STHEC – unleash your creativity

STHEC – the Smart Technology Hub Ecosystem Challenge – is a two-day hackathon focused on solving real business challenges by connecting students, companies, universities, universities of applied sciences together in an ecosystem of co-creation.

2021 STHEC was arranged by Wärtsilä and partners as part of the Energy Academy umbrella. The Energy Academy is a newly founded network consisting of companies, universities and universities of applied sciences in the Vaasa region.


What is it?

A 2-day online innovation challenge for students enrolled in a University or University of Applied Sciences in Finland, where they get to solve real challenges provided by companies and organizations.

An event where we connect students, companies and professionals together.

A showcase of how it is to work in an ecosystem of different players and co-create new solutions together.


How is it done?

Students sign up and chooses their preferred challenge to work on.

Students are grouped into teams based on their study programmes and their preferred challenge. We aim to make the teams as diverse as possible.

The companies and organsiations give a closer presentation of their challenges to the teams.

Teams ideate and come up with innovative solutions to the challenges while using all the services provided in the event ecosystem.


The STHEC ecosystem consists of mentors, service designers, facilitators, customers, prototyping centres, sharks (judges), and they are here to support the teams with co-creation.

At the event final the teams pitch their ideas to the sharks, who challenge them and provide feedback.


What´s in it for you?

A chance to network with other students, professionals and companies.

A possibility to unleash your creative side and ideate.

Chance to become a winner of STHEC.


STHEC 2021

STHEC 2021 was arranged on 11-12 November as a hybrid event. The students worked on their challenges online in virtual break-out rooms while the official program of STHEC was live streamed on Youtube.

The students pitched their ideas virtually during the Shark Tank to the jury present in the live STHEC studio.


Challenges 2021

STHEC 2021 had five different challenges that the groups worked on. All of these challenges were real business challenges and they had been provided to the event by the STHEC partners. During the event, 2-3 teams worked on each challenge. When signing up, students were asked to rank the challenges in their preferred order.

STHEC 2019

STHEC was for the first time arranged in 2019. Have a look at the after movie  to get into the right spirit. You can find the video in full-length and a news story on STHEC 2019 by clicking the button down below. Enjoy!

Energy Academy

Energy Academy

The Energy Academy is a newly founded network consisting of companies, universities and universities of applied sciences in the Vaasa region, which aim is to attract and maintain competence in our region.  By collaborating, students get to make acquaintance with the companies while the companies in turn get to integrate with the academic world.

Partners of the Energy Academy are at this stage: Hanken School of Economics, University of Helsinki, VAMK, University of Vaasa, Novia, Åbo Akademi University, ABB Oy, Danfoss, EnergyVaasa, Hitachi Energy, Merinova, City of Vaasa, Vaasan Sähkö, VASEK and Wärtsilä Finland.


Co-creation Playbook

The presence of exquisite tools for brainstorming, prototyping, and ideating is something that can be helpful when co-creating. That’s why we have gathered some useful methods to check out before and during the event. The playbook can boost your team’s creativity and take your ideas to the next level.