NOCCA – Novel opportunities for new company creation and accelerated growth

P1 Competitive economy

1.1. New Central Baltic knowledge intensive companies

Central Baltic

01.04.2019 - 30.06.2021

€1 053 809

€834 332

Project Summary:

Students are a key stakeholder group in the creation of new knowledge intensive companies. However, most have little exposure to entrepreneurship, thus limited willingness and capacities to create and run their own company - to set it up they require awareness of business opportunities in new and emergent fields as well as accelerated growth. However, international growth is challenging for start-ups since they lack networks, contacts, resources and skills.

NOCCA – Novel Opportunities for new Company Creation and Accelerated growth –will develop a course to be set-up and implemented in Helsinki, Tallinn and Riga. The course will include three consecutive multidisciplinary and intergenerational hackathons and idea camps. Students and organisations from the participating countries will be paired with others coming from different ones - the aim is to support the creation of new cross-border companies and to further engaging with the innovation ecosystem. 

The project aims at involving 850 students Finland, Estonia and Latvia and to expose them to entrepreneurship and to challenges related to the silver, the green and the blue economy.

Lead Partner

Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Country: FI

Partner budget: 527.966 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 392.015 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

SA Tallinna Teaduspark Tehnopol

Country: EE

Partner budget: 152.910 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 128.719 EUR ERDF


Country: EE

Partner budget: 148.102 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 124.673 EUR ERDF

Stockholm School of Economics in Riga

Country: LV

Partner budget: 224.831 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 188.925 EUR ERDF

Achieved results

Project result in category -
Joint student company

NOCCA created novel opportunities for new company creation and accelerated growth

Aim of the project was to build and pilot a new cross-border approach to student empowered company creation with the specific aim of generating new cross-border enterprises in the silver, blue and green economies in the Central Baltic Sea region. The main objective was to create 6 new joint or cooperating cross-border companies.

Project organised hackathons, networking and pitching events to support students’ awareness raising and capacity building for entrepreneurial-minded students. 450 students participated in different events and many of them indicated future aspiration towards entrepreneurship career.

Project faced challenges from Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns had a negative impact on project activities, especially on cross-border cooperation. Project was quite successful in using online tools but students’ commitment to virtual events was not as strong as to physical events. Missing possibility to communicate face-to-face made cooperation harder. Because of that some of the project focus was turned to helping existing startups by giving mentoring services to them. In total 72 enterprises were supported by the project activities.

Project main objective was achieved partly: 7 new start-up companies were created. However, they are not cross-border companies although they indicated plans to expand their activities to other project countries. Intention to work together with somebody from other country was not enough strong and Covid related restrictions had additional negative impact on working across borders.

Project page in database
At a glance
  • In total 72 enterprises were supported by the project activities.
  • 7 new start-up companies were created.