Food Business Challenge 2022 | SeAMK Y-Zone

Food Business Challenge 2022

FOOD BUSINESS CHALLENGE competition seeks new business ideas and innovations in the agri-food sector from field to fork. There are two competition categories: an idea category seeking extravagance and bold change, and a startup category with an emphasis on business opportunities and feasibility. The competition has money prizes for the finalists. In addition, the winner of the startup category gets expert services for testing and developing the idea.

Participate by 23 February 2022 4pm. 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 agri-food sector “from field to fork”.  Ideas can be new business concepts, products or services to develop the sector. The competition is aimed for students in Finnish Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences, in bachelor, master’s and postgraduate degree studies; and for students in Finnish colleges and vocational schools. Participation is possible individually or in teams. Participation language Finnish or English. Theme of the competition is sustainable food solutions.

Schedule and participation

  • 15.11.2021 Competition is published – start to develop your ideas! Registration to online course opens *
  • 3.1.2022 Food Business Challenge –online course starts*
  • 3.1.-7.2.2022 Competition registration*
  • 23.2.2022 4pm: Deadline for submitting the entries! The first phase of the competition closes at 4pm!
  • 8.3.2022 The finalists are announced
  • 24.3.2022 Food Business Challenge finale in Food Business Summit event in Seinäjoki (hybrid event for finalists if needed)

* 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 at 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, in which case the registration is by e-mail.

Participating the competition

Send a written description of the business idea, in English or in Finnish, maximum 5 pages in pdf-form. Visual format is free. 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, by  23.2.2022 4pm

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.
  • Some plans on how to put the idea to practice / draft execution plan
  • Sustainability, how are the principles of sustainable development considered
  • Short abstract in the beginning of the competition entry (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.

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 by the following criteria.

Evaluation criteria

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

1) Added value / innovativeness / novelty value

Idea offers new kind of practices / perspectives as an innovative product, service or solution in the agri-food sector

2) Sustainable food solutions

Principles and possibilities of sustainability are considered in the product/service/idea in appropriate ways (responsibility, ethicality, traceability, food safety, climate etc.)

3) Customer orientation

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

4) Feasibility

The competition idea has business opportunities described in the entry and the idea is feasible either with the participant’s/team’s own competence or, in addition to the team, external knowledge described in the idea. Feasibility is considered/planned in the competition entry.

In the idea category, score of the innovation section is multiplied by two.

In the startup category, score of the feasibility section is multiplied by two.

Prizes of the competition

In both competition categories, the prizes are:

  • Winners of the category: 500€
  • 2. place: 300€
  • 3. place: 150€

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.

In addition, the winner of the startup category gets 3000 € worth of expert services for testing and developing the idea. The services will be carried out in organisations of Seinäjoki, for example as product development, marketing, or logistics planning services (confirmed by winning case needs).


Judges of the competition represent the expert organisations of business and agri-food sector. They have wide and diverse knowledge of both agri-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, 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 partly or at all, if they see that none of the competition entries answer to the competition objectives.

Rights and obligations of the organiser

The total liability of the organiser 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 organiser 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 of their ideas 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 entries contain innovations, inventions or business secrets, the individual terms and conditions contained in the entry 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.

Organiser of the competition

Food Business Challenge is organised 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. 2022 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 organiser informs about the progress of the competition on the Food Business Challenge Facebook profile. The participants who enter the finals, receive the information by e-mail.

Questions about the competition by e-mail:

Additional information: Soila Huhtaluhta, soila.huhtaluhta(a), tel. +358 40 868 0604


Further information

Soila Huhtaluhta