The project aims at mapping the current state of Kymenlaakso startup ecosystem, to make suggestions for its improvement and continuing evaluation, to execute experiments with students, entrepreneurs and the community for developing the startup-ecosystem, and to engage in sociocultural animation to empower student, pupil, and entrepreneur communities to make startup-culture part of their everyday life.


Project activities are divided into three work packages: Environment, Experiments, and Community.

Environment work package maps the Kymenlaakso startup-ecosystem. On the basis of the mapping suggestions for its improvement are made including suggestions for the continuing evaluation of the development of the regional startup ecosystem. Existing data on Kymenlaakso startup-ecosystem, benchmarking, and interview of key actors are used for the mapping. The results of this work package are visualized for the use of region’s internal and external communications.

Experiments work package executes student, entrepreneur, and community driven experiments related to event, communication, and collaboration between different actors to enrich the startup community. Selection and design of experiments is guided by the mapping done in the first work package. Experiments are meant to improve interaction between ecosystem actors and activities (such as, services, events, projects, organisations) and to increase awareness of existing services. Experiments are documented and 1-2 best cases are presented internationally.

Community work package supports the Experiment work package but it also independently promotes the participation and contribution of the wide student population of Kymenlaakso in building the regional startup ecosystem. Sociocultural animation is applied in this work. Activities include the strengthening of cooperation between student entrepreneurship society PatteriES and vocational training institutions and high schools and other interested schools. This mean also strengthening PatteriES’ presence throughout Kymenlaakso. Through this cooperation the project develops easy-to-use models for student, entrepreneur, and other communities for promoting startup culture in their local everyday surroundings. Sociocultural animation is also used to familiarize local companies with the startup ecosystem and culture. For this purpose, activities and communication is provided in Finnish in addition to English which is startup culture is associated with. All there work packages support the growth and development of SHIP* The Startup Festival. Moreover, activities enhance the planning and execution of new campus and event arena in Kotka as well as utilisation of design, project, and co-working spaces in the Kouvola region as open environments for innovation and new business creation.


  • mapping of the current state of Kymenlaakso startup ecosystem in a visually attractive form for the use of communication by decision makers and developers
  • suggestions for the improvement of Kymenlaakso startup ecosystem
  • suggestions for the continuous evaluation Kymenlaakso startup ecosystem for regional and local decision makers and developers
  • documented startup ecosystem development experiments of which 3-6 will be implemented as part of startup ecosystem actors’ continuous operations
  • 1-2 best experiments presented as best practice cases in an international conference
    -4-6 easy-to-use models for student, entrepreneur, and other communities for promoting startup culture in their local everyday surroundings
  • active student entrepreneurship society in the North and South Kymenlaakso
  • more companies in Kymenlaakso are connected to the startup ecosystem and willing to contribute to its further development
  • increased international visibility of the Kymenlaakso startup ecosystem

The project improves gender equality. Its socio-cultural animation approach aims at activating more women into startup activities, competitions, accelerators, and events because startup culture has been dominated by men. The project does not have special effects related to ecological sustainability. Economic sustainability is enhanced by renewing regional industry structure and supporting the creation of new services and products. Social and cultural sustainability is an important principle in the project. The project impacts youth and their communities’ wellbeing by developing means of participation and influence, promoting equality and societal and cultural parity for which, for example, immigrant’s participation in the creation of startup culture is central and needed also for competitiveness and cultural attractiveness of the region.

More information

Project Manager
Minna Lehesvuori
+358 (0)44 702 8512



Kymenlaakso Startup Ecosystem

1 September 2018 – 30 November 2020

Project partners

Lead partner: South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Xamk

Partners: Patteri Entrepreneurship ry (Patteri ES)

Focus areas: Digital economy
Xamk Research Units: Creative Industries


Total budget: € 194 188

XAMK part of the total budget: € 153 194

Financiers and main source of funding: Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, European Regional Development fund (ERDF)