and novelty value of the ideas, scalability, and engaging and customer-oriented thinking. (See the evaluation criteria below.)

Schedule and participation

16.11.2020 Competition is published

11.1.-28.2.2021 Competition registration*

11.1.2021 Food Business Challenge –online course starts*

13.1.2021 Kick Off -event online with Lauri Reuter as a speaker!

7.3.2021 Deadline for submitting entries! The first phase of the competition closes!

15.3.2021 The finalists are announced

26.3.2021 FBC Awards online: the finale event and announcing the winners, online


* Registering to the competition is through Food Business Challenge course of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences in CampusOnline / Open University of Applied Sciences / Free elective studies of SeAMK. 2ects /3ects for the finalists.  The course gives tools and ideas to develop the business idea.

Students of colleges, vocational schools and universities can attend the course via Open University, where the course is subject to a charge of 10€/ect, or participate the competition without taking the course, when the registration is via e-mail.

Registering to the course:

Participating the competition:

Send a written description of the business idea, in English or Finnish, maximum 5 pages in pdf-form. You can also send a short sales pitch –video: maximum of 1 minute. Video is not mandatory but helps you to introduce the idea in a well-presented and interesting way, so we gladly accept videos. The written descriptions and shared video-links are sent primarily in the Moodle course, at latest 7.3.2021

Competition entry:

Written description should include information about:

  • Uniqueness and added value of the idea
  • Market opportunities or demand
  • Target group, customers
  • The business idea: service or product
  • Business, risks
  • Know-how and external help needed to put the idea into practice.
  • Sustainability, how are the principles of sustainable development considered
  • Short abstract (max 600 characters)

Description must also include names, schools and contact details (e-mail and phone number) of the participants. Describe also possible external help from people/organisations outside the competition team. In secondary schools’ category, the description must also include the contact details of a teacher/other representative from the school.

All competition material must be delivered in time. Any material delivered late is not accepted at all. Participants are responsible for delivering the competition entries. Ideas that are received to the competition will be acknowledged by replying.

From the entries of the first stage of the competition, the jury will choose 3 ideas from each competition category for the finale stage.

Evaluation criteria

Competition entries and finalists will be evaluated in the scale of 1-5, in the following criteria:

1. Added value / innovativeness / novelty value

Idea brings new kind of practices / solutions / perspectives to existing or future challenges in the food sector

2. Sustainable food solutions

Principles and possibilities of sustainability are included to the product/service/idea where applicable (responsibility, ethicality, traceability, food safety etc.)

3. Customer orientation

Product/service/idea answers to the need of consumers and/or business sector

4. Feasibility

The idea is realizable either by the team’s own competence, or external knowhow described in the competition entry.

Prize of the competition

In both competition categories, the prizes are:

  • Winners of the category: 1500€
  • 1000€
  • 500€

Prize will be taxable income for the recipients, comparable to paycheck of work. If the competition is entered as a team, the prize money won by the team will be shared out for the team members. Award-winning teams can use the prize the way they want, hopefully to advance the idea and put it to practice.


Judges of the competition represent the expert organisations and business world of the food sector. They have wide and diverse knowledge of both food sector and entrepreneurship.

Judges will evaluate the competition entries according to the competition criteria and choose 3 finalists from both categories. In the finale stage in FBC Awards online-event 26.3.2021, the finalists will present their ideas to the judges, after which the judges choose and announce the winner and give feedback.

Judges have the right to decide dividing the prize money differently than written in these rules of the competition. They can also decide not to award the prize at all, if they see that none of the competition ideas answer to these competition objectives.

Rights and obligations of the organizer

The total liability of the organizer of the competition to any participant may not exceed the amount and value of the support and prize mentioned in these official rules. Participants in the competition exempt the organizer from any liability that may or says to be caused by participation in this competition, piloting, redeeming or using the prize. The organizer of the competition has the right to suspend the competition due to the low number of participants and in this case also not to award the prize at all.

Rights and obligations of participants

Copyrights and other intellectual property rights will remain with the participants. Participants assure ownership of rights to the idea, product or service and its implementation, and that the competition idea does not violate any third-party rights. The organizers reserve the right to publish selected materials from the competition without any other compensation. If the proposals contain innovations, inventions or business secrets, the individual terms and conditions contained in the proposal may be declared secret by the participant. However, the business idea involved in the competition must be public in general terms. The participant shall clearly note the confidentiality of the information in writing and shall state the reasons for the confidentiality.

Organizer of the competition

Food Business Challenge is organized by Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (SeAMK) in cooperation with other actors in the region. The competition concept has been created as part of AB Seinäjoki project, which has developed the innovation community in the food sector. The project has received funding from the Council of Tampere Region, the European Regional Development Fund and the City of Seinäjoki. The concept has been developed by SeAMK, University Consortium of Seinäjoki, Into Seinäjoki and Natural Resources Institute Finland. 2021 competition is funded by SeAMK, University Consortium of Seinäjoki and Into Seinäjoki.

The rules apply to all participants. By participating in the competition, participants undertake to comply with this competition program and the decisions of the competition organizer. The organizer reserves the right to make changes.

Additional information

The organizer informs about the progress of the competition on the Food Business Challenge Facebook profile. The participants who enter the finals, receive the info by e-mail.

Send questions and contest descriptions to foodbusinesschallenge(at)

Further information

Soila Huhtaluhta