Finns voted “the usage of everyone’s skills” as the topic of the ultimate startup competition, which celebrates Finland’s 100th birthday.

The Ratkaisu100 startup competition lasts until the end of 2017, and has a 1 million euro prize pool.

The solutions could, for example, bring the skills of refugees into use in their new home country, or teach people new skills.

“Know-how is valuable for Finland. Everyone knows how to do something when they have a place and a chance. You learn by doing, you also learn Finnish this way. An active person remains healthy, both physically and mentally”, said one voter.

Any team from around the world can participate, but at least one member of the team should speak Finnish to understand all the details. The organisers can almost certainly expect a number of applications from at least the neighbouring countries.

In the next stage, the competition is looking for 3-5 person teams to build the solutions. The deadline to apply is Feb 13. Based on the applications 20 teams are invited to the second phase and 10-15 teams to the finals of startup competition. The organising fund, Sitra, will help the teams during next year to build specific, impactful and executable solutions.

”A challenge prize competition is an excellent way to find new innovations, speed up cooperation and create solution-centred and future-oriented culture,” said Sitra’s President Mikko Kosonen.

A challenge prize competition is one researched and proven way to tackle big challenges and create novel ways of thinking to solve complex problems. The aim of the competition is not only to find solutions but also to implement them: to move beyond rhetoric to practical action as well as enable transfer of innovation to practice.

Editor’s note: Updates with more details, comments