Bootcamp 2017 at SSE Riga. Photo: Sabine Suorsa

StartUp Passion: Looking into Another Promising Year


StartUp Passion (SUP) trainings program in his second year fulfilled many expectations, and ended with five registered official companies. Planning phase for year three started already and we can expect more for the upcoming year.

The program started successfully with the Hackathon and continued with our KickOff (5.4. – 7.4.2017) in Finland. Next step was our Bootcamp help in Latvia, in the wonderful premises of our partners Stockholm School of Economics, a traditional building in the heart of Riga; 5-days of intensive coaching and mentoring especially designed for our participants’ recommendations and needs.

The first year was most definitely a learning process; with the support of our international mentors, we could develop our trainings program better, challenging and more approachable. During our competition phase, we included international entrepreneurs in the role of keynote speakers and pitching jury, so our participants got valuable feedback form an international point of view.

A key point in our project is to get involved with the startup movement in the Baltic Sea Region, in that sense; we organized the possibilities for our participants to join e.g. Garage48 Hackathon in Riga, or the LoomeHääk in Tallinn, a creative industry Hackathon (48h-challenge) organized by Tallinn University and Digix Incubator. Students experienced new ways of innovative working, new ways of pitching styles and expanded their own networks.

Positive results so far

The results of this year’s round can be seen as very positive and promising for round three in which we will increase the amount of participants up to 20 % more as in 2017. This year’s finalists are all registered companies, just to mention two out of them.

First PROLOCALIS (the channel for all local producers of food and drinks, handcrafts, services and tourism experiences) a company based in Finland. PROLOCALIS is an application, which is already available on Google Play and in Apple-store. PROLOCALIS CEO Christos Granqvist a sea captain (merikapteeni, merenkulku) student from Kotka campus is now participating at LEVELUP accelerator program in Kotka. In the moment, he is getting ready for SLUSH 2017 to pitch his applications to investors and future partners. The amazing success story around his product is, if 1000 uploads will be achieved, TEKES will jump in to support the further progress.

Mike Newman, CEO GridWallet, Winner of StartUp Passion 2017. Photo: Dana Lihotina

Another finalist to mention, GRID WALLET from Latvia, with great potential to be a cross-border company in the future. Grid Wallet helps people get maximum returns for their unused renewable energy, improving the return on their investments. They are our year 2017 Winners of StartUp Passion program eur 5000 price. With this price money, they can participate to any startup convention they wish, even get a ticket to Silicon Valley.
StartUp Passion will go into his final round in 2018, and we are looking into another positive and promising year, the expectations for Xamk´s Creative Industry department continues to be high and the set goals will be achieved once again.


Writer Sabine Suorsa

Sabine Suorsa is a Project Manager at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.