In this manual, you get to know everything you need to know in order to perform well in STHEC. By reading this manual carefully, you will know what is expected from you and what STHEC is all about. Happy STHECing!

STHEC – Smart Technology Hub Ecosystem challenge is an event where students across different universities and universities of applied sciences work in interdisciplinary teams and solve real challenges for two days (12.11.-13.11.2019)

The event is organized by Wärtsilä in collaboration with City of Vaasa, Danfoss, Vaasan Sähkö and University of Vaasa.

All the arranging partners believe in a world where we rise above our competitive interest and work together in an ecosystem.

Name of the game

Around 16 teams consisting of 4-5 students work on challenges that have been provided by the challenge providers – in this game called the customers. 2-3 Teams will be working on each challenge. The goal for a team is to come up with a solution to the challenge they have been provided with. The solution can be anything from a service to a concrete product or something else that helps to solve the challenge. The sky is not the limit here!

In the beginning of the event the teams get a chance to discuss the challenge with their customer. The customers are the ones providing teams the challenges and are therefore experts who can give more information on their challenge. All teams working on the same challenge will meet their customer at the same time and be given the same information about the challenge.

After the meeting with the customer the teams will start to develop a possible solution for the challenge. Each team will have their home base in STHECVille on the second floor. For support, the teams can book slots with service designers and mentors that help the teams with ideating and bringing the ideas from idea phase to solution. In case the teams have trouble moving forward with a solution, get stuck or simply need a second opinion, it is highly encouraged to be in contact with the professionals that can help the teams create the best possible solution.

The prototyping alley can be used to visualize the ideas. The teams will not have to book time at the prototyping alley, it will be open for everyone anytime.

In the end of the event (13.11.) the teams will pitch their solution to a jury called the sharks in a main event called “Shark Tank”. During the Shark Tank the teams will have 3 minutes to pitch their idea, and it is therefore important to have a short but clear message when entering the Shark Tank. Every team will be given short feedback from the sharks.

The teams are evaluated throughout the entire event. A winning team is chosen after the Shark Tank and will receive the grand prize. The winners will be the ones generally performing best during the whole challenge. Other more specific categories will also be rewarded.


General Terms and Conditions

Smart Technology Hub Ecosystem Challenge (“STHEC” or “Challenge”) is organized by Wärtsilä in cooperation with City of Vaasa, Danfoss, Vaasan Sähkö and University of Vaasa, (together the “Organizers”). STHEC is targeted for students and aims to discover unique ideas or products that could be used to solve challenges provided by the Organizers.

The winners will be announced during the second day of the Challenge. The prize for the members of the winning team will include 2020 summer jobs within one of the Organisers as well as a face-to-face session with Wärtsilä Finland´s Managing Director, Vesa Riihimäki. Category runners-up will be rewarded personal HR analysis of professional strengths as well as a personal CV/interview sparring session with Wärtsilä recruitment professionals and a meeting with the Mayor of the City of Vaasa Tomas Häyry.

The participants in the winning team will be interviewed to find the optimal summer jobs considering the participants’ study majors and personal preferences. The Organizers give no guarantees that a mutually acceptable position can be allocated to a person in the winning team, although all reasonable efforts will be made to that effect. 

The Organisers reserve all rights, at their full discretion, to select the winners of the Challenge.

The participant hereby acknowledges and agrees by his/her signature that any idea, invention and/or process developed or devised within the Challenge can be freely used, modified and further developed by the Organizers.

Finally, participation in the Challenge does not oblige any of the Organisers to further cooperate with the participants after the Challenge, unless otherwise agreed expressly in writing.

Organizers assume no responsibility for any costs incurred by the participant in relation to the Challenge, unless otherwise agreed. This Challenge shall be governed by the laws of Finland


The teams consist of 4-5 students. The idea is that the students together with the team create a solution for the challenge they have been provided. How the team manages their time is up to them. The team can either do everything together or dedicate different tasks to each member of the team. How to handle time management is up to the team to decide.



STHEC consists of 6 (six) different challenges. Each team have been handed one challenge to work on in accordance with preferences when applying. Since there are more than six teams in total, there will be multiple teams working on one challenge.

The challenges are:

  • Co-creation spaces from a student perspective in terms of Wärtsilä´s new facilities
  • Utilising data to understand customer needs
  • Sweet spots for start-ups – making the best out of empty facilities in Vaasa
  • Integrating new talents to Innovation networks
  • Vibrant and Viable Vaasa - Keeping a middle-sized city alive
  • Carbon footprint awareness


The Ecosystem

The ecosystem consists of different roles where all people have different tasks. The names and faces of the people in the different roles can be found in a separate attachment.


The teams come up with solutions for their challenge and pitch their idea to the sharks during the Shark Tank.


The customers are the challenge providers and gives the teams more information on their specific challenge in the beginning of the event.


The mentors are there to help the teams develop their ideas. Teams can book a slot with a mentor according to their preference by signing the teams name on the mentor booking list.

Service designers

The service designers are here to help the teams apply service design methods on their ideas. They will guide the teams on how to make their solution customer friendly. The service designers can be booked by reserving a slot in the service designers´ booking calendars.


The prototyping alley is the place to go when the teams want to showcase the idea and design behind it. The teams can use the different materials and tools in the prototyping centre according to own preferences.


The sharks will be the judges at the Shark Tank and will give the teams feedback in combination to their pitch in the Shark Tank.


The crew is here to support the event and its participants.


Shark Tank

The Shark Tank will take place at 13.11. between 1-3 p.m. Each team will have 3 minutes to pitch and get 3 minutes of feedback from the Sharks. It is important to keep the schedule in order for every team to get the same possibilities to pitch their idea in the Shark Tank. Any material the teams like can be used for the presentation.



First price:

  • Guaranteed summer jobs for 2020
  • A face-to-face meeting with Wärtsilä Finland´s Managing Director Vesa Riihimäki

Best use of game ecosystem:

  • Analysis on professional strengths with recruiters
  • A meeting with Mayor of City of Vaasa Tomas Häyry

Best pitch:

  • Personal CV/interview sparring session with recruitment professionals

Surprise category winners:

  • Goody bags with gifts


Evaluation criteria

All the different roles in the ecosystem (mentors, service designers, prototyping and customers) will work as judges and evaluate the teams throughout the two-day-long challenge. Each judge will receive one evaluation template where they will give votes ranging from 1 (=bad) to 5 (=excellent) for all parameters for each team. The parameters are the following:


  • Innovation potential of the idea
  • Adherence to the challenge
  • Impact on the users
  • Business relevance
  • Quality and completeness of the prototype


  • Team understands to use the entire ecosystem (customers/mentors/service design/prototyping) to solve the challenge
  • Shows true ecosystem spirit


  • Team has good energy and spreads it around and throughout the entire event

    Additionally, the sharks in the Shark Tank twill be judging the following parameters:


  • Innovativeness of the solution
  • Clarity, effectiveness, completeness of the presentation
  • Interest raised in the audience
  • Use of visuals/material to support the message

After the Shark Tank the crew will collect the evaluation templates and rank the teams according to their scores. In case two or more teams have the exact amount of points, the crew will decide the winner. 

Practical arrangements

STHEC is arranged at Wasa Innovation Center located in Gebryntie 16, Vaasa.

Lunch is served both days between 11.30-12.30 in the Bock´s Brewery, the building located next to Wasa Innovation Center. For anyone with special diets, please ask the kitchen for further guidance.

Coffee and snacks
Coffee will be available at all times during the event. Snacks are separately served during coffee and snack time. Coffee and snacks are found on the 1 floor in Wasa Innovation Center.

With your STHEC-badge you can get the following offer at Bock’s restaurant for only 15€:

  • Possun pippuripihvi, Laihian lohkoperunat ja luomujuurekset tai härkäpapupihvi


Niemibus will be transporting participants according to the following schedule:

Tuesday 12.11 & Wednesday 13.11

08:00 Bus leaves from the Sokos Hotel Royal (in front of the main entrance)

08:15 Palosaari, Wolffintie (bus stop next to Novia)

08:30 Arrival at Wasa Innovation Center

16:30 Bus leaves from the Wasa Innovation Center parking lot and uses the same route


Final comments

All participants are expected to behave in a respectful way and commit to a code of conduct.

Code of conduct:

  • Greet your teammates and other teams respectfully
  • Although this is a competition, let´s keep it fair play and respect the other teams and theirparticipants
  • Avoid content that is offensive, vulgar, defamatory or violates privacy in any way.
  • Have fun 😊