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Forest Bioeconomy Start-up Competition Rules

The start-up competition seeks the most promising and potential forest bioeconomy growth companies

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The Forest Industry Innovation Award, Pulp & Beyond Award, is a recognition award worth 10,000 euros, granted by the Finnish Fair Foundation. It is presented during the Pulp & Beyond event at the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre. The award was first distributed in 2014.

The award recipient is selected by a jury convened by the Finnish Forest Products Engineers’ Association in collaboration with the Messukeskus. The jury includes a representative from the Finnish Forest Products Engineers’ Association and may be supplemented as necessary. Practical arrangements are managed by Messukeskus. For further information, please contact Marcus Bergström and Teija Armanto.

Award Criteria

The award may be granted to a Finnish start-up company that has developed an innovation (product, service, business model) which enhances the positive image of the forest bioeconomy sector and has the potential to become a significant international product or service.

The evaluation considers factors such as:

  • The innovation and originality of the business idea, the market potential of the product, the credibility of the business plan and its implementation, as well as the pitch presentation.
  • When distributing the award, all individuals or entities significantly involved in the planning of the awarded project are mentioned according to the recipient’s notification.
  • If a group or community receives the award sum, the distribution among the parties concerned is an internal matter of the recipient entity. If the distribution of the award sum is determined before the award is given, it can be communicated during the distribution.

Rules related to the Jury’s operations

  • The chairman of the jury is chosen each time.

o The members of the 2024 jury are: Atte Virtanen (VTT), Katarina Kemppainen (Metsä Group), Jenny Müller-Wahlman (Stora Enso), Ville Leminen (LUT), Antti Lindqvist (PI), and Marcus Bergström (Messukeskus).

  • The jury has the right to supplement its composition at its discretion.
  • In case of a tie vote within the jury, the chairman’s vote decides.
  • If a jury member represents a potential recipient company/community, the jury member cannot vote in the event of a vote.
  • The representative of Messukeskus acts as the secretary of the jury and does not have voting rights.
  • The representative of Messukeskus informs the media about the award.


In 2024, the award will be given to the winner of a pitch competition aimed at start-up companies. Participation in the competition is possible by filling out an application form through the specified link. Information about the launch of the application process will be disseminated through various channels including press registers, different mailing lists, newsletters, and also on the website of Messukeskus. From the proposals received, the jury selects 3-5 companies to pitch at the Pulp & Beyond event. The winner will be decided based on the pitches.

Schedule and Actions

  • The application period begins and Messukeskus sends out a press release in February 2024.
  • The application deadline is March 31, 2024, and Messukeskus promptly submits the proposals to the jury.
  • The selection meeting will be held as soon as possible.
  • The competition will take place on April 10th at the Pulp & Beyond event.


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