Page updated 19.2.2018

National competition for Global Student Entrepreneur Award (GSEA) was arranged on 1 Feb 2018

The GSEA competition, standing for Global Student Entrepreneur Award, is targeted at higher education students who have run their own business while studying for at least six months, generating the minimum of USD 500 from the business. The national qualifying competition of Finland in February was the second one that was arranged in Turku.

Text: Johanna Stenroos-Vuorio and Kari Juhala
Antti Ala-Könni

The GSEA national competition was opened by Head of Education and Research Jaana Kallio-Gerlander in TUAS premises. The moderator of the event was the winner of the last year’s national competition Tommi Pura.

The GSEA competition emphasizes the entrepreneurial mindset and activity level of the student entrepreneur instead of pitching a business idea. The starting point in the competition is to find an already strong and charismatic personality with an opportunity to make a breakthrough with their business, also internationally.

For the winner of the national competition, who will represent the country in the GSEA global finals, the global organizer of the GSEA competition will assign a merited entrepreneur and a support network to provide valuable sparring assistance before, during and after the competition. The global finals are attended by student entrepreneurs representing over 50 countries, who will offer an excellent network and direct contacts around the world.

Second time in Turku

The GSEA national qualifying competition was now organized in Turku for the second time. The competitors came from Proakatemia at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, the University of Turku and Turku University of Applied Sciences. The competition was arranged in cooperation with student entrepreneurship society Boost, the Young Entrepreneurs in Southwest Finland, business accelerator Business Club of Turku University of Applied Sciences, and business society Aura Challenge.

In their presentations at the competition, each participant provided the judges with a written material regarding the background of their entrepreneurship and business activities before the actual presentation, gave a 12-minute pitch in English and answered the questions by the judges after the presentation. After the presentations, the challenging task of the judges was to assess the performances and decide on the winner.

The judges in 2018 were Ian McDonald from Budapest Business School, Liisa Lehtonen from Boost, Seidi Salminiitty from the Young Entrepreneurs in Southwest Finland, with Marita Nummi-Wikström from Turku University of Applied Sciences acting as the chairperson of the jury.

Samuli Taskila to represent Finland in global finals in Toronto

The winner of the national qualifying competition in 2018 was Samuli Taskila from the University of Turku with his excellent performance and business. Later in the spring, he will represent Finland in global finals held in Toronto, Canada. Taskila is a soon-to-be lawyer and a co-founder of Entis, a company producing exciting, delicious and high-quality insect food. Entis has gained a steady foothold on the cricket chocolate markets in Finland, with major retailers selling the product in over 150 grocery stores, and currently aims at international expansion.

The victory of the national competition in Finland, the entailing publicity, and the sparring help and networks in the global finals in Toronto offer extra boost to the already thriving Entis for conquering international markets.

Congratulations to Samuli Taskila for winning the national competition in Turku, and the best of luck to the global finals in Toronto!

Samuli Taskila presenting Entis

The national competition of the GSEA student entrepreneurship competition offers students an excellent opportunity for assessing, developing and receiving feedback on their own entrepreneurship and business activities. Taking the business activity to the next level often requires fresh outsider views of the current state of the business activity and its potential future development trend. Hence, each student receives written feedback from the jury on their competition performance. The competitors also have a chance to search for sparring after the competition from the business mentors at Turku University of Applied Sciences.

Previous winners of the national qualifying competition in Finland:

Lina Toivonen with her company Smooth it
Tommi Pura with his company A8 Entertainment Finland