NOCCA Hackathon: Team formation and Business Idea Development during Corona Season

First of three NOCCA hackathons taking place in fall 2020 was held in Helsinki and online on September 17th-21st. During the 4-day hackathon organized by Haaga-Helia, the teams had an intense start for developing their business ideas. 

Due to COVID-19, the first day of the hackathon was organized in a hybrid format: participants could join either physically in Maria 01a legendary startup Campus in the heart of Helsinki, or virtually on Deal Room Events platform. The rest of the hackathon was organized fully online on Microsoft Teams. 

On the first day, two companies, Tespack and StepOutpresented challenges to the participants to tackle. In additionsome of the students pitched their own business ideas to lure the others to join their team. The ideas varied from food waste to traveling and eco-friendly delivery service. 

The first day of the hackathon was about team formation and developing the business ideas. Minttu Harmaala, one of the Haaga-Helian coaches, reminded the students that “it’s important to fall in love with the problem you’re trying to solve but not with the solution.” During the second and third days of the hackathon, the teams researched their markets and competition as well as planned their business plans execution and finance with the help of the coaches. 

The grand finale of NOCCA hackathon took place on the fourth day when all 10 teams pitched their further developed ideas. The jury of well-seasoned professionals working with startups, Ilona Raimas from Wave VenturesMia-Stiina Heikkala from NewCo Helsinki and Mikko Järvinen from Haaga Helia StartUp Schoolhad quite hard decision to make.  

“All presented ideas tackled actual and also local challenges for changing the world. The attendees seemed to be enthusiastic and well organized within their teams. The atmosphere of the event was positive and relaxed,” described Heikkala 

The winner of the hackathon was a team of three people, named The Other WorldValdis SprogisSergei Iljin and Henry Emekeokhale worked on VR equipment leasing service. The team was happy that they joined the hackathon: It's an excellent experience and opportunity to test your business idea and get the first feedback on whether it's something that can grow into something bigger or not. You also get the chance to form your first team who believes in your idea and vision and will help you to take it to the next level, told Sprogis. 

Currently the teams are continuing to work on their ideas. Next NOCCA event will be Growth and Scalability Workshop that takes place on November 16th and 17thde 

Want to hear more? Contact Project Manager Jari Luomakoski ( or Project Coordinator Namrata Sethi ( 


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