Startup Connect – facilitation of startup, entrepreneurship and SME cooperation in the cross-border region.

The project is aimed at deepening students’ understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation practices by organizing student-based innovation camps and other cross-border entrepreneurship events.

Xamk is involved in developing cross-border entrepreneurial student community by promoting Russian and Finnish entrepreneurship societies’ joint entrepreneurial activities.

Xamk is together creating a new model of practical trainings for students as innovators with and in SMEs both in Finland and in Russia.

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Student's Manual for Entrepreneurial Activities

Download the manual (PDF) by clicking here.

In cooperation with Kymenlaakso Startup Ecosystem project,
we produced inspiring Entrepreneur Stories for you!

Please note, some stories are in Finnish, some in English.


More videos available here (opens in a new tab).

Startup Connect project has been closed on April 30, 2021.

Xamk project team thanks all partners and active student participants during the project time!


STARTUP CONNECT – facilitation of startup, entrepreneurship and SME cooperation in the cross-border region project was implemented in cooperation with (lead partner) Kotka-Hamina Regional Development Company Cursor Oy, St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies Mechanics and Optics (ITMO University) & St. Petersburg Foundation for SME Development.

The main project activities in Xamk were the development of entrepreneurial spirit among students and boosting cross-border cooperation in educational activities on entrepreneurship. Xamk has activated entrepreneurial spirit both in Xamk and ITMO universities by offering platforms and channels, information, trainings as well as live and online events with possibilities to join on-the-job training and event management with study credits.

Startup Connect has been the partner organizer in cross-border student event named Innocamp, during which Xamk and ITMO students set out to solve real life business challenges. The event involved students with different backgrounds and studying specialisations, and so the case solving process was entertaining, productive, and informative for all team members. The students learned team working and ideation, and businesses received innovative solutions to their cases.


The project has formed a cross-border student entrepreneurship community by conducting student meetups and questionnaires for both Xamk and ITMO students. In addition, the project has marketed the community on various platforms and developed an action plan for piloting an online communication platform to further continue the growth of the cross-border student community.  Xamk team has also produced a Student’s Manual for Entrepreneurial Activities to support the work. Patteri Student Entrepreneurship Society (PatteriES) is the main contact point in Xamk for cross-border activities. Please see

One aspect of evoking and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit in Xamk and ITMO was to offer various ways for students to be involved in organizing startup events. One of the biggest platforms for this is *ship Startup Festival. Please see

With the help of the *ship recruitment plan and the project networks, Startup Connect has been able to involve students not only to work in *ship but also to create a consistent way for students to turn their work and participation into study credits.

Xamk Startup Community & PatteriES will continue offering students various possibilities to join startup activities.  Please see


Picture taken from Pixabay

Interview with student: Marat Iangaliev

Interview with student: Marat Iangaliev Marat studies International Business in our university and he participated in Startup Connect program. Antti Leppilampi discussed with Marat about his experiences in participating Startup Connect Kick off and Innocamp, where he got to practice being a team leader in a group. Marat said that participating in Startup Connect program...

Startup Connect – Innovation Camp 2019 in Kotka

Innovation camp a new approach on learning Startup connect – cross border dimensions – what do we offer It offers support for startups, students entrepreneurship and SME cooperation, in the cross border region of Russia and Finland. It will form a community of leaders and future business leaders, which are ready to concur the world....


Startup Connect – facilitation of startup, entrepreneurship and SME cooperation in the cross-border region.

1 November 2018 – 30 April 2021

Project partners

Lead partner: Cursor Oy

Partners: Finland: Cursor Lead Partner, Xamk Russia: ITMO, St. Petersburg foundation for SME development

Focus areas: Digital economy
Xamk Research Units: Creative Industries


Total budget: € 807 480

XAMK part of the total budget: € 210 780

Financiers and main source of funding: ENI CBC – Programme