STHEC 2021 gathered over 50 students to solve business challenges provided by Wärtsilä and partners


Young people are the ones to shape the future. Luckily enough, our future seems to be in great hands when following the students and the solutions they came up with during STHEC 2021 (The Smart Technology Hub Ecosystem Challenge).

More than 50 students participated in the two-day-long co-creation challenge which focused on solving real challenges provided by companies/organisations. The challenges were five in total and 2-3 teams worked on each challenge. The challenges they got to work on were:

  • Future hybrid set-up of working provided to the students by Danfoss
  • Multi-locality provided by City of Vaasa
  • Sustainable transportation to the Smart Technology Hub provided by Wärtsilä
  • Trade on the energy market – the undiscovered revenue opportunity for households provided by Vaasan Sähkö
  • The role of ecological and social values in the choice of technology solutions provided by Hitachi Energy

The idea with STHEC was to have students work in interdisciplinary teams in terms of study background. During the challenge they were given the opportunity to use an ecosystem consisting of challenge providers (handing them the challenge to work on), mentors (helping them guide through the stages of innovations) and last but not least, sharks, that they were asked to give a three minute pitch to in a closing session called the Shark Tank. No easy task for anyone, but the students did amazingly well!

Besides the pitch and the solution, the teams where evaluated based on how well they used the ecosystem in the game, how motivated they were and how well they embraced their own team and team spirit. The winning team of STHEC was announced as a team doing great in all of these aspects. The winners of STHEC worked on solving the challenge provided to them by Hitachi Energy and included Nathalie Österblad, VAMK, Teemu von Boehm, VAMK, Minh-Thu (Minttu) Duong, Åbo Akademi, Yijie Li, University of Vaasa and Phuc Le, VAMK. Their prize will be summer jobs in one of the organizing companies during summer 2022. On top of this, categories such as best pitch and team spirit were rewarded.

The Smart Technology Hub Ecosystem Challenge was organised for the first time in 2019. This year´s STHEC was held on 11-12 November and organised by Wärtsilä in collaboration with partners as part of the Energy Academy collaboration that brings together businesses and academia in the Vaasa region.  

Read more about the specific challenges in STHEC 2021 here.

Watch the Shark Tank on Youtube here.