September 17 marks the day many farmers in Western Finland will be out at their fields taking the last harvest. For all entrepreneurial-minded youngsters, and why not even farmers, it’s a perfect day to head for Harvest 16 event in Vaasa.

We surely are, as we are a media partner for the event.

Finland’s 15th largest town Vaasa is not among the best-known startup centres so far, but the newly-founded Vaasa Entrepreneurship Society (VES) is on a mission to change that. The birth of VES – a non-profit community run by volunteer students – is surely a step in the right direction as many say it was the birth of AaltoES, which kickstarted the Helsinki startup boom.

AaltoES, with its FallUp event, was also the inspiration for Harvest event, which will be the biggest startup event in Vaasa’s history.

“Harvest is in a sense the embodiment of our ambitious and hard working community, where we strongly believe in the DIY spirit,” said Simon Mittler from VES.

The event functions as a platform and much like nature, they are setting the ground for the attendees to plant the seeds or cut the harvest. “By gathering everyone under the same roof and executing our well-planned schedule we provide all attendees our network for a valuable “harvest”, that we believe amounts to new ideas, efficient learning and fruitful cooperation. At the same time you can never really predict the outcome. The harvesting is up to everyone coming there,” he said.

EY will be the sole Premium partner. Other partners for the event include Holvi, ABB, Nordea, Morgan Digital, Ukko.fi, Opteam, Fondia, while supporters list is also impressive: Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (Pohjanmaan liitto), The Federation of Finnish Enterprises (Suomen yrittäjät), Vaasa City, Startia, Opiskelijan Vaasa, Warrior Coffee.

“The level of co-operation is unique in Ostrobothnia, between private and public sectors and students,” said Mittler.

With a big startup event priced usually well north of 100 or 200 euros, VES promises to shock attendees with its pricing. “We have the lowest possible threshold to visit the event. It will be free for all visitors and students. It is located in the city centre, and it takes place on a Saturday. We left no excuses for not attending.”

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