Launch your idea!

Road to *ship

*Ship Startup Festival is coming in May, which means also Road to *ship is here! The official launch in online on March 12, 2024 16.00–17.00, but you can already hop on board by signing up and joining the journey.

Road to *ship is for you who have a business idea and would love to develop it further by working with experts. We will provide you with all you need to clarify your business idea & message so that you can shine – perhaps even pitching at the *Ship Startup Festival to win great prizes!


Come profit from free guidance and advice from seasoned business coach and experienced entrepreneur Tuukka Ylälahti, with potential additional one-on-one coaching. Pitching is a skill all entrepreneurs need – telling about your business in such a way that customers, investors & future team members immediately love your concept.

For all participating Xamk University students, there will be additional coaching, help and support flexibly available in both English and Finnish. In addition, Xamk University students can gather study credits from participating in Road to *ship.

We have created simple and small steps to provide you with hands-on, proven methods and ideas, including inspirational mentoring and coaching. We’ll guide you forward and perhaps you’ll even be confident enough to take on the stage at the *ship Startup Festival to compete for the top prize!

Also the *ship Startup Festival crew is available to tell us more about how to pitch at the *ship Startup Festival.

Sign up now, you have nothing to lose – and everything to gain:


Preliminary Schedule:

Please note that the program will be in English. If you qualify for coaching, the mentoring may be in English or Finnish – depending on your own preference.

The program starts on the 12.3.2024 and runs for 6 weeks with one weekly coaching session on every Tuesday at 16:00 leading up the Ship Startup Festival.

During the program, you will learn basics of pitch presenting and get a chance to practice your skills.

The program is open for early-stage founders who either havealready started working on their fresh & new business idea, or perhaps have only have the idea written on a napkin. All you need is the motivation to learn about pitching and what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Completing the program gives you everything you need to be confident about pitching in the *ship Startup Festival Pitch Captain competition for your chance to win fame, glory —and a cash prize!

Program is run by Tuukka Ylälahti, a serial start-up entrepreneur with a decade of experience in pitching, pitch coaching, and judging in pitching competitions.

Kick-off 12.3. 16.00–17.00

In the first introduction session Tuukka shares his broad pitching experiences the secret to delivering a great pitch presentation at *ship Startup Festival when you don’t yet have a lot of pitching experience.

The kick-off introductory session gives you everything you need to start working on your own pitch as the first home assignment.

Three follow-up sessions

2nd Session 19.3. 16.00–17.00

  • Pitch script clarity and timing
  • Co-learning as a group on how written script plays out with audiences.
  • Outcome: Experience of script writing and feedback on how to improve
  • Homework for the second weekly Coaching session: Pitch Script v2 – Text Only

3rd Session 26.3. 16.00–17.00

  • Pitch Script v2 Review
  • The 2nd half of the session is about building a visual pitch deck and how to use imagery to drive through key points
  • Outcome: Solid pitch script and key ideas and takeways on how to make it visual for the next week’s session
  • Homework for the 3rd session: pitch deck visuals

4th Session 2.4. 16.00–17.00

  • 1st full pitch presentations by teams
  • Outcome: Solid understanding on what is a pitch, how it is structured and how to deliver it on stage
  • Homework: Create a pitch deck and apply for 1-1 coaching. Best decks and performers from the coaching sessions will be selected for personal coaching

Potential Personal Coaching

  • The best pitch decks and top performing program participants are eligible to enter the *ship Startup Festival Pitch Captain competition for a chance to win cash prizes, with potential coaching by Tuukka Ylälahti
  • All Xamk University students from all four campuses and also startups from Kymenlaakso region are eligible for additional and coaching from Erna Gronow and Jani Kiviranta
  • More information Ship Startup Festival to be announced as details about this year’s event get confirmed.

Pitching Dress Rehearsal 7.5.

  • This is it! The final weekly session. We will be seeing the pitches from the 1-1 coaching participants, for their chance to get practice before going on stage live at the *ship Startup Pitch Captain Competition.
  • Get to see the progress the top teams have made during personal coaching. Hear the feedback from coaches to get a solid idea on what made the selected pitches to raise above the others.
  • Outcome: Solid understanding on how to build a winning pitch from the raw script to a well rehearsed live presentation.

16.–17.5. *ship Startup Festival

  • Qualifying teams will be entered in Ship Startup Pitch Captain Competition and travel to Kotka to participate in the Ship Startup festival, where you can network with experienced entrepreneurs and investors and learn valuable lessons to help you on your startup journey —AND have a chance to win a cash prize!
  • The prizes and competition categories will be announced closer to the event. Stay tuned!

Additional info

If you have something to ask about Road to *ship, send us an email: Erna Gronow (email) and/or Jani Kiviranta (email) And remember to SIGN UP!