The idea of Venturing Research Challenge is to help turn brilliant research into products ready for commercialization. The latest event of the program took place March 26.-28. and was hosted by  Business Kitchen Tellus in the University of Oulu. During the three day event, researchers from the Natural Resources Institute of Finland came to Business Kitchen to guide groups of entrepreneurially minded students in a project to commercialize various topics of their research.


The participants formed groups in which they worked together on their topics with leading researchers of the fields in question. With the help of mentors coming from various areas of entrepreneurship and business, they completed different workshops handling essential aspects of commercialization, for example idea validation and pitching. During the intense and compact event, all the teams were able to form fascinating and innovative ideas for new businesses, such as an app to monitor and track the population of wild berries and a model that would improve the usage and value of abandoned mines.


The challenge culminated in a final pitching event that took place on the last day of the program. Each of the teams was given the chance to present their idea in a compact five minute pitch to a panel of judges with diverse commercial backgrounds. The winning team, together with their respective researcher Liisa Pesonen, worked on utilizing the phosphorous that can be extracted from water by using a patented granular material called the LWA-Ca. Pesonen stated that she had found the event hugely effective and the various points of view and ways of thinking that came up during the group work had been invaluable assets. She intends to follow the plan that her team formed during the event in terms of putting together a new research and development project to further hone the model that the group had drawn up. By doing this she hopes to develop the method of collecting water soluble phosphorous all the way into a ready product with an already proven international potential.


The winning team was awarded with a prize fitting to their topic! They won an all-expenses paid guided fishing trip to the river Simo!

The next round of Venturing Research Challenge will take place during the autumn of 2018. Stay tuned to hear more information about it and be ready to participate in being a part of creating something new and impactful!

Participants' comments:

“Really enjoyed the fact that our project topic seemed to be fairly new topic for all of our team members, and that really cause the effect that everyone was trying to familiarize themselves to the topic as quickly as possible. And it was well paid as we won the VRC.”

"The event was generally well organised with the snacks and room arrangements. -It was inspiring to see that the researchers were extremely passionate about their product and offered a lot of insight as the method we were working with was unknown to us all." 

"The fact that all of the products were generally new technologies and innovations made us really challenge ourselves as individuals and as a group to learn something quite technical in just a few days. Also the fact that our team was built from people from different backgrounds helped us to think creatively."