Congratulations to AEC 2019 Winners! (December 13, 2019)

The winners of the 2019 Ambassador’s Entrepreneurial Challenge 2019 were selected on Friday, December 13, 2019, after a competition at the beautiful Oodi Library.

Congratulations to Hugo Stepanoff, Eino Elsinen, and Niilo Nylund from team Charity Map (Ressun peruskoulu Helsinki) and Faruk Hodzic, Emilia Svahn and Lise Strandberg from team The Last Straw (Högstadiet i Petalax) for winning the younger age group (age 13-15) competition! Jury members included U.S. Ambassador to Finland Robert Pence, Marko Korkeakoski, a Senior Lecturer in Business Administration and Economics, and Sonja Ikonen from Weekendbee. Each winning team will receive seed money for starting their own business.

Congratulations to Team JastonMatter members Masi Mahlamäki and Johannes Leppäkorpi from Jyväskylän Lyseon Lukio who won the older age group (16-18-year-olds) competition. They will receive a grant to participate in the 2020 Iacocca Global Entrepreneurship Intensive at Lehigh University in the United States. Team Tray members Daniel Ferreira, Miro Keimiöniemi, and Beatriz Glaser from Tampere placed second. They will receive seed money to support the development of their business idea. Two teams also received a special mention: Team Ecoweb and Team Project Spezie.

Jury members for the older group included Hannele Mennala, Head of Haaga-Helia Startup School; Heiju Simola, Network Coordinator at Suomen Yrittäjät ry; Aaro Isosaari, CEO at Kiuas; and Will Cardwell, Managing Partner, Courage Ventures Funds.

Fifteen teams from both categories participated in the AEC 2019 finals. The students were selected from regional semi-finals in Helsinki, Imatra, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Oulu, Tampere and Vaasa. The first day of the two-day program included a workshop on public speaking by Kelly Keodara and a visit to the U.S. Embassy.

The U.S. Embassy Finland thanks all participating teams, mentors, and jury members for making the AEC 2019 a success!

More images available on our Flickr album