Student, are you interested in entrepreneurship? Apply PoC funding for your business idea!

Do you have a business idea in mind but don't know how to move it forward? Proof-of-Concept funding offers both students and researchers of the University of Oulu a low-threshold opportunity for the first implementation of the idea. The intention is to commercialize an invention or idea as a new startup or by licensing it to an existing company.

Both bachelor's and master's level students can receive a maximum of €5,000 in PoC funding. The money can be used to make a prototype, for example.

"A student can get an idea for a new application-based service, for example, which is not yet on the market. PoC funding allows him to develop an application prototype and test whether the idea actually works. In this case, he or she can use the money from PoC funding, for example, to utilise an external expert or for purchasing services. In addition to the prototype, the funding can be used to test the idea and for dissemination within the framework allowed by the funding. It may be that the application is found to attract interest, and in this case the idea may bend into a valuable invention and thus also into a company,” says Ville Saarenpää, Project Specialist at the Innovation Centre.

PoC funding is not available for direct free use; instead, the University of Oulu Innovation Centre accepts purchases and pays the bills for the operations. It is advisable to contact the Innovation Centre before applying the fund.

“If you are interested in applying for PoC funding, you must first contact the Innovation Centre. In this case, we will discuss the idea together and there will be free coaching and sparring available to take it forward.”

Sparring refers to the guidance and exchange of ideas related to the invention. It is worth making use of it, especially when the idea has already been born but it is unclear how it will be implemented.

Ville Saarenpää seisoo Innovaatiokeskuksen edustalla. Taustalla näkyy innovaatiokeskuksen rollup ja Linnanmaan kampusta.

At the Innovation Centre Ville's task is to help those students who are interested in using such an opportunity. However, he points out one more fact about PoC funding:

"The purpose of the funding is to enable the first implementation of the idea. Therefore, funding cannot be applied for an existing company. The goal is to commercialize a new business idea, for example, through a new company. It is good for researchers in particular to remember that this is not a research grant either.”

The call for applications for funding is opened annually during January and can be applied for as long as funding lasts. However, the funding received must be used by the end of November. If you have a business idea in mind and want PoC funding for it, feel free to contact Ville Saarenpää.

Read more about PoC funding

Last updated: 20.6.2023