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Competitions are a natural part of the operation of a JA company. By participating in competitions, the company gets an opportunity to demonstrate their competence, develop their operations, and receive feedback from specialists in the business community.

There are separate categories for companies from comprehensive schools as well as for companies from upper secondary, and higher education institutions.

The winners are selected by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from the business community. There is a monetary prize for the winners and some competitions also offer the chance to participate in the Uskalla Yrittää finals as an additional prize.

Winners of the 2021 Online Contests Selected!

See a list of all the winners and the jury’s reasoning here. Congratulations to all the winners! More than 300 JA companies took part in all series.

DL for Online Competitions 20.3.2022 23:59

  • Best Sales Pitch
  • Best Business Idea
  • Best Marketing Act
  • Best Logo

Late submissions for the competitions will not be considered.

 

Participation

The companies can take part in the competitions by submitting files through the profile of their JA company.

Best Sales Pitch

“The best entrepreneurs made me feel like the train was leaving the station whether I got on board or not.” – Jon Callaghan, True Ventures.

The Best Sales Pitch competition aims to find the JA companies who are able to present the key points of their business idea most effectively in the form of a short video.

You can participate in the competition by filming a video pitch for your JA company that is no longer than four minutes. The contents of the pitch and your speech are judged in the competition. The technical execution of your video does not influence the judging.

The completed video is uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo and a link to the video is added to your profile on this website.

All entries must be submitted by March 20 at the latest. The competition has dedicated categories for comprehensive schools, upper secondary schools, and higher education institutions. Your pitch may be prepared in Finnish, Swedish or English.

JA Finland will perform prequalification for the pitches and the overall winners will be selected by the panel of judges.

Included below is a possible structure for your pitch.

  • Opening (the name of your JA company)
  • Problem (what problem does the customer have?)
  • Solution (what is your solution to the problem?)
  • Business model (How does your JA company make money: who are your customers / how much does your product or service cost?)
  • Competitors (Who are your competitors? How does your JA company differ from the competition?)
  • Team (What skills does your team have?)
  • Finish (The slogan of your JA company)

In finding the best pitch, the judges will pay attention to the following points:

Problem and customer

  • Has the company identified clear target customer groups for their idea?
  • Has the company identified the customer’s problem?
  • Does the problem actually require solving?

Product/service i.e. the solution

  • Is the company’s solution presented clearly?
  • Does the product/service solve the problem presented above?
  • Does the company explain how the solution benefits the customer?
  • Does the solution differ from existing solutions in some way?

Business model

  • Is the business model of the company clearly defined and realistic?
  • Is the benefit provided by the product/service to the customer worth the price?
  • Has the company considered their pricing and the basis for it?
  • Has the company identified different channels for reaching customers?

Competence

  • Does the company explain their competence?
  • Does the company have the necessary competence to realize the idea?
  • Has the company considered additional skills they might need?

Structure of the pitch

  • Does the pitch have a clearly defined and logical structure?
  • Does the pitch have a memorable opening and finish?

Feasibility

  • Does the company explain how they have tested the feasibility of their idea?
  • Would you invest in realizing the company’s idea?

Comprehensive education

The competition for comprehensive schools does not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

Secondary education

The competition for upper secondary schools does not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

Higher education

The competition for higher education institutions does not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

The competition has one prize:

  1. A monetary prize of 200 euros, which is awarded to the winners for developing their business operation. The winning JA company must invoice JA Finland for the awarded amount before May 15, 2022.

Winners will be selected separately in the comprehensive, upper secondary, and higher education categories.

Best Business Idea

“Coming up with an idea is easy. Execution is what ultimately makes your business idea great. Even a good idea needs to be executed in the best possible way.” – Ilkka Lavas, serial entrepreneur.

A good business idea is based on an existing problem your customers have and would like to have resolved. The Best Business Idea competition aims to find an idea that is current, solves a practical problem, and is being realized by a functional company.

During the school year 2021–2022, the competition for higher education institutions has the circular economy and sustainability as a specific priority.

The companies can participate in the competition by producing a written description of the company’s business idea. The content of the submission and the profitability and realization of the business idea is judged in the competition. The format of the submitted work depends on the category as follows:

  • Comprehensive schools: A PowerPoint presentation on the company (max. 10 slides)
  • Upper secondary schools: A business plan
  • Higher education institutions: a pitch deck for your company (max. 15 slides)

The competition entries are submitted through the company’s profile on this website after signing in.

All entries must be submitted by March 20 at the latest. The competition has dedicated categories for comprehensive schools, upper secondary schools, and higher education institutions. Your submission can be produced in Finnish, Swedish or English.

JA Finland will perform a prequalification and the winners will be ultimately selected by the panel of judges.

Your PowerPoint presentation must at least answer the following questions regarding the operation of your JA company.

Description of the business idea

  • What are the needs of the customers your idea satisfies? What problems does it solve?
  • Compared to your competition, what is new/different about your business idea?

Description of competence

  • Does the company have the skills to realize the idea?
  • What can the company do by itself and where does it need outside help?
  • What additional competence does the company require?

Description of the product/service

  • What is the product/service that the company produces?
  • How does it benefit the customers?

Customers

  • Who are the customers of the company? How many (potential) customers are there? Where can they be reached (physically/online)?

Marketing and sales

  • How could the product/service be marketed to ensure that you reach the right target group?
  • What are the most important sales channels of the product/service?

Financial matters

  • What is the price of the product/service? What is the price based on?
  • How much of the product/service do you need to sell for your operation to be profitable?

These points are used to create a PowerPoint presentation with a maximum of 10 slides that is submitted as your entry to the competition.

Your business plan describes the resources and steps required for your company’s success. It is essential to chart the expenses related to the operation of your company realistically, create a budget for them, and to plan how you can cover those expenses with the planned operation in a concrete manner.

It is perhaps even more important in your plan to determine where your customers come from and why they would buy the service or product your company offers. A well-executed business plan provides an idea of the profitability of the company and its future prospects.

Contents of the business plan:

  • Description of the business idea
  • Description of competence
  • Description of the product/service
  • Customers and their needs
  • Line of business and the competitive situation
  • Size of the market
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Risks
  • Immaterial rights
  • Financial calculations

You can download a template for the business plan here.

A pitch deck should provide the essential information as is, without a representative of the company there to elaborate. Excellent pitch decks are coherent, tell a story, are visual, and typically consists of 10–14 slides.

Pitch decks are usually intended for investors, so you should prepare your submission with investors in mind.

Be sure to highlight the emphasis on sustainable development and/or the circular economy.

A pitch deck can include the following elements, for example:

  • Title slide
  • Problem and current solutions
  • Solution and value proposition
  • Validation
  • Markets
  • Business model
  • Team
  • Financial figures
  • Competitor analysis
  • Future
  • Request

In finding the best business idea, the judges will pay attention to the following aspects, which are emphasized slightly differently based on the category.

Criteria for comprehensive education

  • The idea is interesting, important, and current
  • The idea has takers, i.e. customers, and demand (this should be justified or verified)
  • The idea is supported by a good team
  • The company has the opportunity and the competence to test the idea in practice (resources, facilities, supplies, etc.)
  • The PowerPoint presentation is well-made, and the different sections have been sufficiently answered.

Criteria for secondary education

Listed below are the criteria and questions regarding the best business idea, which are used by the judges to come to a decision.

Innovation, value creation, and marketing

  • What is the problem the customers have that your idea solves?
  • Is the JA company’s product/service innovative?
  • Has the JA company engaged in market research or asked for feedback from the customers?
    • Has the product/service been developed further based on feedback?
  • What marketing channels does the JA company use? Why did the company decide to use these channels? Has the company reached customers through the channels?

Development and customer-orientation

  • Who is the customer for the product/service provided by the JA company?
  • Has the product/service been considered from the perspective of a potential customer?
    • What is the additional value the product/service provides the customer?

Ambition and skills

  • Does the JA company have a clearly defined operational plan?
  • Has the JA company specified objectives for itself?
  • How is the JA company organized?
    • Does each member of the company have a clearly defined role?

Key financial figures

  • What are the key financial figures of the JA company?
  • What is the profit margin of the product/service?

Criteria for higher education

Listed below are criteria and questions regarding the best business idea, which are used by the judges to come to a decision. The criteria are presented in English.

Momentum, Traction & Expertise

  • Your timeline and milestones to date, growth metrics are key at early stage

Market opportunity

  • What business/space are you in? What is the total market size?
  • Clearly define who are your customers? What are the trends and insights that define the market?

The problem & current solutions

  • What customer needs do you fill?
  • Define the real problem you are solving and how it’s solved now.

Your solution

  • How good is your solution?
  • Is your solution doable and realistic?
  • Does it solve the problem?

Business Model

  • How well the key revenue streams are presented, do they feel realistic?
  • How will you grow your business?

Team & Key Stakeholders (Investors, Advisors, Partners)

  • Is the team balanced, have they managed to recruit advisers and other partners?

Financials

  • How solid are the financials, are any proof of income?

Competition

  • Who are your competitors and how are you different?
  • Where are you positioned in the overall market?

Investment

  • What would you need next? What is your ask?

Circular Economy or sustainability in the idea 

Projects don’t need to be especially in the field of sustainability or circular economy. We expect that the sustainability impact is considered and documented.
See more in: https://www.sitra.fi/aiheet/kiertotalous/ or/and https://media.sitra.fi/2017/02/24015306/Towards_a_Sustainable_Wellbeing_Society.pdf

  • Projects that consider the whole value chain and life cycle of a product or service, such as conception, supply and/or manufacture as well as responsible consumption and/or disposal.
  • We are looking for projects that use design or creative thinking to develop smart solutions in terms of sustainability, especially those which consider resource efficiency or substitution.
  • Societal or environmental impact is especially valued.

Comprehensive education

The competition for comprehensive schools does not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

Secondary education

The competition for upper secondary schools does not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

Higher education

The competition for higher education institutions does not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

Comprehensive and Secondary schools:

  1. A monetary prize of 200 euros, which is awarded to the winners for developing their business operation. The winning JA company must invoice JA Finland for the awarded amount before May 15, 2022.
  2. The opportunity to reach the Uskalla Yrittää final without going through the semifinals. The final is held  April 27–28, 2022.

Universities and Universities of Applied Science

  1. A monetary prize of 500 euros, which is awarded to the winners for developing their business operation. The winning JA company must invoice JA Finland for the awarded amount before May 15, 2022.
  2. The opportunity to reach the Uskalla Yrittää final without going through the semifinals. The final is held  April 27–28, 2022.

Best Marketing Act

No matter how good a product, customers cannot find it if it’s not marketed. This competition is about finding the best marketing action. It can be, for example, a completed campaign, a marketing rapture such as a flashmob, or a promotion. The best marketing action can take place in social media or some other media, in your school, in your town, at a Christmas sale, at a fair…

The most important aspect about this is that your JA company actually really does market the products – a mere marketing plan does not suffice. You can get information and find out about good marketing campaigns on the Internet.

Enter the competition by sending in a report that you prepare to be presented on PowerPoint or a similar presentation platform (12 slides max.). The report must contain:

  1. Basic information about the JA company: Name of the company, school, (class,) names of the students in the team
  2. The JA company business idea
  3. A short description of the marketing action (what, to whom, why?)
  4. The goals of the marketing action (for example; Finding new customers, media exposure, boosting sales, etc.)
  5. Marketing action implementation (what, how, where?)
  6. Marketing action success indicators (in comparison to the goals)
  7. Marketing action success assessment and evaluation (what went well, what should have been done differently, what did you learn?)
  8. How did the marketing action affect the operations of your JA company?

 

Into your report, you should add videos, pictures, media links, or other documents associated with your marketing action. The supplements are to be added as links to open external sources

The last day of entry is 20.3.2022. In the competition, there are separate categories for comprehensive schools, secondary schools, and higher education institutions.

After preselection completed by Junior Achievement Finland, the winners of the competition will be selected by a jury consisting of marketing professionals

Criteria

 

When choosing the best marketing act, the following aspects will be considered by the jury. The impact and the results of the marketing act are assessed, i.e. emphasis is on reaching the goals set, the execution of the marketing act, and the learning process. The marketing act can be a success story – or it can be a description of a marketing act gone wrong that made the young entrepreneurs learn a lot and served as a basis for development and improvement of actions.

Setting the goals

  • Were the goals realistic but still ambitious?
  • How was the reaching of the goals measured?
  • Had the means, tools, and channels for marketing been appropriately chosen?

Execution

  • The execution of the marketing act was of high quality.
  • Enough time and teamwork had been involved in the execution.
  • The communication was successful.
  • The execution reached its target audience.

Self-evaluation

  • The goals were reached and measurable.
  • The reasons for success / failure were assessed (what went well / what didn’t go well)

Learning

  • A description of learning and reflecting
  • The impact of the lessons learned and the changes they caused in the operations of the JA company and in the actions of its members

Comprehensive education

The competition for comprehensive schools do not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

Secondary education

The competition for secondary education do not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

Higher education

The competition for higher education institutions do not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

The competition has one prize:

  1. A monetary prize of 300 euros, which is awarded to the winners for developing their business operation. The winning JA company must invoice JA Finland for the awarded amount before May 15, 2022.

Winners will be selected separately in the comprehensive, upper secondary, and higher education categories.

Best Logo

The purpose of a company logo is to give a positive first impression on the company. A good logo is unique and connected to the company and it sets the company apart from all other companies. The logo is a part of the company brand; Apple, Nike, McDonald’s – surely you recognize the logos! Officially the logo is a graphic representation of the company name with either an attached brand image or a detached visual symbol.

You can enter this competition with submitting either or both – i.e. sending in either a picture that represents your JA company or a graphig representation of the company name, or sending in both of them.

Enter the competition by attaching a logo into your JA company profile.

The last day of entry is 20.3.2022. In the competition, there are separate categories for comprehensive schools, secondary schools, and higher education institutions.

After preselection completed by Junior Achievement Finland, the winners of the competition will be selected by a jury consisting of graphics professionals.

 

ELEMENTS OF A GOOD LOGO

A good logo

  • contains the same brand colors used by the company
  • does not contain too much text or small details
  • evokes a positive vision
  • does not copy others’ ideas
  • is clear and easily transferable, for example, into prints
  • does not contain more than a maximum of two fonts
  • is of high visual quality
  • conveys the message the company wishes to communicate

A good visual presentation gives the company credibility and creates an image of high quality as well as allows the customer to see that you believe in your company and will develop it further.

You can produce the logo by yourselves or you can ask a graphic artist to design you one!

Source: Kukkola, S. 2018. Hyvä logo. https://www.starttikurssi.fi/markkinointi/hyva-logo.

(See also: https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/create-a-successful-logo-with-these-10-essential-elements/)

The JA company will automatically participate in the Best Logo competition by adding their logo into their company profile in the place reserved for it (”Company logo”).

Criteria

When choosing the best logo, the following aspects will be considered by the jury.

Image

  • The logo of the JA company promotes the company product or service.
  • The logo is unique and it reinforces the image of the JA company.
  • The logo represents the JA company visually and is professional-looking as well as inspires confidence.

Quality

  • The logo gives an impression of quality and is effective both in color and in black and white.
  • The logo works well in the various communication and marketing channels used by the company (for example, social media, websites, brochures)

Comprehensive education

The competition for comprehensive schools do not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

Secondary education

The competition for secondary education do not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

Higher education

The competition for higher education institutions do not have a minimum or maximum age limit.

The competition has one prize:

  1. A monetary prize of 300 euros, which is awarded to the winners for developing their business operation. The winning JA company must invoice JA Finland for the awarded amount before May 15, 2022.

Winners will be selected separately in the comprehensive, upper secondary, and higher education categories.

Uskalla Yrittää -semi-finals and final

Uskalla Yrittää is the Finnish Championship for the companies in the JA Company Program organized by JA Finland. The final is the largest annual entrepreneurship competition for young people. The next final will be held in Helsinki, April 27–28, 2022. The finalists are selected in the regional semi-finals held in February–March.

The official website of Uskalla Yrittää can be found at www.uskallayrittaa.fi.

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