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Theme 1: Food Security

Sustainable farm2fork solutions
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Challenge 1


Suomen Pientuottajatukku

Challenge description

CoVid-19 has caused huge disruptions I the supply chain and the consuming trends. Producers are having excess stock due to cancelled orders, others having shortages due to suddenly high demand.

The percentage of people using home delivery services for groceries has been 0,2% prior to Covid-19, during which this number has increased 10x.

"How can we use digital technologies to build a more resilient and agile food supply chain for local producers and farmers after CoVid-19 using sustainable farm2fork solutions and further increase e-commerce and home delivery services?
How can we apply dynamic models to support seasonal trade and preparation tools for all parts in the food chain?"

Looking for: developers (php,html5,java,native,AWS,mongoDB), e-com experienced growth hackers/analysts, digital marketing experts, graphic designers and business developers


Prize Details



Up to 5000 EUR of free consulting and startup scaling + an inhouse position as a developing partner (up to 20 000EUR)

Prize description:

The winning team will receive up to 50 hours (total value 5000 EUR) of consulting with the team at Pientuottajatukku to help you develop your business idea. In addition, Pientuottajatukku will offer the winning team’s new company an inhouse position as developing partner for 0,5% equity with a 24 month vesting period to develop the idea and model in a real market with the support of the network and the team.

How it works:

As a registered service provider, Pientuottajatukku will assist the winner in applying for the Business Finland Innovation grant of 4000EUR. Normally in order to qualify for the grant, the startup must pay a 1000EUR out-of-pocket to the service provider to get the rest of the 4000 EUR covered by Business Finland. However, in this case, Pientuottajatukku will cover the cost for the initial 1000 EUR.

In order to claim this prize, the winner must be able to meet the eligibility criteria set out by the Business Finland innovation grant. See Also, the team must approve and comply with the company’s shareholder’s agreement and sign an NDA for access to the company’s data.

Theme 2: Restaurant & Service

reducing carbon "food"prints

Challenge 2


Forum Virium Helsinki, Mission Zero Foodprint

Challenge description

Mission Zero Foodprint project promotes the City of Helsinki’s carbon neutrality goals by engaging the restaurant and food industry to co-create and experiment digital solutions and operating model to measure and make restaurants’ carbon footprint visible. The project’s co-creation and pilots are carried out in collaboration with restaurants in the Helsinki metropolitan region. 


We are looking for smart solutions and interoperable digital services that support small restaurants and food industry companies in making their operations more sustainable and carbon neutral. Digital tools, metrics and indicators will help steer the carbon footprint of restaurants and promote resource-efficient business choices in regard to ingredient purchases, energy solutions and recipe development, for example.  We believe that in the future, carbon neutrality can also offer competitive advantage by supporting the consumers’ informed choices.


Mission Zero Foodprint project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council. The project partners are  Forum Virium Helsinki,  the Helsinki city owned innovation company and Laurea University of Applied science.


"How to use digital technology to measure, reduce and communicate a restaurant's carbon footprint to their customers?"

Background on the challenge

Food causes about 16% of Finnish greenhouse gas emissions. However, according to Sitra, only one- third of consumers are trying to minimize the environmental impact of their diets, and the same amount does not. At the same time, only about 18% say they are trying to choose a climate-friendly meal in the restaurant. There are over 10,000 restaurants in Finland (MaRa, 2019) and the Finns eat more than 700 million meals outside their home every year (Ruokatieto, 2019). The demand for restaurant meals has also been growing steadily. Product ranges are growing and new, highly specialized food service companies are being set up.


Taking into account the entire food chain from primary production to the restaurant customer's plate, it is not only about culinary delights but also a significant CO2 factor. A carbon footprint tells about a product or service how much greenhouse gas it generates during a product's life cycle. For example, LUKE estimates that the average carbon footprint of a lunch is about 1 kg of CO2.


It is challenging to accurately assess the carbon footprint of food. The overall carbon footprint is affected by the energy consumption of the company, the raw materials used, and for example the food waste. 


Why measuring matters 

  • According to Finnish sustainable development company Motiva, process efficiency in restaurants can save up to 60% of energy. 

  • According to the Finnish hospitality association MaRa, the reduction in energy costs improves the profitability of restaurants and this shows also in the companies’ financial result. 

  • According to Natural resources institute LUKE, about one-fifth of edible food in the restaurant and catering sector in Finland ends up in bio-waste.

Prize Details


2500 EUR cash prize and a position to compete for the open call for Mission Zero Foodprint pilots, starting September 2020.

How it works:

In the Open call launching in September 2020, Mission Zero Foodprint project will be seeking solutions to be piloted within the restaurant branch in the Helsinki region. We will be selecting 3-5 pilots (total 35k eur) to be run as agile pilots with the restaurants (10 pilot restaurants) in the Helsinki region. The pilots are facilitated by Forum Virium Helsinki. 


If the solution developed in the hackathon meets the eligibility requirements of the Open Call, the winning team will be well positioned to continue collaboration and develop their business models in a facilitated piloting process. The piloting requires solutions/service concepts that are ready-to-use and that have a realistic chance to affect the restaurant's carbon footprint. 


The pilot period will start in the late autumn and lasts for max. 6 months. The service will be piloted in all or most of the 10 pilot restaurants (different types of restaurants). We are looking for solutions with realistic chances of remaining in use beyond piloting (e.g. as a paid service the service may have different business models). Through this piloting, the startup may build new business within the restaurant sector in Helsinki. 


How will the winner be selected

  • The winning solution is a working prototype or demo or a defined service concept. 

  • The solution brings an innovative way to measure and translate the data, e.g. to support the consumers’ choices.

  • The solution supports gathering and exporting data on carbon footprint, food waste or energy efficiency of restaurants.

Theme 3: Food Innovation

Challenge 3

make a new& tasty fish product


SärkiFood Oy

Challenge description

We are the 97%!
 - only 3% of the annual Baltic Herring fish catch is used as food for people. It is time for a change!


Baltic Herring is a tasty, small fish that is very commonly found in the Baltic Sea. It amounts to 90% of the annual catch form Finland’s sea catch with a catch of roughly 130 million kilograms. Due to outdated stereotypes about the fish, it is wildly unpopular to use it as food in Finland.  

Baltic Herring is not overfished and it is actually extremely environmentally-friendly to eat it. By using the Baltic Herring, one could easily and affordably help the Baltic Sea and reduce their own carbon footprint.


“ Mahtavaa olisi, jos silakkaa syötäisiin sellaisenaan, mutta näyttää siltä, ettemme suostu niin tekemään. Sen takia silakan jalostaminen tuntuu olevan välttämättömyys”

– Huippukokki Henri Alén

”It would be awesome if the Baltic Herring were eaten as it is. However, it seems, that we (the people in Finland) will not be willing to do that. Thus, the product development from Baltic Herring seems to be a necessity.”

- MasterChef Henri Alén


Your job in this challenge is no more and no less than to change this! You should do this by developing a new product and/or brand from the Baltic Herring to be sold in supermarkets all over Finland! And later, the world.

What kind of food product(s) can we create using the Baltic Herring to increase consumption?


Your job is to develop new product(s) from the Baltic Herring. Baltic Herring is available for purchase in all the large supermarkets fish section. Särkifood Oy will pay for the fish used in this challenge in exchange for a receipt of purchase. The purchase size needs to be reasonable.

In developing the product, you should also try to create a preliminary brand for the product. You should also be able to answer the questions: Who is/are the target audience(s) of the product? Which product the target group currently uses can be replaced by this? Why would this product be better for the target audience than the current option?

Prize Details


A partnership with Särkifood Oy to brand, develop, and scale the product and a % of the revenue from sales over 2 years

Prize description:

Särkifood Oy will choose a winner for this challenge (selection criteria TBA). The winner is given an option to further develop the product in collaboration with Särkifood Oy to bring the product to the supermarkets. Compensation for the work done after the challenge will be negotiated separately.

How it works:

Your job is to develop new product(s) from the Baltic Herring. Baltic Herring is available for purchase in all the large supermarkets fish section. Särkifood Oy will pay for the fish used in this challenge in exchange for a receipt of purchase. The purchase size needs to be reasonable.

In developing the product, you should also try to create a preliminary brand for the product. You should also be able to answer the questions:

  1. Who is/are the target audience(s) of the product?

  2. Which product the target group currently uses can be replaced by this? Why would this product be better for the target audience than the current option?

Ownership of all the IPR developed in this challenge by the winner will be transferred to Särkifood Oy at the end of the challenge. In return, Särkifood Oy will pay the winner of this challenge 0,075€/kg from all the sales of the product from the three first years of the sales of the product and 5 years if he or she decides to continue to cooperate with Särkifoods. On a successful launch, this would amount to several tens of thousands of euros.

Theme 3: Food Innovation

Challenge 4

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Finnish<->African food trade


Ambitious Africa and FinestNinja

Challenge description

Ambitious Africa is a global organization looking to promote the exchange of ideas and information in the sectors of education, entrepreneurship, and entertainment between the Nordics and Africa. FinestNinja's mission is to bring more international talents to Finland and encourage the entrepreneurial mindset among young people. In the area of entrepreneurship, the areas of food, foodtech, and agritech hold huge potential for growth and is one of the key areas we wish to address. We believe that Finland holds the key to advanced technologies that can help accelerate the growth of the food and agri-business sector in Africa, while Africa can offer new and innovative products and services to Finland. We are therefore looking for innovative startups to help increase the quality and quantity of food export between Finland and Africa.


“What kind of product or services can be utilized
to help increase the quality and quantity of food export
between Finland and Africa?”


Your idea can be a product or service that promotes this concept as a whole, or a very specific, singular product or service that addresses one aspect of this problem. Either way, the goal of this challenge is to help promote more food trade between Africa and Finland

Prize Details


A soft-landing package to help get your business established either in Finland or one of the nations on the continent of Africa

How it works:   

If the winning startup is based in Finland, the startup will receive assistance in exporting their product/service/solution to their choice of any one of the 54 countries in Africa. If an African startup wins the package, they will receive assistance in exporting their product/service/solution to Finland. The specific terms and conditions of the soft-landing package will be determined post-Hackathon since it must be tailored to that startup’s specific needs and which nation they choose to “land” in.

More specific judging criteria TBA.

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