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American Entrepreneurial Challenge is back!


U.S. Embassy Helsinki’s flagship entrepreneurial program, American Entrepreneurial Challenge (AEC), is back! The program will provide students with a unique opportunity to strengthen their entrepreneurial and English skills. In 2022, the AEC will be organized during the spring semester, starting on March 18, 2022.


The challenge will be in-person this time around, providing more opportunities for students across Finland to participate!

During the AEC, students will come up with a new business idea, create a business plan, and pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Participants will be provided with opportunities to improve their pitching skills and learn from mentors throughout the competition.

How does it work?


Teams of 2 – 4 students join together to create a business plan or a non-profit service that demonstrates the essential skills for bringing an idea to life: entrepreneurial skills, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, language ability, and presentation. Each team comes up with a business plan and presents a recorded pitch that is maximum 3-minute long.  Each team needs to have at least one adult mentor – for example their teacher or a local entrepreneur. The AEC is conducted in English only.

In spring 2022, there will be open entries for primary school students, classes 7 – 9, and for vocational school and upper secondary school students. The strict age limits have been lifted. Please see below the requirements for each school level.

We welcome submissions starting on March 21, 2022. The deadline for submissions is April 22, 2022, at 23.59 (Helsinki time). The entire competition will take place in-person from May 5-6, 2022 in Tampere. Travel and accommodations will be provided.


  • Registration (submission of entries) will start March 21, 2022, and the deadline for applications is Friday, April 22, 2022 at 23.59 (Helsinki time)

  • Entries will be submitted here & the following information is required:

    • Name of the team

    • School/s of the team members

    • First and last name of each team member

    • Phone number and email address, through which the team can be reached: make sure to include an email address that is both active and regularly monitored!

    • Name and contact info of an adult mentor of the team (for example a teacher)

    • Short, written description of the idea

    • YouTube –link to the pre-recorded pitch

  • A pre-recorded video pitch will be required in both categories. The minimum length of the video is 30 seconds, and the maximum length of the video is 3 minutes. The video should include an introduction of all the team members.

  • The format for the rest of the video is up to the students to decide. Unless there is a critical need to use an external assistant (for example when providing a demo of a product), only the team members should participate/speak in the video.

  • The video needs to be uploaded to YouTube and the link provided should be a link to hidden content. Kindly make sure that your link provided provides access to the video. The pitch and video should be in English.

Primary School Classes 7 – 9

  • Each team must have an adult mentor

  • One entry per team  – see instructions above

  • No strict age limits (younger/ class 10 students may participate)

  • No limitations for the topic or theme of the business idea: the only requirement is that your business idea must be new in some way!

Upper Secondary Level (vocational schools, upper secondary schools)

  • Students of 16 – 19 years old

  • One entry per team – see instruction above

  • The topic of the business idea needs to contribute to, provide solutions for, or address one or more of the following:


  • Human rights

  • Inclusion and diversity

  • Strengthening Entrepreneurship

  • Circular economy and sustainability

One grand prize winner will receive financial support for the development of the business idea and a 3-week virtual bootcamp with Redbrick Accelerator in autumn 2022


One runner-up will receive a 3-week virtual bootcamp with Redbrick Accelerator in autumn 2022

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