A new Finnish government initiative to promote the development of early stage digital start-ups in Finland is taken to yet another level by the cooperation between SomePitching and the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications. SomePitching and the Ministry have signed a contract to arrange six business idea competitions across Finland between 2013 – 2014. The contract relates to the Kide-program set up by the Ministry last year and SomePitching business idea competitions that have been arranged since 2010.

The idea behind the competitions is to provide early stage startups and innovation teams with advice and support for their ideas, as well as contacts to potential early stage investors. The first three Ministry supported competitions will take place in 2013, and the second batch of three in 2014. Each individual competition is also a satellite tournament for the upcoming national SomePitching 5.0 and 6.0, which will be run in autumn 2013 and 2014, respectively. The competitions will take place in Turku, Oulu and Lappeenranta, although more details are yet to be announced.

The Ministry has supported various developer communities and organizations, such as AaltoES, BoostTurku, RailsGirls, just to name a few, and it is on a constant lookout for more platforms to support a new generation of tech champions. The Minister of Housing and Communications Krista Kiuru says, “Finland’s target is to reach the number one spot in production and use of digital services. Supporting startup activity is an important part of developing the digital service culture, and we’re actively expanding the network.”

Teemu Polo, SomePitching board member, emphasizes that the Ministry’s involvement is a significant gesture for grassroots startup activity in Finland.

The technology for the six upcoming competitions is provided by an Oulu-based startup Innopinion. The same technology is used in SomePitching business idea competitions. Innopinion describes its solution as a “gamified crowdsourcing model”, which enables efficient use of resources and engaging of various shareholder groups into idea and feedback campaigns.

CEO of Innopinion, Tom Laine praises the Ministry’s support and its Kide-program, “I wish other governmental organizations were just as actively supporting early stage startups, instead of just investing in the later stage already successful startups and growth ventures.”