Spark Joensuu community is made up of many different communities and educational institutions.
Together these smaller communities make possible to combine entrepreneurship and studies.
Learn more about our community members from below.
The University of Eastern Finland is one of the largest universities in Finland. UEF shows courage in crossing academic boundaries and its interdisciplinary approach is internationally recognised. UEF’s research is ranked among the best in the world in several fields. As a multidisciplinary university, UEF trains experts for the various sectors of society. It seeks solutions to global challenges through multidisciplinary research and education. In collaboration with partners, UEF generates new knowledge, expertise and innovations.
UEF is a multidisciplinary university, which offers teaching in more than 100 major subjects. It has four faculties: the Philosophical Faculty, the Faculty of Science and Forestry, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies.
The University of Eastern Finland puts students, high-standard learning processes and student well-being first. UEF is a sought-after place to study thanks to teaching, which is based on the latest research and diverse education offering, as well as flexible study opportunities. UEF graduates acquire the skills required by the changing labour markets and international operating environments.
UEF has extensive international relations and are involved in several international networks. The teaching and research staff and students are active in participating in various mobility programmes. UEF has concluded bilateral agreements of cooperation with approximately 100 universities abroad.
UEF is known as a partner who takes the initiative, and as an influential participant in social dialogue. It engages in close cooperation with various research institutes, businesses and industries. UEF is a builder of open innovation ecosystems and promotes the emergence of new business activities in eastern Finland in particular. Researchers produce data to support societal decision-making and they participate in the work of several working groups in different fields.
Campuses are located in Joensuu and Kuopio. UEF is home to approximately 15,500 students and 2,500 members of staff.
In Business Academy you will study in a multidiciplinary learning team of 10-15 students. Together with your team you will establish a business that you will work under for the rest of your studies.
Business Academy brings forth brave, open-minded and capable teampreneurs. We think through
entrepreneurship. Our learning teams sit together in a dialogue ring twice a week to practice the skill of learning together as a team. Teamwork is the greatest power behind Business Academy. All knowledge acquired is shared with one’s own learning team. Books are the cornerstone of studying in Business Academy as they are read often and the essays written of them are used to share one’s newfound knowledge with the rest of the academy.
Everything you learn is put into practice. The students work on real projects for real clients, which is how they get to test their skills and create valuable networks into the working life.
The Draft program is available for students and staff of Karelia UAS, University of Eastern Finland, Riveria, Savonia UAS and Savo Consortium for Education. Teams in the Draft Program can get EUR 1000 of funding during the first 8 months. A team has a possibility to apply for additional funding (EUR 1000 at a time) by presenting their plans to Draft board in connection with the next Draft application dates. If the original idea of a team isn’t working, any leftover funding can be used to test a different innovative idea the team might have.
At Riveria, the Entrepreneurship Path is an alternative way for all students. They can study and work with others who are interested in entrepreneurship. ProRiveria is a professional secondary Riveria multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial learning environment. There students can implement their business ideas as The Company program or in a pedagogical cooperative.
ProRiveria is open to all Riveria students.You can pursue professional studies as an entrepreneur (basic, vocational and specialist qualifications).
A team-based learning environment enables different students to learn individually. Working together brings individual learning together with the team. Knowledge, lessons and experiences are shared. You will learn collaborative skills and an entrepreneurial attitude, which will facilitate your transition to work and possibly your self-employment as an entrepreneur.Team pedagogy alternates practical experiments and experiences with real customer projects. This starting point for learning generates enthusiasm for what is being learned and for learning.
Reflecting experiences in dialogue with your team and coach is key.Experiences turn into theories that guide action. Implementing learning through new experiments is also key. Working in a team improves self-esteem and delights more than working alone. The diversity and strengths of team members enable customer projects that would not be possible on their own.
The team creates safety, well-being and fun to learn.
Since 2013, Joensuu Entrepreneurship Society (JoES) has shared inspiration, helped you to network and created events. We are a young and active community that connects people with an entrepreneurial spirit. We want to encourage everyone to try new things and develop themselves. JoES is one of the founders of SPARK and we are located in the front desk at SPARK.
POLKU week our main event, and it attracts hundreds of students to learn about entrepreneurship. It is held annually on the last week of September, and it’s free for students. During the week, a participant is able to experience inspiring keynote speakers, workshops, extra program and moreover, networking with other motivated people.
Join JoES Team if you want to be a part the community! By joining, you get to organise events with us whilst developing yourself. Members of JoES Team get access to our working spaces at SPARK entrepreneurial community in Science Park. You get a chance to connect with like-minded people and to make new friends. Our membership is 100% free, so what are you waiting for? Join us now!
The aim of the EPIC-project (Early-Stage Platform for Innovation Challenges) is to create a multidisciplinary innovation platform for SMEs, regional research community and global leaders, such as International Space Agencies, and to together develop solutions for complex global challenges. As a result new products, services and business opportunities are created and the regional economy and its place on the global stage is strengthened.
This platform is being developed out of the Epic Challenge educational program, which was piloted in Joensuu in 2015-2016. Every year the project generates tens of technology pilots, which will lead to an increased number of SME-lead commercialization projects, university spin-offs and also basic and applied research. These SMEs will gain access to multinational student and researcher talent pool, potential solutions for challenges they might be facing and potential concepts for future business. On longer term, the project aims to become a place where other global leaders can gravitate to and bring in their own challenges. The platform consists of three main stages: The Challenge Definition, The Epic Challenge educational program and The Commercialization stage.
In the core of the EPIC-project is the Epic Challenge educational program. On the Epic Challenge course students learn how to solve complex problems creatively by applying an innovation method that was created by former NASA Astronaut Dr. Charles Camarda. Throughout the course they learn problem solving, product development and prototyping skills, which they implement to the complex challenges of Sustaining Humans on Mars. Students form teams and work together for 2 to 6 months and collaborate with subject matter experts and local companies. These Epic teams have students from different levels of education (from high school to PhD level) and from different backgrounds (from tourism to nuclear physics). In the past three years over 300 students in Finland went through the Epic Challenge educational program.
We help our customers with investments, and to relocate to the Joensuu region. We also provide assistance in setting up a business, growth and internationalisation. In addition, the office space and services offered by the Science Park can be accessed through us. These services are used daily by 130 organisations and 1500 people. We also produce operating environment development services which provide businesses with the best operating conditions.
The business environment continuously develops and offers new opportunities. Cooperation, courage and professionalism are required in using these opportunities. The most agile and most competent ones will succeed – knowledge and competence grow by sharing.
In the JA Company Program students set up a JA company that operates with real money. The program is a combination of theory and practice in teaching and learning entrepreneurial skills, competences and attitudes.
Entrepreneurship education is a growing trend in education and a part of the curriculums at all levels of education. It is used to reinforce people’s skills, information, and attitudes that they need to succeed in the global economy and the changing working life.” (European Commission).The JA Company Program combines theory and practice for the purpose of learning entrepreneurial skills, competencies and attitude. The program provides educational institutions a turnkey solution for entrepreneurship education and the students a fun and practical tool for learning entrepreneurship and working life skills.
Within the program, the participants establish, alone or as part of a group, a JA company that operates using real money, which they run for a semester, a school year, a calendar year or a period of 12 months.The program offers a wide range of opportunities for deepening working life skills, developing an entrepreneurial attitude, broad understanding of entrepreneurship and cross-curricular entities. Participants in the program set up a real money NY company, individually or in groups. The program provides a teacher with a turn key solution for teaching entrepreneurship. The program includes eg. competitions, a national teacher network, and the Twid learning environment. The contents of the program take into account the learning objectives of the vocational training fundamentals. The program is an excellent tool for completing parts of the Business Planning and Business Qualification Exam. Students learn by doing the right things as part of their own business.
The JA Company Program has been named one of the best opportunities in the Ministry of Education and Culture’s Entrepreneurship Guidelines to implement entrepreneurship education in upper secondary education according to new curricula.
The JA Company Program students
- recognize the requirements of entrepreneurship and evaluate their own strengths and areas for development
- develop their own entrepreneurial skills such as sales skills, teamwork skills, problem solving skills, communication skills and presentation skills
- Build business cooperation networks
- Identify and evaluate their own activities within the company as part of the team
- know how to plan a business
- Is able to use business planning tools and prepare documents for starting a business
- Is able to formulate a business model and plan to support his / her idea and develop it during operations
- Understands the basics of business and is able to evaluate and develop business
Federation of Finnish Enterprises is an interest and service organization for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their owners. Our task is to improve the position of entrepreneurs and the conditions for entrepreneurship, and to make Finland an entrepreneurial society.
North Karelia province of Federation of Finnish Enterprises is the regional office of the Federation. We share the same tasks and goals as the head organization.
As a summary, here are several reasons on why to belong to the organization: